Will They Remember You?
Picking the Right Business Name
Your business name should give those you come in contact with a clear picture of what you do. Your business name should represent your specialty, values, and competitive edge. It also helps in developing that brand that all good businesses need. That’s a lot to cover in just a few words, so you should take a little time to create a business name that evokes the right feelings from your target market. Here are a few things you can do to find the perfect name for your business.BrainstormTo brainstorm, all you need is a pen, notebook, and all the creativity you can muster. At this point you’re looking for words that might work in a business name, regardless of how they might sound at this point. Don’t cross anything out or censor yourself; anything goes when you brainstorm. Make ConnectionsFor this activity, all you need is a thesaurus. Your objective at this point is to increase your options by expanding your brainstorm list. Add any words that relate to your profession and values. Look those words up in the thesaurus and add even more that might work. What words might communicate your competitive edge? Are you interested in localizing your business name? Are there any variations of your own name that could be used? Don’t make any judgments at this point—you’re still brainstorming, giving every idea that comes to mind a chance to make this long list.String Some Words TogetherReview your list and consider which words you’re most drawn to. Which resonate and best describe your objectives? Now string some together to create tentative business names. Make as many as possible; in fact, shoot for 20-30 that might work.Don’t Get Too Quirky Although you can get into the creative side of things with your business name, there can be a tendency to get too cute with your name. Names like “Numbers n’ Cents”, or “Counting Teddy Bears Accounting” are not going to give the right impression to those business owners who are looking to entrust you with their financial world. Leave the Quirky to the catchphrase, but try and refrain from naming your practice something that can’t be taken seriously.Narrow Your ListNow’s the time to create a short list of business names. Which appeal to you the most? Go with your gut and pick those business names that sound best to you. Try to narrow your list somewhere between 5 and 10 names.Check with Your CompetitorsBefore picking your own business name it’s good to do a little research and see what your competitors are calling themselves. First make a list of local bookkeepers and accountants. Then hit the internet and see what bookkeepers and accountants out of your area call themselves. This will help you see how your names measure up. Do they adequately represent your services while still being unique enough to stand out? Or are some so unique that members of your target market just might scratch their heads when they hear them?Test-Drive Your SelectionsSay them all out loud. Sometimes it’s only when you pronounce a business name that you recognize its flaws. Consider the following:
- Is it easy to pronounce?
- Is it memorable?
- Is it easy to spell?
- Will it appeal to your target market?
- Does say something about your business?
- Is it too limiting? (geographically or otherwise? You want something that can expand as your business does.)
- Does it stand out?
- Is it too similar to a competitor’s business name?
Next, run your selections by family and friends. What are their thoughts and opinions? Ask what comes to mind when they hear each name? It would also be good to run your names by members of your target market. Narrow your list as you feel appropriate.Pick a WinnerNow that you’ve brainstormed, researched, and gotten feedback, it’s time to pick the name that you feel best about. If it’s a name you can get excited about, chances are it’s the business name for you.Register Your Business NameThe best way to save the name for yourself is to register it. If you plan to incorporate, file the proper paperwork. Regardless whether or not you register the name, you can begin to use the trademark symbol. Picking a business name can be a great way to build momentum in getting that business of yours started. When you’ve found a name that’s a perfect match to your objectives, you’ll feel the excitement begin to grow, and hopefully, your business will follow suit.
Are you ready to take the next step in the process you have started in the accounting field? Are you tired of coming across those times when you know you could have done better if you just had the training in this or that aspect of the accounting, bookkeeping process? If only you had a way to learn how to market your accounting practice from an accountant who has been successful?
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