Build your reputation around your name

A recent article in BusinessWeek on naming companies lamented how hard it’s become to create a novel, catchy name.

This is hard news to swallow if you’re a startup with a new product to sell.

But if you're a small business owner who sellsideas and services to people in business — even if you sell products such as books, videos, CDs, software, and business systems — there’s no need to go through mental contortions to divine the perfectly witty name for your company. The perfect moniker for your company is your own name. Why?

Your reputation is built around your personal name. People remember you, not necessarily your company. When a client refers you they think of the value you personally provided. It’s you, the person, who comes to mind, not your company name.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t create a corporate name for your business, especially if you set up your business as a C or S corp. Just don’t spend too much time trying to come up with something catchy.

Pile your efforts into fortifying your brand around your own name. Mine is “Guise,” plus what I do, “Marketing & PR.” A strong tag line will support your name. My tag line is, “Be Visible!”

By using your own name you’ll save money and time on extensive name searching. You still need to do a search, but if you can add what you do to the name like I’ve done, even if it’s your last name plus “Consulting” or “Accounting,” for example, you’ll have your company named in next to no time.

Roberta Guise enables successful women to become thought leaders. She also works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611.