What’s In A Name? Oh, Perhaps Maybe The Survival Of Your Business

December 1, 2008 by  Filed under: other 

When I first started out in small business I did not give enough thought to planning the name of my business. Like many, I was just anxious to get started, to open my store and start making money. But when customers did not immediately start flooding in I was forced to take a serious look at why.

My business was retailing, and renting, home care equipment. From wheelchairs and walkers, aids for eating and bathing and everything in between I thought I had a great chance to do well. But I found many people just walking by giving me nothing more than a quick glance, and I was hearing the question, “What’s a Getchell?”

In my hurry to start my business I took the quick and lazy route and used my surname as part of the business name. I called it “Getchell Health Promotion Services and figured people would understand I was promoting self care. I guess not.

Any business, or domain name, must reflect, in as few words as possible, the nature of your product or service. Let me give you some examples. For this exercise I simply took a stroll through the local phone book, and one down the main street of my town. The name A & B Auto Body very clearly tells you does body work on cars. The domain name mackenzieplumbing.com is a company that deals in plumbing and probably is a family run business. Now here’s an example I particularly like. There is a new corner store that opened recently in my town called The Sweet Spot. When I first saw it I figured the guys who opened this store really missed the boat. I don’t mind admitting I was dead wrong. The owners of this store were aiming at a particular niche market. What are they selling? Golf clubs. Now any avid golfer knows exactly what a “sweet spot” is. It was no matter that someone such as myself never set foot in their store because it would not likely ever result in a sale. Yeah, you guessed it, I’m not sure I even know what the working end of a golf club is (just kidding, but you get the picture).

My home health care store did survive but growth was painfully slow and I had to do a lot of extra leg work and advertising. I learned a very valuable and expensive lesson.

In short, picking the proper business or domain name deserves almost as much attention as planning the entire business itself. The right name can save you big bucks in advertising costs, not to mention hours of work, sweat and worry in helping potential customers understand you and your business and what it is you have to offer them.

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