What’s in a Name?

Many new coaches agonize over naming their businesses. Some try to be clever or witty; others wrangle with ways to convey what they do in a word or two. But many coaches I work with miss one important consideration: the client.

No matter what, your business name should to speak to your client (and your potential clients). If you’re clear on your niche, it will be easier to create a name that resonates with them.

That said, there are two major schools of thought on naming your coaching business:

  1. Use your name. Chances are, unless you have a very common name, you can buy a domain name which includes it. There are some upsides:
    • easy to remember
    • yours forever
    • prospects associate you with your business
    • you and your business are easy to find on the web

    Potential issues:

    • if your name is unique or hard to spell, it might make you harder to find
    • it might be more challenging to sell your business, since the brand is you
  2. Create a short, catchy name that conveys the value clients receive.This can be more time consuming in the short run, but many believe it’s the better way to go, long-term. Of course, there are trade-offs here, too. Pros:
    • makes your company name more memorable
    • can help legitimize your business, making you look less like a “mom-n-pop” operation
    • “ports” well to a new owner, if you ever sell your business

    Cons:

    • could cost money up front, if you don’t want to take the time to do it yourself. Really gifted names often come from people who create business identities for a living
    • lots of great, catchy names are already in use. Even if you can still ethically share a name with another company (for example, if they’re in a different industry), the relevant domain name ending in “.com” may no longer be available

My advice to coaches is usually to do both – if your name is available in “.com,” buy it, then pick the “perfect” name later. Read the rest of this entry »

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