Monday, August 19, 2013

Minding Your Own Business- "What's Your Name?"

Welcome Back to the
"Minding Your Own Business" Series
A blog about the joyful journey of small business ownership.
In 2010 when I decided to start a business, I had a very hard time coming up with a name and tag line that made me feel ‘right’.  One day, I asked my husband to put together a portfolio for me displaying all my creative work, resume, certificates, recommendations, etc.  When he was done putting together the portfolio, he brought it to me and asked that I look it over to make sure that it met my expectations.  Smart man! As I browsed through the various sections, I noticed that he used the picture of a compass on colored paper as section dividers.  I asked him why he chose a compass and he said the following statement that became my ‘AHA’ moment:

“Well, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use as section dividers.  I wanted something unique.  So I thought about who you are and the type of business you wanted to do.  You’re a different kind of person.  I thought that you were very good at telling people where to go…giving them direction.  People also trust and rely on your direction and advice.  Also, it doesn’t matter which direction you choose to go in life…I know that you will be successful.”

I cannot begin to tell you the love and admiration that swelled up in my heart for this man.  He is not a man of many words and there were many times when I swore that he was not listening or noticing what I was doing with my business…but he was paying attention all along.  In that moment, I decided to call my business Compass Training Solutions.  A year later, I updated my name to Compass Consulting and Training Solutions.  Our tagline? We know where you’re heading…we’ll help you get there.

Deciding on a business name is not an easy task.  Experts will give you all kinds of advice as to the best way to choose a name BUT, since this blog is about my journey, I’m going to share five tips from my own journey.

Tip #1: Be clear: Your name should certainly reflect what you do.  However, it should also allow people to have an idea about your business before they even speak to you.  This means that your business service(s) or product(s) must be clearly defined.
Tip #2: Tell a story: Your business name should be the result of a story.  This will ensure that you have a business name that is unique.  This is also a way to engage customers who may wonder how you came up with your business name or may be a marketing opportunity to connect with customers.

Tip #3: Know your target customer base: Make sure that your target customer base can understand and relate to the name of your business.  New business owners often make the mistake of creating marketing materials, websites, promotional items, etc. with written content from their point of view or using vocabulary that is common to them.  Marketing, which includes the name of your business, should be developed from your customer’s point of view.  This point of view includes factors like ethnicity, age, gender, socio-economic factors, education level, etc.
Tip #4: Keep it simple: Be sure to select a name that a wide audience of customers can easily understand.  Keep in mind the cultural makeup of your target audience.  Use words that are easy to recognize, culturally relevant and trendy.  For example, instead of naming your business RJ’s Confections…consider RJ’s Sweet Treats.  Some customers may have the background knowledge to define confections; however, a wider range of customers will clearly understand sweet treats.

Tip #5: Be creative.  Have you ever seen business name and you immediately wanted to know more about the business? Have you ever heard a business name and acronym (letters used to spell out or represent the business name…i.e. Bringing On New Direction’s acronym is BOND) and you couldn’t get it out of your head? What were the thoughts that crossed your mind? What made the name attractive? Think outside the box.  Have fun.  Be creative.
Naming your business should be an exciting and creative experience.  Use your heart.  Use your head.  Have fun. 

Stay tuned for more of Minding Your Business. For more information on Rachel Dolcine or Compass Consulting & Training solutions visit www.compasscts.comor email

Previous Articles from the "Minding Your Business" Series
How About Minding Your Own Business
The Will to Live and Succeed

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