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choosing a business nameViews: 1701
Jul 20, 2005 7:12 pmchoosing a business name#

Dean H.
I'm curious to know how many of the entrepeneurs and solopreneurs decided to go with naming their company. Some folks choose to use something along the lines of "my name + consulting". Or "intials + consulting/design". And then there is the typical accounting and law firm naming strategy, "Smith, Ogilvy, and Warren."

Some folks use latin or greek derivations to name their company.

I'd like to know what other entrepeneurs and solopreneurs are doing to name their company. Leesa has Savia Lane (it flows so naturally). Marilyn has Marilyn Jennet Locations. Scott has Online Business Networks.com Dave has bplanGuru.com . Kinda cool.

Does any business name do for you? I'm a big proponent of branding and how your company name plays a big part in your overall branding strategy. Of course, there is more to branding than a company name, but I'm curious to know how you guys chose your company name.


Private Reply to Dean H.

Jul 20, 2005 10:50 pmre: choosing a business name#

Russ Howard

Not a major story, in my case. I've always liked eagles and falcons. I just figured it would make a good brand. Also, it embodies strength and honor and honesty and makes a really cool looking logo. Finally, I almost went to the Air Force Academy to be an F-15 Eagle pilot. That cinched it. Add to that the fact that we do all things computer related and you get Eagle Computer Technologies.

Russ Howard
Eagle Computer Technologies - Fort Worth, Texas
Moderator - Ryze Home Page HTML Helper Network

Private Reply to Russ Howard

Jul 20, 2005 11:05 pmre: choosing a business name#

Danielle Keister
I provide office support services (called Virtual Assistance) to small to mid-sized businesses.

I chose my biz name - The Relief - because that's exactly what I was delivering to business owners: relief from their administrative headaches.

Private Reply to Danielle Keister

Jul 21, 2005 12:26 amre: choosing a business name#

Jeanie Marshall
Great Question, Dean.

I love naming companies and projects! Here are three.

Marshall House
is my company name. Obviously, Marshall is taken from my last name. When I first began my company, I worked from my house. My logo has an m and an h with a roof over the letters. When I developed the company web site 12 years ago, I wanted mh.com, but McGraw Hill had already purchased it. So, I chose mhmail.com.

Jemel Publishing House
Of course, it's common in the publising business to use the word "House." Jemel was created this way: JE for JEanie, M for Marshall and EL for the way that archangels are named. Since I'm not one, I thought it would be fun to have a company named as the angels are named.

This is for my new blog (not a company) which went public yesterday, domain is JMviews.com. The full name for the blog is "JMviews Guided Meditation and Empowerment Consulting." J for Jeanie, for Marshall, and views for the several meanings of that word.

I think it's important to create image, brand, and other associations. I am branded.

Jeanie Marshall
Marshall House http://www.mhmail.com/
Empowerment Blog http://www.jmviews.com/

Private Reply to Jeanie Marshall

Jul 21, 2005 3:25 pmre: choosing a business name#

Scott Allen
I have so many business names -- almost as many as I have domains!

When I left my last company and was going into consulting, but not sure exactly what consulting I was going to do (generally, whatever people would pay me for, right?), I used "Thinking for a Living", which emphasized the idea of working smarter, not harder. My consulting was focused on creative ways to help small businesses do more with less.

As I shifted towards the work on online business relationships, it really was driven around keywords, and I went with OnlineBusinessNetworking.com.

As we started to explore the space more, we found that a lot (OK, not a lot, but a couple of important demographic groups) of people had negative associations with the word "networking", so we changed it to OnlineBusinessNetworks.com.

We knew all along, though, that that was a stop-gap until we had the title of our book finalized. We knew we were going to have to undergo a major rebranding, but we couldn't do it until the publisher finally committed to the title, which just happened a few months ago.

So now it's "The Virtual Handshake". OnlineBusinessNetworks and OnlineBusinessNetworking are no more -- those domains just redirect to TVH.

How did we come up with that? We brainstormed big-time. We wrote down the key concepts we wanted to convey and brainstormed all the words we could think of around those concepts. We used a thesaurus and added more words. Then we started crossing words off the list for one reason or another -- negative connotation, ambiguity, etc. Then we started combining the words.

Ultimately, "The Virtual Handshake" is highly evocative. A handshake symbolizes not only the initial meeting, but each meeting (and usually each goodbye) thereafter. Also, originally the handshake was a symbol of trust. It was a knight saying to the other knight, "You can trust me, and I trust you not to attack me because I'm offering you my open hand."

We chose "virtual" over "electronic", "online", "digital", "cyber", etc., because it seemed more "human". "Virtual" comes from "virtuall" (the same Old English root as "virtue"), meaning "effective". Another good subliminal connotation.

BTW, I have an article (currently my 2nd most popular) on my About.com site about "How to Create a Great Business Name" (and how to make sure it's not already in use): http://entrepreneurs.about.com/cs/gettingstarted/ht/business_name.htm

It also has some links to some very useful resources in the sidebar under "Suggested Reading".

- Scott -

P.S. "The Virtual Handshake" is NOW AVAILABLE!

Private Reply to Scott Allen

Jul 21, 2005 9:39 pmre: choosing a business name#

Lynne Cogan
Hi Dean and everyone.

The first business I had started in the late '70s when acupuncture was just beginning to become popular. The business name: Accu-Punctual Typing. Yes, typing. Accuracy and punctuality were what my main target market, students, were most interested in.

Later I had a campaign resume service: Career Designs with the slogan "Professional Resumes with the Personal Touch." Why designs? The resumes were worded and laid out to not only show a person's experience but their personality, as well . . . (and within the constraints of appropriate business protocol).

Now, I'm slowly developing a personal website called Lynnes-Picks.com where I will share the various products, services, projects that I am/will be supporting. Not as creative as the other two and it is self-explanatory . . . well, kind of. And if you want to know why there's a hyphen . . . spell it without one and it will become quite apparent.


Private Reply to Lynne Cogan

Jul 21, 2005 9:41 pmre: re: choosing a business name#

Lynne Cogan
Hi Jeanie.

Hadn't thought about archangels names ending in "el."

Makes sense though. Did you know that in Hebrew, one of the names for God is "El"?


Private Reply to Lynne Cogan

Jul 22, 2005 2:35 amre: choosing a business name#

Chuck Dennis
My wife and I have a sales, marketing, and customer service consultancy called Knowledgence Associates. I came up with the name, based on 13 years experience with good, bad, and ugly names in the trademark research industry.

The idea behind this name was simply turning knowledge into intelligence. The more knowledge you have about your customer, the more intelligently you can serve your customer. This means providing products and services that your customer needs. This means communicating with your customer in a language and manner that he/she understands. It means seeing the world through your customer's eyes.

So that's how I came up with this name. My background in trademarks has taught me that while coined names (made-up words) receive the broadest legal protection, they are the toughest to establish as a memorable brand. However, coined words that evoke a positive trait around your business are best, because people will remember the positive trait.

Names should be memorable. They should be easy to say, and easy to spell. Knowledgence is not exactly easy to say or spell, but it has a "hook," which is "take knowledge and intelligence, and mash them together." People remember the name after that.

Descriptive names are the worst names you can have. Not only are they next to impossible to register as trademarks, consider that if a word or phrase describes your business, chances are, it describes hundreds of other businesses, as well. The NUMBER ONE function of a name is to differentiate your product or service from those of your competitors. A name that helps your business stand out is worth its weight in gold. (Please note: descriptive terms as DOMAIN NAMES are another story all together. Descriptive domain names can help bring traffic to your web site, and can be a VERY effective tool.)

I am not a fan of business names that simply utilize the principal's name. This puts the focus of the business on the principal, not the customer. As a customer evangelist, that rubs me the wrong way. It also does not show a lot of thought and creativity - apologies to all those whose business names who utilize their names/initials - these are just my opinions <;~D


Private Reply to Chuck Dennis

Jul 22, 2005 10:06 amre: choosing a business name#

Marilyn Jenett

Ooooh, I like this question.

The only drawback to my company name (Marilyn Jenett Locations) is getting people to spell my name right :-)

I would love to share the reasons I chose both of my business names (do you sense a story coming up?).

First, Marilyn Jenett Locations...

Two decades ago when I conceived the idea of an event company, I knew that the venue was the first thing on the client's mind - where to have that event. It was totally an intuitive prompting to start a location company for special events - no one had ever done it before. I knew that if I attracted the clients, I would not only book the location but be able to produce the events. What to name my company? Well, what I recall the most is people telling me that you should never put your own name on the company - that it's never successful. Well, all I could think of was Famous Amos, Mrs. Field's, MacDonalds, Smith Brothers, Manny, Moe & Jack, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, etc., etc. What? Never successful? Well, I love a challenge :-)

But then I looked at all the names of the special event companies - "Events" this, "Parties" that, "Planners" this - they just all seemed the same to me. And so many of the large companies had extensive staff and reps. I wanted to be a boutique operation. I wanted my clients to know the person who owned and operated the business and who put her name on the business and was accessible. So I chose to use my name. No other name seemed to fit. Six weeks later I'm on the cover of the LA Times with my new business, sydnicated around the world, on TV shows....

Two decades later...

I have a prompting and I am being prompted to teach prosperity laws that I have studied and applied for years and years, but couldn't see how I could go about it. I was helping a new writer friend in Canada and he told me that I have to teach this, that people need this knowledge. I said, "How? Who would listen? He said, "They'll listen." We are conversing back and forth by email, kidding around, having fun, and it was getting late.

It was time to say goodnight, and I finished my message glibly with "Goodnight... Feel free to prosper". Sort of in the tone of "Feel free to stop by sometime". Very nonchalant.

I get an email back with HUGE letters that reads 'EGADS!! THAT'S THE NAME! THAT'S THE NAME! FEEL FREE TO PROSPER!"

I wrote back, "Egads?" I haven't heard that one in a zillion years. You are an old hippie, aren't you?"

So that's how I got the name. Another old friend of mine immediately searched on the Internet and couldn't find that expression used anywhere...nowhere on the Internet. I got the domain name and that was that.

Almost two years later (now)...

I thank God that I had no idea back then what "spam" was...or a "spam filter" or "junk folders" or any such stuff.

If I did, I wonder if I would have chosen the name that contains two of the top spam words on the planet: "Free" and "Prosper".

Yeah, of course I would. As I said, I love a challenge :-)


Private Reply to Marilyn Jenett

Jul 24, 2005 8:24 amre: choosing a business name#

Marilyn Jenett

As I mentioned to you privately, my companion thinks your name is very distinctive and he and I really like the sound of H.Dean Hua Consulting.

Sounds very important and successful.


Private Reply to Marilyn Jenett

Jul 24, 2005 12:49 pmre: re: choosing a business name#

Des Walsh
Neat article, Scott!

I'm just finalising an issue of my ezine and was looking for a couple of tips to share - will include a link to your article.

Re the brainstorming bit, here's a link to the blog with a link to the 'whiteboard treatment' the people at Business Week's Blogspotting blog did to get to the name:


or http://tinyurl.com/b27mz

Des Walsh
Gold Coast, Australia

Private Reply to Des Walsh

Aug 02, 2005 6:01 pmre: choosing a business name#

Deborah Martin
Hey Dean

I named my coaching business Portage, because I help clients transition from one point in their lives to the next, deciding what to leave behind and what's important to take with them to the next vista. Also, I'm an avid backcountry canoist so the name shares a little bit about who I am (important in a coach business, I feel).

My only regret was that when I got ready to put up a website, I could not get Portage as my domain name but, instead had to go with PortageCoach. Not to bad though.

Here are a couple of things I've learned about choosing a biz name:

Once you have the name, before you're settled, check to see if a) you can get the domain name, b) you can get a trademark, and c) you can get it incorporated or an LLC or a DBA (if you're going that route).

If your name does not describe what your business does, get a good tag line.


Private Reply to Deborah Martin

Aug 02, 2005 6:36 pmre: choosing a business name#

Robert Montgomery

As you know I use the RAM for my company logo. But it also is the basis from which my name is derived. My initials are RAM which stands for Robert A. Montgomery. Hence Ram_Industries is my company name, or Robert A. Montgomery _ Industries.

Just like in the genealogy field.... how names came about.

Johnson is a derivative of Johns son.

Most company names are based on what someone is interested in. Wolves Photography, because they like wolves. But their last name may be Dreshler.

I like wolves, collect wolves, but I never heard of a Ram wolf.

Company names come about because the person that chose the name was at a point in time when they wanted to express who they want to be known as if they owned a business. Calling card, instead of ramil, or Jason Argonaut.

But basically what I like about me, ( generally speaking )
not trying to be egotistic.

Robert Montgomery

P.S.S. Besides it goes well with Dodge...... vehicle of choice.

Private Reply to Robert Montgomery

Aug 02, 2005 7:06 pmre: re: choosing a business name#

Danielle Bailey
Chayton Group was named for several reasons. My family is Cherokee and the name means Falcon. I named my son Chayton first (his middle name) then when I was ready to rename my company (Started as Grayson Communications believe it or not) I loved the name Chayton so much - for sentimental reasons but also because of what it means and stands for. The Group part is because I've always had the goal to build a group of freelancers to provide the services that I provide. Over the years the group of freelancers has changed (they are, after all, freelancers) and the group has morphed from larger to smaller to larger again to smaller again to...well, you get the point. At any rate, the name fits and I love it.

This is a great topic Dean :)


Private Reply to Danielle Bailey

Aug 02, 2005 10:00 pmre: choosing a business name#

Leslie Baldwin
Dean I have two examples,

One was born out of sweat - months of thought and although it didn't have any profound meaning - Springanew is my biz name. (I had used Leslie's Herb Shop)

I have those win the lottery dreams where I build a mega plex with

Springanew Shop (store)
Sup at Springanew (organic bistro)
Springanew Spa & Salon (I'll be their best customer)
etc. :o)

Just yesterday I registered the name: San Antonio On-line purely because I wanted a generic on-line biz name and it was available in Bexar county here.

Funny how they let me do the "-" because San Antonio Online was already registered.

So that's my story

Leslie in San Antonio
http://www.san-antonio-on-line.com (still in development)

Private Reply to Leslie Baldwin

Aug 03, 2005 1:29 amre: re: choosing a business name#

Dean H.
How bout just, "H.Dean". I found that many folks have a hard time pronouncing my last name, Hua . And then, you just follow it with a slogan and such. Anyway.

Having read many of these posts, I found that most people identify with their business name if there is some sort of meaning behind it (ie; family history).

It's tough. Because while a business name will have meaning to you, other folks could probably care less as to what your business name is. Branding the business name takes alot more creative effort. You have to consider slogans, logo identity, and other creative marketing efforts to create a business name that people will connect with. It's one thing for you to connect with your name, but it would help if others can connect with it too.

Of course, at the end of the day, none of this would matter unless your business actually brought in money as well. Go figure.


Private Reply to Dean H.

Aug 03, 2005 7:57 amre: re: re: choosing a business name#

Christine Thurston
My business name is miles too long ---

Christine Thurston's Virtual Assistant Service, LLC

and my website does not match properly


I've seen some really great Virtual Assistant names and logo's and I think I should get a little more creative with my own name and site.

At the moment I'm too busy trying to get clients to worry about this. I hope it does not come back to haunt me later.

Christine :o)

Private Reply to Christine Thurston

Aug 03, 2005 12:36 pmre: choosing a business name#

Mike Fesler BizHarmony
I wanted something blatantly simple, but brandable.

I work from my house, which is located in Indialantic Florida, a barrier island on the east coast of Florida about 30 miles south of cape Kennedy where the shuttle is launched.

Hence the name: Indialantic Business Management.
I will let you come up with your own acronym to remember it by. { :-P
But my web sites address looks something like this: http://www.IBMgmt.com


Private Reply to Mike Fesler BizHarmony

Aug 03, 2005 2:02 pmre: re: re: choosing a business name#

Robert Montgomery


Might I enquire about your Cherokee background please?

I love to collect Indian artifacts, Pictures, Stories, Historical Information.

I do genealogy as a hobby. I would like to have a list of how names came about in the Indian nation.

Often times many people I know who are Indian, have no last names per se'. I would really like to know much more about the Indian nation and how they came about using a last name (surname)

Your high cheekbones gave you away !!!

Robert Montgomery

Private Reply to Robert Montgomery

Aug 03, 2005 2:41 pmre: re: re: re: choosing a business name#

Danielle Bailey
*chuckles* Usually it's the black eyes that give me away... or the weird mouth. But usually the black eyes. My father is Cherokee. My mother is French/Irish. Which explains *my* name. My grandmother's maiden name was Mankiller. I have no idea where it came from but I've considered adopting it a time or two :) The name isn't unusual in the region where she was from.

She passed away when I was 6 years old. My grandmother's siblings were raised in a school sponsored by the Methodist church where they were forbidden to speak their native language or practice native customs. It was cultural genocide, but government sanctioned so I'm afraid what I know of the Cherokee ancestry could fill a thimble. Very little was passed on in our family. Some families, though not many, have gone back and spent a great deal of time researching and living their heritage. Our family is still Methodist and a member of the United Methodist Church locally.

Surnames came about in a couple of ways. Much like the slaves brought from Africa, natives were also made slaves. Slaves of both races adopted the surnames of the families that owned them. There was also intermarriage, the adoption and creation of names for census taking (Dawes Rolls), the placement of native children in English foster homes, etc. At this stage in history, I'm surprised to find that you have friends with no last names, though it would be understandable if they had chosen to drop English names as a way of reclaiming their culture.

One thing I can say, my family is not "Indian" as we have no relatives from India :) My father's family has always been a little vehement on that point. The Cherokee are a nation, much like the French or English, and it would be something like referring to a person from Paris as German.

At any rate, I'm rambling, and I didn't intend to do so. Basically I just wanted to say that I'm a poor research subject :) I'm interested in genealogy etc, but I've never been able to do more than dabble lightly in it. I am much like a person with a black father and white mother, my parents defined my race by saying that I was one or the other and that's what I've stuck with. Interesting questions, though I'm sorry I'm such a poor fount of information :)

Best wishes,
Danielle Bailey

Private Reply to Danielle Bailey

Aug 03, 2005 4:01 pmDean: re: choosing a business name#

Joe Severa
Did you see "Scent of a Women" Dean? Al Pacino yells something very close to "Hua" throughtout this fine film. Yah think he had your name in mind, LOL?

I've been Flexera Intl for ages, when I played "D" on our football team, we used the NY Giant's "Flex" defense, I was the "roamer" or hinge of the defense, so for want of a better MO, I guess I could've been RoamerEra, or RomEra, but Flexera seemed t/b a better fit. The ERA is self explanatory to die-hard football types like Moi.

Thanks for reminding me of my beginnings Dean. BTW, Susan says Hi Dean, hee-hee!



Private Reply to Joe Severa

Aug 12, 2005 4:15 amre: choosing a business name#

Jordan Giarratano
As a graphic designer, branding and creating a persona for myself were at the very top of my priorities list when choosing my name.

I initially started to refer to myself (jokingly) as Jordan Giarratano, Creative Juggernaut... it was in reference to the sheer number of mediums I worked in (design, illustration, writing, comics, mural painting, sign making) and the relentless drive I had to complete them (I'm a workaholic). Somehow, the joke began to take hold.

When it came time to craft a serious identity, the concept of the Creative Juggernaut came to the forefront, especially when defining the terms reminded me of a passage from a book I had read a few years earlier, Art as Experience by John Dewey. With this connection made and with a tagline in place (My Fuel is Pure Graphic Fury) I felt I could create an identity that was unique, personable and just a little bit over the top. Just like me ;)!

Private Reply to Jordan Giarratano

Aug 12, 2005 4:40 amre: choosing a business name#

Danielle Keister
I am a Virtual Assistant (and graphic and web designer), and wanted to stand out from the crowd of commonly named VA businesses. I wanted something short and sweet, and I wanted it to connote that certain intangible product that a virtual assistant provides - which is relief. Thus my biz name: The Relief.

Private Reply to Danielle Keister

Aug 12, 2005 3:56 pmre: choosing a business name#

Shawn Lacagnina
My current company name - Smoothstone Consulting - came from one of my favorite lessons in the Bible. David and Goliath.

David chose five "smooth stones" from the stream to face his giant.

My goal is to help clients face their giants.

My previous company of 12 years was TRIAD. It began with three of us and was also based on quality, service, and experience. However, there are way too many Triads out there.

Private Reply to Shawn Lacagnina

Aug 12, 2005 4:00 pmre: re: re: re: re: choosing a business name#

Carla Sanders
I have three business entities. The business umbrella is
Go Ahead, and here is the story.
The name Go Ahead comes from a dreamtime. Last year
my teacher, American Indian Visionary and Mystic, Joseph Rael, gave me the assignment to dream, and report back to him.
I did not dream exactly, but I woke up three times
that night, each time with the words strong in my mind:
Joseph said to me that the sounds of the words in his
language mean: Beauty, washed in Light, put into action.
That is what Go Ahead Visionary Coaches stands for.
Your enlightened vision of a better world and a better life, put into Action.

My focus these days is on art, and the name I gave my blog and ezine is becoming a business name too: Touching Art.

That name came in a pure inspiration as a frozen moment of "What do I name this blog? " melted in the the warmth of touching.

My sacred space at home is Hope Peace Ceremonies. I live in Hope. The purpose is Peace. The Action is Ceremonies. I gave us that name when I was at a gathering and someone asked "What group are you with?" Hope Peace Ceremonies popped out.

Dean, I like H. Dean Consulting for you as a name. Since this post is a month old, what has developed since you posted?


Private Reply to Carla Sanders

Apr 13, 2008 7:02 amre: Choosing a business name - What shall I call you??#

Walter Paul Bebirian
2 seconds in both cases =

Walter Paul Bebirian Photography

Volord Broadcasting Companies, Inc.


Private Reply to Walter Paul Bebirian

Apr 06, 2022 2:36 pmre: re: Choosing a business name - What shall I call you??#

Paul Finkelstein

Seen any great names lately?

Seen these names above off ryze ?

Fb page: http://www.facebook.com/paulstevenfinkelstein
li: http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulfinkelstein
fb profile: http://www.facebook.com/planaborc
t: http://www.twitter.com/paulsteven

Private Reply to Paul Finkelstein

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