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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
S
Member
Not quite ready to get going on my own just yet, but, what is the best way to determine the name of your business?

Is naming the company after yourself (like Ron's Electric) better than say, something like Thunder Volt Electric?

I guess what I'd really like to know is, in your opinion, do people remember business names more easily than personal names?

And... do you have any suggestions for a business name?

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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5
A
Junior Member
I chose the name Able Electric because it's first in the yellow pages/phone book. It's also the name of one of my favourite mountains that I hike/ski. There's alot to a name, make sure it works for you and you feel like it works when you introduce yourself to someone as so and so from xyz co. practice it with wach name you think about.
my 2 cents.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,445
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Member
Claude Hopkins spent the early part of the 1900's documenting questions exactly of this sort. ("My Life in Advertising / Scientific Advertising")

The most effective names both identified the product, as wellas had a 'personality' folks could latch on to. I guess an imaginary ranking of names might be something like this (from best to worst):

Bob Smith Electric
Localtown Electric
Best Electric
Acme Electric
XYZ Enterprises

The name ought to have a person behind it, and not be some sort of anonymous corporation. It ought to identify what you do. It ought to identify you to your target customers.

Look at it this way: If you have a broken light switch, would you be inclined to call "Joe's Local Light Switch Repair" or "XYZ Enterprises?"

A name can attract, or deter certain customers. If you want to focus on service changes, "New Fusebox Electric" might attract business. On the other hand, "Commercial Electric" is likely to deter residential customers.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 272
A
Member
Click on the link below and go to page 18.
http://thesuccessfulcontractor.com/PDF/04_SPRING.PDF

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
M
Member
and unless you want to target tire kickers and cheapskates, avoid:

budget
economy
affordable
etc.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,445
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Member
A-Line, that is a very interesting magazine! Thanks for the link.

I do note that some of the "branding" advice given varies somewhat from that of Mr. Hopkins. Fair enough; that's what this forum is all about.

Choosing a name also helps you focus on your business model.
If it is your goal to go "nationwide," with countless franchises, then "Bob Jones Easyborough Electric" would probably not have much value to it.
Likewise, "Overnight Delivery" is a bad choice, if you are not able to deliver as promised.

Sidney Biddle Barrows, in her book "The Mayflower Madam," discusses at some length her business concepts. It was her opinion that a name ought to be short, easy to remember, and convey a positive impression. So, in her case, she chose to call her business "Cachet;" it worked much better for her than, say, "Economy Escorts" or "Rent-A-Wench" might have [Linked Image] That is, she felt the name helped attract customers who were willing to pay a premium ... which she 'justified' by providing a 'better product' than the competition.
(That's one book you really ought to have on your shelf!)

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 20
1
Member
Having your name is best. You become a real person to the customer, someone with a reputation for square shooting and getting things done. It's all about YOU, it's not about boxes and wire. A happy side benefit is people will write checks to you, checks that are easily cashed and easily forgotten. Not like checks written out to a business, those must be accounted for carefully.

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
M
Member
the downside to 1000BaseT's advice:

you hire people, but all the customers want you, not your employees

the IRS learns your name

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 20
1
Member
Oh, the IRS knows your name regardless of what your businesses name is. [Linked Image]

Here's a list of the 50 biggest electrical contractors in the universe:
http://ecmweb.com/top_50/

Notice how many of these companies simply use the owner's name.

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
U
Member
I'm glad I have a business name now.

I found some would-be customers and suppliers doubt your credibility when operating under your own name.

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