Deciding Whether or Not to Keep Your Business Name
Business owners ponder changing their name for various reasons. Maybe they just don’t like it or they feel they have a better understanding of their business today, compared to when they started the company.
Whatever the reason, consider these questions:
1. Does your existing company name have value? The answer is almost always yes. Unless you just started a company and few people know about it then it does have value.
- Your company has a monetary and non-monetary value (such as social media presence that you’ve built up—and some would argue this too holds a certain amount of monetary worth).
- Your audience of customers/clients/consumers find value in your products or services you provide.
2. How do you perceive this new name will enhance your brand?
- If you woke up one day and on a whim just decided you need a change this is probably not the time. Sleep on it for a bit longer.
- If you have done some serious research and you find that you’re potentially losing business to competitors because their name is more straight-forward and popping up easily in Google searches, this could be a good reason. However, before taking a drastic measure such as a name change, be sure to explore all SEO improvements first.
- If the products or services you provide have changed over time to the point that your name just doesn’t fit what you offer anymore, this might be a good reason. Again, consider all options before changing the name. For instance, what if you add or change your tagline? Taglines can clarify what the brand is and what it offers to the consumer.
If you can’t come up with any good reasons that your new name will enhance your brand, sleep on it.
If you decide you’re definitely going to change your name be mindful of the following:
- Changes to your website are needed
- Buy your new domain name (and be sure to ask your web person to adjust all that’s needed—it’s quite a bit)
- Update your print materials
- New business cards and stationery
- Get a social media campaign started gearing your readers for the change and the new page to ‘like’
- Update your existing customers/suppliers/vendors/etc. with notification of your new name
- Be sure to discuss this with your legal and account teams. You’ll most likely need to pay for a new LLC or S Corp. Here’s a basic reference guide: http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-advisor/how-change-your-business-name-%E2%80%93-legal-and-regul
These are only some of what you should do and depending on your business, this may entail far more on your to-do list.
Once you answer these questions you’ll be able to ask the biggest question—is it really worth all of this time and money? It could be but at least you’ve begun your due diligence.
Good luck and please leave a comment on your experience in deciding on a business name change.