“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”
I’m sure you’ve heard the famous Shakespearean quote. Juliet, pining after her beloved Romeo and frustrated that they can’t spend the rest of their living days together, muses over the insignificance of his name. She declares, in perfect Shakespearean poetry, that names are somewhat unimportant, as they don’t change who or what you are.
Unless, Juliet, you are talking about business names.
Naming your Virtual Assistant business
Whilst I cannot argue with the fact that a rose would smell like a rose whether it was called a rose or a rhino, when you are talking about the all-important name for your new Virtual Assistant business, it is just that; all important.
Coming up with a business name is one of the first tasks that aspiring Virtual Assistant’s will tackle. And rightly so. You won’t get far down the road of Virtual Assistant Superstardom without people knowing what you’re called.
(Incidentally, if you’re thinking of setting up as a Virtual Assistant and aren’t sure you have the right qualifications, you might find this blog useful.)
Anyway, for some reason countless newbie Virtual Assistants make the same rookie error. So I’m here to tell you, don’t do it. Please, don’t do it. Cue my incredibly unpopular opinion:
Don’t name your Virtual Assistant business after yourself.
There, I said it. Is it controversial? Yes. Will it mean that your Virtual Assistant business is doomed to failure before you’ve even started? No.
But it can make a difference. And here’s why.
Unless you were christened Whizzy Poptart (which is super memorable and cool by the way), people probably won’t remember your name. So, when they come to the realisation that they need to spend time growing their business and therefore are in desperate need of a kickass VA, they’re unlikely to remember you. Or, perhaps more frustratingly, they might remember you, but be unable to find you because they can’t remember your name. Sally Humdrumwhat? Jane Yawnwho?
It doesn’t say anything about you or your services, (apart from what name your parents decided to bestow upon you when you made your tiny appearance into this world). Think about what you stand for…think about your core values…think about how you want your business to be known…and see what comes up! Speaking of which…did you know that the infamous ‘Lego’ brand name combines the Danish words “leg godt”, which in English translates to “play well”?
Quite simply, it just shows a lack of imagination. Be creative and choose a name that jumps out of the screen and smacks the innocently-browsing reader in the face!
How to create an effective business name
Now I’m not saying you have to have a clever play on words that Carol Vorderman would be proud of, but whether you use amazing alliteration (see what I did there?!), rhymes, personification or any other linguistic trickery, the key is making it memorable. (Yes, I know your name is memorable to you, but to strangers? Less so).
When researching for this blog, I came across possibly one of my favourite company names of all time – mainly because it’s ingenious and I’m a massive geek. Are you ready?
Drum roll please…
Get it? ‘L, M, N, O, Pillows’?! How wonderful is that?! And it’s made even more gorgeous by the fact that it was inspired by her toddler singing the ABCs…I mean…just too lovely. (It’s true, check out her wonderful small business page here!)
So yes, if I’m ever in need of some gorgeous hand-crafted pillows and happen to be living in America then I’ll be sure to hit her up…because I won’t be forgetting that business name anytime soon!
Now, I know there are hundreds of Virtual Assistants who have built extremely successful businesses named after themselves. And yes, I’ll probably get shouted down by ‘Jenny Mason VA’ who has clients banging down her door and ‘Melvin Booker VA’ who is hitting £10k months…but that’s the point of an unpopular opinion, right?!
One final tip…
One final tip from me, (and I’m talking from personal experience here): once you’ve come up with your kickass name, make sure you write it down in all the formats it may one day appear, including without spaces. This is how it will show in your website name.
Let’s just say... that I had decided on my business name, came to set up my website and soon discovered that without those small-yet-important gaps between words, my name took on a whole other meaning. Back to the drawing board I went, (and Apex VA was born, which is actually loads better - phew!).
So, grab your pen and paper, jot down any word that means anything to you and start crafting those letters like a sculptor moulds their clay; from a lump of smoodgy (yes, I’m making it a word) mess, to an appealing work of art.
And hey presto...your business is born.
Whether you’re an aspiring Virtual Assistant, a newbie or a veteran, come and join my wonderful Facebook community – The Virtual Assistant Power Academy – to meet like-minded people and get a tonne of free support!