The Name Game August 17 2016

What’s in a name? What does your name say about who you are? How does a name identify a business? How many times have you met a person and they looked different from the picture of them you had formed in your mind? How often have you called a business for one type of service and they provided a different service? What’s in a name?

They say a person’s name can chart their future, determine their personality, make or break their career. Because certain names are popular every year, you can even use a name to help determine a person’s age; a person with my name, Joyce, is likely to be close to my age (I'm not telling!).

The same is true of a business’ name. It often tells customers what you do, your location, your hours of operation,and more.

A Rose by Any Other Name...

My identity is in my name; my family is in my name. Parents have different methods for naming their children. Some work from a list, others use a patchwork of different names to develop a new name. There are traditional family names that have been passed down for generations and other names that need to be explained. Regardless of how you were named, I guarantee, there is a story behind it.

Naming a business is like naming a child, it should be given a lot of thought. A business name does the same thing as a personal name, it identifies who you are, what you do, your geographical location, your culture, your business and your future. Some business names are surnames, others have an extension (and Sons) and some business names are purposeful; guess where “AAAAA Signs” will fall in the business listing?

It Ain’t What They Call You. It’s What You Answer To.

OK, if a name is all that, why change it? There are essential and legal reasons that may require you to change your personal name or your business name. Some of the most common reasons to change your personal name include, adoption, marriage, divorce, or the loss of a spouse. Changing a name for personal reasons, require some paperwork, proper ID, and possibly a trip to city hall.

Business name changes could result for some of the reasons above in addition to dissolving or forming a partnership, changing the legal status or physical location. Some business name changes are forced; other name changes are made by choice. Changing the name of a business requires industry research, in-depth knowledge of the business, a powerful vision, and strategic plans for your company's future.

If you are considering a business name change, wondering how to get started, or just need some pointers for pondering, there is plenty of information online. When I searched “change business name,” these are the top titles that came back: “10 Reasons to Change Your Business Name Today,” “4 Smart Reasons for Changing Your Company Name,” “8 Reasons Why Companies Change their Names,” “Top 10 Reasons People Change Their Names,” “5 Reasons Why Changing Your Company Name Might Be a Good Idea," and the list goes on.

Here are a few reasons why a business might consider a name change:

  • Your company name is too small.
  • You company name is too big.
  • Your company name is too general.
  • You have a legacy name that is outdated or that is hurting the business.
  • Your business name can’t be found online, or it is hard to remember.
  • When the company name is no longer accurate, (or worse) misleading.
  • When the business name is too literal, too descriptive, or too generic.
  • When the company name has a geographic reference in it.

I've recently changed my business' name in order to address a few of these points:  

 

While Blackscape Outdoor Living is the heart, soul and legacy of this venture, we love the company’s new name! 

BLACKSCAPE Studio, going forward, defines the future course of the company by providing an opportunity for product expansion, and protecting its longevity. Of course we will continue our most passionate service: designing unique art for your garden and home that reflects African-American history, community and lifestyle.

 

So if you're considering business name change, I’d say do your homework and follow your heart!