Should Solopreneurs Brand Their Name Or Their Business?
Being a solopreneur is rough. Not only do you have to do most, if not all the work required to create and grow a successful business, you’re also responsible for the critical decisions that can make or break your business.
Here’s the scenario.
You’ve figured out that you’re good at something and there’s a demand for what you do. You think about how to turn those skills and talents into a business and you’re all fired up and ready to take on the world.
Then it hits you.
And suddenly the momentum dwindles.
You realize you’re stuck and it almost feels like you can’t move forward without making this one critical decision.
You think to yourself “What should I name my business?” or “Should I go in business using my name or should I use a business name?”.
It’s a great question. After all, you’re the only one in the business right now and you may or may not want more people to join you over time.
If You’re The Only One In The Business, What Should You Name It?
When I got out of the mortgage industry and starting coaching and consulting, I found myself in this very scenario.
Now, I may be more stubborn and knuckle headed than you are, but this phase of deciding what name I would use in my business had been a headache not just for weeks or months, but years.
Yeah, I admit, I kept going back and forth for years and the result reflected my indecision.
I first named my company Alex Navas Consulting, and started building the business on this domain here, AlexNavas.com.
Then I thought to myself, “maybe companies won’t take me seriously since I’m doing business under my own name”.
What do you think I did?
Yup, I changed the name to eMarketing Chicago. I figured since most of my clients at the time were local, it made sense to brand myself here in my city.
Then about a year into it, I was like “Well, if I want to grow beyond Chicago I can’t keep a localized business name so I guess I have to change it again.”
I know what you’re thinking and looking back, I agree with you. This was a total waste of valuable time and energy.
With that came another name change to Amplified Results which summed up the work that I did (and still do). So, now I’m onto the third website, the third blog and building from scratch once again.
The only advantage that I have that many other solopreneurs don’t have is that I build and market my own sites and offers. Most solopreneurs don’t have those technical skills which makes this process all the more frustrating, expensive and overwhelming.
Lastly, I introduced a faith and marriage component to what I do and suddenly Amplified Results wasn’t a direct fit anymore.
That’s when enough was enough. I decided to keep my business name the same but to build my business brand on my name since there are different dynamics to what I do.
Naming Your Business Is A Matter Of Preference
To help you avoid all this drama in your business, here are a couple things to consider when naming your business:
- There’s a difference between your official business name and what you use to build your platform. While my business name is Amplified Results, everything that I now do online is linked back to me as the brand. Since I am the face of my business, it was important for me to link myself to my services and offerings. This also helps me connect with people in a way that businesses without a face can. My prospects and clients know who they’re working with and that means a lot to them. They could care less about doing business with Amplified Results because they’ve always received the value directly from me.
- You must identify your business objectives for the foreseeable future. In other words, if the goal for me was to create a big company that would be sellable at some point in the future, I would build the business rather than my personal brand. I can still represent the brand, but I would spend my time creating value for the company first because I know the future outcome I was after. However, in my case, I don’t intend to sell my company (at least the one I’m building and growing now) which is built on my personal brand because I never want to retire from doing what I love. That’s why it makes sense to invest the time, money and energy to build up AlexNavas.com and the rest of my web properties because I’m in this for the long haul.
- A personal brand allows for more flexibility and easier transitions than a business brand. Looking back to when I first acquired AlexNavas.com, it was more of a personal finance blog. Over time, it evolved to being more about business and entrepreneurship and within the last year I’ve been more open about God, faith and family along with the business stuff. This would be difficult to do with a business brand. Personally, I love that at any moment, I can make a shift or introduce a new aspect of who I am and what I do and it doesn’t demand much preparation in presenting it to the public.
Ultimately, the main thing is to choose and decide. As you can clearly see, over the years I’ve taken different approaches and stances on my business name as a solopreneur, however, not choosing was the worst mistake of all. There can be no momentum, movement or even clear message without choosing the direction you’re taking or where to lay the foundation for your business.
Once you figure out or refine your name, the next step is to know the answer to the very important questions “What do you do?“.