Picking a name for your new or re-branded business can truly be the most frustrating part of the entire start-up process. Many entrepreneurs turn to friends and family for name ideas and to provide feedback, but it can get complicated when everyone has a different opinion. Many times, the easy way out becomes naming the business after yourself.
But when is naming your company after yourself a bad idea?
The number one reason - it’s limiting. When first starting, most small business owners don’t know where the company will go or what the best business model may be. So much of business development happens by trial and error, that it is usually a good idea to leave your options as open as possible, and that comes down to using a name that could provide more flexibility in the future.
Another consideration - if you plan on expanding, and/or there’s a possibility of selling your company down the road, it may be a good idea to skip using your name. As you grow, “me” becomes “we”. It’s easy when first starting out to think small. Entrepreneurs constantly undermine their own growth potential by not thinking years into the future. Envision your company’s trajectory over the next five to ten years, and then decide whether or not your name would still be as good of a fit.
Most importantly, when your brand is your name, people expect you to be the brand 24/7.
For some entrepreneurs, this makes complete sense. When your company and brand is based on your own individual talents or original ideas, you become the product. However, for some, the pressure to always be “on” is mentally exhausting.
Ultimately, if your business is one person (you), and you’re providing a product that is specific to you or is a service that only you perform, then naming the business after yourself isn’t typically a bad idea. However, if your company brand requires you to project a commercial image, or you have a vision for growth that goes farther than employing just yourself, you should consider options that don’t involve your name.