In this series, NurseTogether contributor Barbara Phillips, MN, GNP-BC, FNP-BC, provides entrepreneurial guidance specifically for Nurse Practitioners who are interested in starting and growing their own businesses.
Choosing Your Business Name
Business names that are easily remembered have a better chance of getting word of mouth referrals and customer recognition than names that everyone forgets without fail. Businesses grow and expand because they offer quality services and products and because they enjoy name recognition. Think of names like Google, Dell, AT&T, Welch Allyn and The Mayo Clinic.
When I was trying to come up with a name for my business I tried several different names and variations.
So here are a few pointers that I'd like to share with you so that you can come up with a great name for your venture. Get out a pad of paper, a pen and let's get those creative juices flowing!
- Keep the name short and pronounceable
You want to choose a name that is descriptive of your product/ service/location, etc. Beware though - names that may be cute or clever could easily backfire on you. I mean, would you want to visit "Porky Pine Acupuncture" or "Crazy Cures' Medical Clinic", how about "Sickies' Flu Clinic"?
While these names may be pronounceable, are they really the best representation of your practice? Try to remember that your name is an "image" that will come to the mind of your potential customers and of course, other professionals.
- Keep your business name sensible
Don't make your name too restrictive. At times, business names that reflect a specific location may pose a problem. What happens if you move, would you want your business name "Lincoln Street Clinic" if your physical location was "Fourth Avenue"? While having your location easily memorable, you want your name to reflect your services more than your location.
Also keep in mind where your business name will fall alphabetically in the phone book and professional listings. Does your listing get lost because it's in the middle of 7 pages of the listings? This is why there are so many businesses with AAA or A1 in the beginning of their names - the closer you are to the front - the easier you are to find.
- What does your name say about your business?
Another thing to keep in mind - what does your business name mean? If you are serving a multilingual population this could be a problem. Marketing history is filled with examples of companies committing huge blunders while choosing names for their products simply because they did not translate well into a different language.
Also don't forget that you (and your staff) will have to answer the phone, record voice messages, etc. Can you say the name without being embarrassed or humiliated? If not, it's time to go back to the drawing board!
There are so many ways to come up with a name for your business. Talk to your friends, do some research online, but in the end - choose a name that fits who you are and what your services are.
Ready to become a Nurse Practitioner business owner? Then I would like to invite you to claim your free instant access to the audio replay our popular teleseminar, “Getting Started in Your Own Practice”, when you visit NP Business.
Not only will you get access to over an hour of content that will assist you in getting started, but you’ll also be subscribed to Progress Notes: Business Tips for Entrepreneurial Clinicians.
About the Author: Barbara C. Phillips, NP is the founder of NP Business™ and Nurse Practitioner Business Owner™ and works with NPs to get started and grow their own business. To sign up for "Progress Notes", weekly business tips in your inbox, and to claim your gift just for reading, visit NP Business Tips or her blog at NP Business. Feel free to add your comments in the forum, the Facebook page or on my NP Blog.
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