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So, you’ve decided to start your own freelance business. Great choice! Freelancing can be very rewarding as an extra source of income or as a full-time job. You will gain a lot of experience on each side of freelancing: business and creative. But how do you get started? This is part of my How to Start a Freelance Business series. Today, we will learn how to name your freelance business.
Your Name vs a Company Name
The big choice when starting a freelance business is typically between whether you should use your name or a company name. There are pros and cons to both which we will explore below. Just remember that the name you go with can be difficult to change in the long run. Make sure you are ok with using the name for many years. This will be your brand that you are promoting and will be directly attached to your successes.
Pros of Using Your Name
Your name will provide recognition, especially if you are already established as an expert. If you have built a personal brand, whether locally or nationally, you can leverage that brand equity for your business.
Associating your name with your business shows a commitment to it. Customers and clients will now that your business is something that you will literally put your name behind.
If you have a unique name you’ll be a large way ahead on SEO. This means that if anyone searches for you there is a high likelihood that your business will come up. This could be a good way to start your business if you want to be found easier online.
People typically like working with other people and not a faceless company. Putting your name on it tells the clients exactly who they will be working with.
Cons of Using Your Name
If your name has no brand equity the impact may fall short. Seeing a company with a random person’s name does not provide any information or clarity for the potential client.
If you just use your name it can be difficult for people to understand what you do. It’s best to make sure you include what you do in the name as well.
If you intend to sell your company in the future having your name directly attached could make that problematic. Your name would be on something you no longer own. Yikes!
This could also limit the amount of privacy you will have because everyone will know your name. It pushes you more into the limelight rather than being the owner of XYZ Company.
Just as I mentioned people like to work with people, there could be larger clients that don’t abide by that. Some clients or companies might think that a company with someone’s name does not take it seriously.
Pros of Using a Company Name
You could potentially attract bigger customers with a unique company name. Some feel like they want to work with another company and you could use that to your advantage.
It can be easier to hire employees with a company name for a couple reasons. A company name looks better than a random name both on a resume and on a job posting. Also, with a company name the employees may feel like there is more opportunity to advance internally.
Additionally, it may be easier to secure intellectual property rights for a unique company name than a more common personal name.
Cons of Using a Company Name
Smaller business may not want to work with a “company”. They might be looking for another local small business and mistake yours for being bigger than it is.
It can be difficult to come up with a unique and creative company name. If you’re like me you don’t want to waste time thinking up a name. If you want a company name but are having trouble coming up with one check out a few of these business name generators. They don’t give perfect names but they could at least generate a few ideas for you!
Ultimately, determining your business name comes down to knowing what customers it will serve. Your business name will become an important part of your marketing strategy. Make sure you put a lot of thought into it. Speaking from experience, switching names is not that easy.