Choosing a suitable business name

Whether you're starting out or looking to rebrand, your business name is an important factor to get right.

For Clare Long, principal of Norgay HR Consulting, her business name represents a mix of the key character traits she believes she brings to her clients, as well as reflecting a strong personal story.

“It was deliberate; it wasn't accidental to come up with that name,” she explains in an appearance on the My Business Podcast.

“When I was working in one of my corporate roles, I was working as an HR director. It was in an environment going through a lot of change. He really relied on my role to keep a pulse, if you like, on staff, on particularly staff engagement, and feed back to him just what was going on. Sometimes those conversations weren't that easy to, number one, have and [number two] to hear.Businessman holding a small blackboard that reads Who are you?

“I'll never forget, one time when we were having one of just those types of conversations and he said to me ... By the way, he was a mountain climber. He said to me ‘You're a bit like a Norgay’.”

Not understanding the reference, Clare looked it up and realised he was talking about Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa guide who led Sir Edmund Hillary up Mount Everest.

“I took that as a great compliment. When it came to starting my own business three years ago, it came back to me and I thought, well that's what I'm going to call my business. That's how I see my role with my clients,” says Clare.

Of course, having a personal connection with the name of your business is not the only consideration.

Some industries name their companies using a particular style – such as law firms using the surnames of the founding partners.

There is also the debate about whether to go for a unique, catchy name or one that tells customers exactly what your business does.

Another factor, for smaller businesses in particular, is whether to use the owner’s name as the name of the business.

Independent branding specialist Sue Currie has previously told My Business that naming your business after yourself requires careful thought, given the ramifications when you eventually leave or sell a business that bears your own name – as the collapse of retailer Dick Smith demonstrated.

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