Author Topic: Should we change our business' name?  (Read 2505 times)

Mongoose

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Should we change our business' name?
« on: September 29, 2015, 03:45:42 PM »
DH and I have a business. We just got the major portion up and running a couple of weeks ago. We have an incorporation name but use a DBA (registered alias) for clients that was the name of a company that closed (bought assets only). Our lawyer says we have every right to use the name (we have a verbal agreement plus there are no legal entanglements).

We are seriously considering a name change (DBA/alias only). Our reasons:
1). We've had some weird reactions from clients (one of the previous company's junior employees may have tarnished the reputation of the previous company). This is relieved when we clearly explain that we are different individuals. The previous company was seen as solid but not necessarily interested in adjusting to changing client needs.
2). We are substantially different: completely new people, location, and expanded services. We intend to still offer the core service but continue to add/adjust as client needs change.
3). The name doesn't go with our current (or any hopeful future) locations.
4). (This one may be totally illogical)...The few former clients of the old company who had weird reactions and some legal issues the previous company were involved in...plus something just doesn't feel right/add up, make us interested in distancing ourselves from the previous company. (FWIW, Iam not generally a fan of non-specific "feeling" driven decisions.)

Our concern is that we recently contacted the previous client list using the current alias. At this point, we don't know if the name is helping or hurting and are unsure how to proceed. The verbal agreement was to use the name temporarily (no set time frame) and then we would transition to a different name. We were originally going to use the name longer but are seriously reconsidering the wisdom of that.

Our inclination is to transition to using a new alias over a period of one or two quarters starting now. Our fear is that we will choose incorrectly and hurt our chances for growth.

Any advice?

Meowmalade

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Re: Should we change our business' name?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 05:14:59 PM »
I would definitely change your name if there's a negative background associated with the current name.  You can present it to the clients as "new name to reflect the new staff and vision", and present your openness to adjusting to client needs at that point.  I used to run a business and the branding and associations that clients have with your name are so important!

You've listed quite a few reasons to change your name, so I would advise you to choose your new name very wisely (choose a name that's easy to remember and that reflects the vibe you want for your new business).  You may even want to invest in consulting a branding specialist to do it right.

Sibley

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Re: Should we change our business' name?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 08:43:41 PM »
You're getting a vibe that the name is causing some weirdness. That is plenty of reason to change the name, never mind any of the other stuff. I'd switch pretty quickly.

Papa bear

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Re: Should we change our business' name?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 08:52:43 PM »
Change the name before you get too far in.  It's not fun explaining to all of your clients why your name had to change anyway. 


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Kroaler

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Re: Should we change our business' name?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2015, 03:15:17 AM »
I'll chime in.  Since it seems like the last business was less than stellar, yes I would change it.   Don't want to be associated with their practices lol.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Should we change our business' name?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2015, 11:51:30 AM »
You're getting a vibe that the name is causing some weirdness. That is plenty of reason to change the name, never mind any of the other stuff. I'd switch pretty quickly.
+1.  Change as soon as you come up with a good one.

robartsd

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Re: Should we change our business' name?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2015, 12:10:16 PM »
I agree that sooner is better than later. Take just enough time to be sure you're choosing wisely then go for it! The optimistic view is that announcing the name change is an excuse to follow up with the former clients that you have recently contacted.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Should we change our business' name?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 02:39:09 PM »
One of my guilty pleasures is watching shows like Kitchen Nightmares, Restaurant Impossible, and Bar Rescue, where experts come in and completely redo the restaurant or bar when it's struggling and on its last legs.

On all three shows, the owners often bought a once successful restaurant or bar that had suddenly turned sour. They try to revive the brand to no avail and then call the experts to come and do the reality show.

Unanimously, the experts often change the name of the bar for basically the same reason you need to change yours--perception can be more important than your actual product, because people need to perceive your business in a good light before they are going to make a purchase.

So ditch the name. Move on and create a new brand. Think about it, don't rush it. Talk to friends and family. Float some ideas. Do a little market research. Then this cloud over your business will be gone.