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What’s in a business name? Everything and nothing!

What’s in a business name? Everything and nothing!

Merv Neal
10 January, 2018

Lately there has been a flood of laughter business names that incorporate words such as Associations, Academies, Universities, Foundations, Organizations, Schools, Institutes, Centers, and some others I may have missed. What they may be missing is the opportunity to attract, instead of repel, potential clients.

What the majority of these people are trying to do is make their business seem bigger than what they are through a business name, yet many are just single operators like myself. A quick look at their website clearly indicates this. For this reason they will repel the clients that they want who can see through this tactic, and attract the ones who can t.

Your business name doesn t have to represent what you do. In fact it can be limiting if it does. Done well, it can end up being representative of your brand. Apple, Virgin, Ford, Samsung, Google, Uber, Tesco, and Walmart are examples.

It should also take into consideration the future. If you want to expand into other areas of wellness, does the name you have chosen limit you to just laughter? One good example here in OZ is Holistic Services Group. Or if you want to sell the business (which should always be an option) is there a part of it where a potential buyer says No . Like Let s Laugh with Merv , or Lucy Loves to Laugh .

Here are 5 things to help you attract clients through your business name.

1. Have it say nothing. This is very similar to the single names already mentioned. They have deliberately kept it to one word, as it s easy to remember and can t be confused with another business name. QANTAS is an acronym, while IKEA is made up from the letters of the founders names.

2. Make it personal. These can also be a little bit quirky. Fitness First, The Keytar Kids, Little Assets Early Learning Centres. They re getting a message across and making it inviting to explore further.

3. Link it to the benefits. Live Life Laughing, Boston Consulting Group, and St Jude s Children s Research Hospital are fairly self-explanatory examples.

4. Link it to other alliances. Straight after your name you can make a claim that you are A division of… , or In conjunction with… , or A strategic partner with… , or A member of… , etc. This acknowledges that you are small, but have large friends who can maybe help in some way.

5. Know the limitations that it may have. Many law firm names start out with the names of the partners, and then over time change it to an acronym, as the partners have moved on to that big courthouse in the sky. The use of the term Laughter Yoga in your business name is an example where this may be limiting. Franchises do this deliberately.

If you have any further questions regarding numbers and data then please feel free to email me at mervneal@laughteryoga.org at any time. Any recommendations for future topics are also appreciated.

Merv Neal is a Laughter Yoga Master Trainer and the CEO of Laughter Yoga Australia and New Zealand. He has successfully owned and operated his own businesses for more than 43 years. He has created a Laughter Yoga Business Training Program, as well as the Business Mentors and Coaches Program, to help others to take Laughter Yoga to commercial organizations, and/or to create a Laughter Yoga business of their own. More information can be found at http://www.laughteryogaaustralia.org or http://www.mervneal.com