Naming Your Freelancing Business – To Personalize or Not? (…with a Poll)
Freelancers are one-person businesses, and as such every freelancer will at some point need a name for their business. There is one question that always pops up, should you personalize your business name or not?
A Personalized Business Name
A Personalised Business Name is one that bears your own name in it. Examples would be things like “Nikolai Anz – Web Application Programmer” or “Ben Morris Design” and so on.
The advantages to a personalized name are that they are easy, often unique (though it depends on your name), descriptive, memorable and usually lend themselves to being Googled. Additionally they tend to lead to easily registrable domain names, something which is becoming more and more important as the domain landscape gets bleaker and domain squatters or just other businesses occupy almost every conceivable name.
The main disadvantage is if you grow your business from freelancing to something bigger. At that point having your name in there could make it seem like a small operation. Though as a counterpoint, there are plenty of big firms around that bear someones name – anyone heard of Singleton, Ogilvy and Mather?
My advice if you are going to use your own name is to only use one part of the name. So using my name as an example – Jack Knight – I would much rather “Knight Consulting” than “Jack Knight Consulting” as the former is both personal yet still larger than just myself.
A Non-Personalized Business Name
A Non-Personalized Business Name is basically any other name. Examples would be things like “Western Creative Services”, “Blink Photography” and so on.
The advantages to a non-personalized business name are that you have a dizzying choice of names available so you can come up with something catchy, fun to create a brand around and – if you give it enough thought – unique! Additionally you are giving yourself room to grow into a larger entity without any of the worries we mentioned earlier.
The disadvantages however are that your name depending on your choice might not feel as personal and personable as using your own name, and finding an appropriate domain name for yourself can be hard and frustrating.
Lets have a little poll
So for those of you already working as freelancers, here is a poll, tell us which type of name you opted for…