I really feel for the new Virtual Assistant as many are struggling to develop an identity, and with that, a name for their businesses so that they can be seen as inviduals and not copycats. But sometimes I think they have got it a bit confused or in the wrong order.
A business name does not have to be established at the beginning of your business – it can be done later. As far as I know, in most regions, you can legally operate under your own name – which is individual for the most part, and reflects you as a person – it can also reflect you as a business person. It might also allow you to shape and mould your business without boundaries. A name right at the beginning, if you’re still not sure what what you want to do, could prove restricting.
Spending perhaps a few months just working out what you want to do, how you do it and defining your business could well lead you into your name in a natural way. Don’t rush it because you might find the business name you choose at the beginning is not a good fit for you further down the track and then you have to go to the expense of rebranding your business, your website, your business cards, get a new domain (and point the old one to the new one), new stationery and a new identity.
Much better to start off with just your name ‘Mary Smith’ and build your business first then name it a bit later on.
Some are fortunate and choose a fitting name early in the piece, others much later. Some find they have to go through that costly exercise of rebranding and it’s best if you can avoid that if possible, unless you’re looking for a fresh start!
It was when I wrote a brochure to describe my business that finished with ‘let me be the secretary you need when you haven’t got a secretary’ that suddenly my name came to me – A Clayton’s Secretary. Here in Australia there was advertising in the ’80s for a non-alcoholic drink called Claytons which was the drink you had when you weren’t having a drink.
For me, my name is an apt description in my own country. “A Clayton’s Secretary” means ‘the secretary you have when you haven’t got a secretary’. When I started I was doing secretarial type work and even today I still very much class myself in that way even though lots of my work is web based, I am my client’s personal secretary by all accounts. The ‘claytons’ part in Australia means the thing you have when you haven’t got the real thing – my clients don’t have their own secretary so they have me. I also run a team of VAs so it’s an apt umbrella name for the whole team too.
So, don’t panic if you don’t have a name for your new business straight away. Concentrate on the other things that help define what you will be doing in your business and you may find it comes to you naturally, just as mine did.