I’ve been in business for a few years now and the name of my company is not something I consciously think about very often. Actually I see other bug trucks out on the road and find myself thinking about their names more than mine and wonder how they came up with them. Still I remember going back and forth with a few choices but The Bug Doctor just kind of stuck out. My first tag line was- “All my patients die” but being in a town predominantly inhabited by elderly citizens, that didn’t work out to well. Now, years later the one joke I’m so weary of hearing is- “I called a bug killer, not someone who makes them well.” Ugh… Naming your company is an important first step in any new venture and reasons for the name are just as important. I think if I had to, knowing what I know today- I might just be called something different. Would you?
Some people choose to go the personal route which can be very strong. Using your first and/or last name in the mix adds an instant credibility in most cases. Schapperts Pest Control for instance tells you who I am and what I do right a way. Some include the family and this too can work out well- Schappert & Sons Pest Service again puts it right out there. Other personal names I’ve seen can get to cute or miss the mark because no one outside of your personal circle might understand what the name means or entails. Jer-Bears Bug Control (a nick name from my sister) might tell you I do bug work but who the hell is Jer-Bear and do I want him out to my house? Not good when you’re trying to ‘attract’ people to call.
Regional or Area Specific Names
Ever see University Pest Control? If you have then you can bet there is a college near by. This can be a pretty decent choice when naming your company but there are two drawbacks. One, I think you kind of limit yourself to a finite area and perhaps group of people. People get funny stuff in their heads seeing a business name, they might think you do ONLY the school and not regular houses or that you only do that specific area and wouldn’t go where they are. Number two, I think it can be dangerous to affiliate your company name with another entity. Companies do that all the time around here with the University of Florida. Gator Dry Cleaners, Gator Pest Control, Gator etc… What if a prospective client doesn’t like the gators? Also and possibly more important, what if that university, team or thing you’re name is loosely associated with falls out of public favor? Can you imagine if for some reason you named your company Enron Pest Control.
Right now the main pest scare around the country is bed bugs so working this into your advertising or sign-age is not a bad thing at all. But unless you do just bed bug work and nothing else I would hesitate to name my company Bed Bugs Pest Control or something that specific. Being perceived as a bed bug or other ‘one bug’ company will severely hamper you. On the same note being non specific or choosing a name that doesn’t relate what it is you do is just as bad. I find most of these as ‘initials company names or technical names. Say IBM or Terminix and everyone knows what you’re talking about so it can be done but I’m sure in the early years it befuddled a lot of people. People don’t always take the time to find out what names like IBM stands for and before Terminix was a household name I’m sure more than one person just went down the directory list looking for a more friendly and inviting name. Time is a precious commodity when building a business and delaying name recognition is not always smart.
What Would I Name My Company Now?
I do like the name of my company as I think it says what I do, catches some attention and is easily remembered. However if push came to shove and I was told I had to rename my business the choice of category would be easy. By far I found the most positive feedback when a personal approach is taken in naming a service oriented business. People want to be serviced by people-families just like them and if you want to have an edge over the competition this may be something you would want to think about. Your company name will stay with you for as long as you’re in business and just the mere mention of it will conjure up instant thoughts, good bad or indifferent. For me, my family name and reputation I’ve strived over the years to earn and keep is of great value and putting that name out to the public as a business banner say’s I’ll protect that name and the value behind it. It is instantly a company name that is built in trust, it has that trust because it’s your name and you are telling the world that you believe in you.
Now, what font would Jer-Bear look good in?