Coming up with a name for your virtual assistant business can be stressful and agonizing for some people. You brainstorm and come up with ideas, but nothing seems right.
You want something that reflects you personally as well as your business and what you do. It’s this big, important thing. It will be the name of your website and social media profiles. You’ll write it on tax forms, business plans and your email signature. So you want it to feel and sound good.
And, for most VAs, this will be the beginning of it all for you, the way that people will come to know you and your business.
So, it’s only natural that it’s a place where many VAs become stalled when it comes to setting up their virtual assistant business.
I don’t want it to be so hard for YOU!
I sat down and really thought about what will help you come up with your business name. Then I polled the New VA Advice and Virtual Assistant Empowerment communities and asked other VAs what worked for them when naming their business.
Here are our best tips for coming up with a name:
1. Know the rules and laws
Your business structure and where you are located may affect what you use for a business name, such as using part or all of your own name or certain terms. Make sure to check first. Better safe than sorry.
2. Don’t make it too hard
Don’t use something that’s too hard to spell. People will find it difficult to find you and your website. Just because you know how to spell it, if it’s not a common word or phrase, others may type it wrong when searching for you.
3. Play with words that relate to your services
Consider using a name that relates to the services you provide for your clients. Use a thesaurus to come up with different words that have the same meaning.
Here’s what Caroline Davidson, Owner at The Functioning Executive had to say about her experience with this:
I didn’t want to use my name so I took the term, “Executive Functioning,” and put a spin on the words. Executive Functions, simply put, is a term used for the cognitive skills a person needs in order to plan, organize and complete tasks. My business name is “The Functioning Executive”. I function in a support role to busy executives!
4. But don’t pigeonhole yourself with a name
While I do encourage you to brand your business based on your services, don’t niche the name down too much. For example, maybe right now you offer social media services. That’s your main focus. So you call your business Mary’s Social Media Boutique.
Six months into working with clients, you decide that you are really much better at—and love—project management. But your business name says “Social Media.” Now you need to start a full rebrand, purchase a new domain name, and possibly pay to change some business paperwork.
It’s not that you CAN’T change your name. It’s certainly not impossible. But it’s best to think ahead about your business plans and goals, and create a name that encompasses that.
5. Focus on the outcome of what you do for clients
What kinds of results do your clients get from working with you? Think about physical as well as emotional outcomes. If they can relate, they’ll want to know more about you and be interested in working with you.
Here’s how Kat Salonga, Owner of Virtual, At Last! decided on hers:
My business name is Virtual, At last! As in “my business is goin’ virtual, at last!” I decided on it since it has the word “Virtual” and I figured it might be good for SEO. I also wanted my clients to feel relieved and thankful that their business is finally launched online; my customers are usually non-tech savvy female entrepreneurs. It represents the feeling of triumph after all the hard work.
And another great explanation to get your wheels turning from Sencery Clemente, Owner at Tailor-Made Virtual Design:
I started by writing down all the words that I wanted to be associated with my business. When I think back on it now, it was really a list of values that I wanted my business to be founded on.
Then I started thinking of experiences I had in the past when dealing with service providers and wrote down the good and the bad about those experiences – those were mostly emotions of how the experiences made me feel.
After that, I looked at the lists and started to think about how I wanted my future clients to feel when they interacted with me and worked with me. I want them to have a unique and specialized experience, because we are all different in what we need/want/desire for our businesses.
6. Keep it simple- Use your name or initials
If you’re really struggling and nothing sounds right to you, then keep it simple and use your name, initials or some variation of that. Again, just keep in mind the rules and regulations for where you live. In Pennsylvania where I live, if you’re a sole proprietor, you don’t need to register the name if using your own name in your business name. In other states, however, if you brand your business with your name, you can’t sell it in the future.
Here’s what Jessica Scotten, Owner at Pineapple Relations, had to say about this when she was coming up with her business name:
I have no idea if I want to sell in the future, but future me can’t make decisions like that today, so I’ll plan on being prepared.
7. Never underestimate the power of a great tagline
If you decide to use a simpler name or your own name, use a tagline to explain more about what you do. Sometimes coming up with the tagline makes figuring out the business name easier.
And, if you change up your services or your market over time, you can tweak the tagline to match while keeping your business name the same.
8. Make sure the name is available
When you come up with something, Google it and perform a business name search to make sure it’s not already being used. Then search to see if the domain is available.
Here is how Julie Hoflin, Owner at Your Versatile VA, handled it when setting up her business:
I checked the free trademark search websites to ensure it wasn’t already trademarked in either the US or Canada, and once that was done, I officially registered the name in my province. In my jurisdiction, by registering the name legally, a deeper trademark search is completed and I felt so much better knowing if/when granted, I could rest assured I wouldn’t suddenly be told to stop using this name after investing time, money and effort into branding and establishing my biz under this name.
So there you have it. Our best tips for coming up with your virtual assistant business name. If you’re working on your name, or if you’ve already established your business, comment below and share your process!
I want to give you one more reminder to always check the laws for your area—depending on your business structure and location, different rules may apply when it comes to naming your VA business.