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Using your personal name in your biz name: good or bad?

January 4 2012 at 7:34 PM

what PRO's and CON's are there for using your name in your company's name?

the biggest CON i can think of when using your name in your company's name, is that when you go to sell it, the prospective buyer (let's call him JimBob) might be more interested in "NY's Finest Carpet Care" as opposed to "Derek's Carpet Cleaning".

what do y'all think?


swap seats

January 4 2012, 8:07 PM 

When you are looking for an electrician, plumber, tire shop, etc who do you call first "Joe's Plumbing" or "New York's finest Plumbers"? If you are wanting to become a big company with top resale value a name that sounds like a "real" business would be better.

Al Taylor

Re: swap seats

January 4 2012, 10:34 PM 

I>d call Joe. Joe is gonna do an excellent Job cause he is a small family ownd business. Joe wants to keep repeat custys cause his family depends on him. If Joe doesn,t pan out the screening process then I'll call billy Bob after checking his credentials and reviews etc etc.

Al Taylor

Better is the end afterward of a matter than its beginning.


Rick Gelinas

A GOOD brand name is important

January 5 2012, 4:43 AM 

I can see Alex's perspective, but I'm inclined to agree with George's comments above.

It depends on your goals. Are you looking to build a small mom and pop business that is dependent on YOU being at their beck and call? Then a personal name would be perfect.

Are you considering building a more sizable business? One that you can possibly sell? One that can run autonomously without your hand at the wheel 24/7? Then a more businessy sounding name would be a better option.

But there are exceptions to the rule... you could use your last name. It's been done successfully in the past. Here are a couple of tiny little businesses that used their founder's last name - you may have heard of them... Dell computers, Ford automobiles, Firestone tires. But those examples are rare instances where a last name worked for building a brand; I'd say it's the exception to the rule.

If you'd like to read an awesome book about branding, I would HIGHLY recommend a book called The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. I read it several years ago and changed the name of my carpet cleaning business as a result. The name of my commercial carpet cleaning business had been Pioneer Maintenance. After reading the book I changed it to KleenStep. What a difference the new name made. It became so much easier to win new accounts. People would ask if we were a franchise. The name looked the part of a larger company. It worked! And at the end of the day, isn't that what we want from our brand name?

My two cents would be to give this a lot of serious thought.

Here's a link to the book...

Rick Gelinas



This message has been edited by cimex on Jan 5, 2012 4:47 AM
This message has been edited by cimex on Jan 5, 2012 4:44 AM

David Hebert

Re: A GOOD brand name is important

January 5 2012, 9:08 AM 

We changed our company name to my last name Hebert's
with a tag line Your Carpet and Floor Care Specialist.

It has worked for us for several reasons, the name is know in our area for several successful businesses. our family is well known in the area, for what ever reason people remember my last name better then the old company.

Mc Donald's would be another business that uses the founders last name in it.

Personally I would not use my fist name in a company title


Re: A GOOD brand name is important

January 5 2012, 11:00 AM 

tx fellas, i love the different viewpoints!!

another angle i am looking at and questioning it is:

since most of us here clean mostly CGD, does a personal last name fit well into that genre?

i mean, will a Commercial Facility be more apt to call NY's Finest Carpet Care, or Derek's Carpet Cleaning ??

to me that is the more important question, just ahead of the future selling of the business.

tx! --- Derek happy.gif

This message has been edited by DerekBeyer on Jan 5, 2012 11:02 AM

Joe M


January 5 2012, 11:28 AM 

Years ago in the days of the phone book, business would try for a name like ABC Janitorial or American Carpet Cleaning so that they would be listed in that order.

Now days with the internet and all its more like who has the best raiting in search words and such.

If you type in my business name on yahoo under office cleaning in my area, I come up top of the list and my business name starts with a J.

Business doing a local search will pick the first few names to call for an estimate. I just won an office cleaning acct this way just the other day. Customer went on yahoo, and seen that I was local and got the call for a bid.

What you need to do is just make sure you use good search words so that you come up on google and yahoo.



January 5 2012, 12:09 PM 

that is a great idea Joe. i know that will work for most, but for me since i hand pick every single commercial client i get, by hitting the pavement, that doesn't mean as much for me...i don't rely at all on getting commercial clients via search engines.


To each their own

January 6 2012, 3:10 PM 

I have three different businesses, each naturally with a different name and website

My residential cleaning which I have had since Noah sunk the Ark is called Get Shorty Carpet & Upholstery Care.

For a couple of decades people have referred us simply as "Get Shorty".

It works well for us.

Shorty down uinder.


Re: To each their own

January 10 2012, 10:38 AM 

tx for the opinions fellas! i am sticking with our name, not changing anything at this point.

tx --- Derek.

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