Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Your Domain Name Versus Your Business Name – What’s an Entrepreneur To Do?

Most of us know that an URL means a Unique Record Locator. A Domain Name is the same thing – it identifies your website and can serve as a branding tool as well.

But did you know that once you pick a domain name, go to all the trouble of researching and writing your content, and uploading your site, that you would be wise to stick with that name? (see referenced article below).

Your Business Name on the other hand is usually written in stone. Once established it doesn’t change. But should it? As you change, learn, and grow, the original focus of your business may change. If so, you may need to change your business name.

Let’s say you started your business as Ted Jones Financial Advisors in 1998. You were focused on basic financial services at the time, but now you’ve earned several credentials and are more of a wealth manager. (WARNING: This is a trick question) Do you change your name to Ted Jones Wealth Management?

Think long-term. Do you have an Exit Strategy? If not, now is a good time to start thinking about one. The typical bright young upstart financial advisor will be reluctant to buy your firm if your personal name is on it. Now would be a good time to create a business name that implies a “team approach”, not a “star advisor approach”. This would also be a great practice management strategy (ask me why).

Before you make the business name decision, it would be wise to do some research utilizing the following points.

Your business name should:
1. Be easy to say and remember – two to three words is optimal
2. Say what you do.
3. Imply your unique niche
4. Create a strong brand
5. Create a strong trademark

Your Doman name should:
1. Be easy to remember
2. Utilize dot com rather than dot net or dot biz
3. Contain one to two industry key words

For a detailed discussion on how to select a domain name, see an article I wrote: What's in a Name? Domain Names Do's and Don'ts for High SEO

I hope this helps to solve the Business Name versus Domain Name puzzle. Being that I made some missteps in my choice of business domain name (see above article), I feel qualified to suggest alternatives.

Grow Your Business and Prosper!
Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors

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