Changing Business Name


From original questioner:

My business is basically named "wood windows" because when I started that was all I made. Eventually I found out I was leaving money on the table by not getting involved with doors and other millworks, which now accounts for a large percentage of our work. I'm considering changing the business name to reflect all our services but I don't know if it's worth the effort. Thoughts, advice, wisdom? Thanks.

From contributor Mi

I run into pretty much the same thing with focusing my business on wood shutters. I have never had "wood" in my business name, but below my company name I mostly listed "custom wood shutters". Many customers just always assumed I only did wood shutters, and I missed a lot of opportunities because of that. We corrected that, at least to some degree, by listing a broader listing on our cards and brochures by putting "window treatments" or just "custom shutters". We still focus on wood, and use our sales opportunities to bring out the strong points of wood products, but we are also quick to see needs in other products and to get those orders as well. Changing your company name can be expensive and time consuming, and possibly cause a disconnect with existing or previous customers, who might want to look you up. I also hated to toss all my printed materials, checks, etc. Much less expensive to add wording to your cards, brochures, price list and website as you have them redone.
Another huge thing that helped, was putting my name into the business name. We originally had a generic name with the words shutters in the middle. After several years, we were finding customers who on running into us, were saying they could not remember the company name, and ended up with a competitor because a generic search took them to another company, that just happened to have shutters in that name. They may not always now remember my name, but I find my odds are much better. At least if they search my product, and my name pops up in a google search, it may trigger their memory and they hopefully will recognize my company. Good luck, nobody likes missing opportunities to get more work in their door.

From contributor D

Maybe just do something simple like
Wood Windows & More

From contributor ma

...which brings to mind:
There's a great restaurant in my town that specializes in Vietnamese noodle soup. At some point they came to the conclusion that they should also be offering rice dishes and other sundries. As such, the name now stands at " Just Pho and More". A little awkward. If it weren't so damn good, I'd probably be annoyed.

From contributor An

Pho is awesome!

From contributor Mi

Too bad I can't partner with the guy, we could use the name "Pho Wood Blinds" and clean up around here. For some reason I never liked the play on the word Faux. Fake wood in a foreign language still doesn't spell quality in my book.

From contributor ca

Pick a name that doubles as key word search in google.

From contributor Ji

If the other stuff already accounts for a large volume of your work, why change the name? Just your slogan or tagline. If search phrases are the issue, you DON'T need to go through a name change to capture more traffic for your alternate products.

From contributor Ja

We changed our name about 4-5 years into business, for many of the reasons mentioned. There are pros and cons. One of the biggest challenges was search engines. They thought there were 2 business with the same address, which apparently is a 'scam' thing and so we ranked LOWER for a while. It also created confusion with clients which I judged at that time better now than later. 5-6 years later (now) I am glad I did, but if I waited until now (10 yrs in business) I am not so sure I'd do it.

If you have a heavy online presence, or get a good bit of business from online searches, I would spend the $/time to sort fact from fiction on how to best change your name and not mess up what you have going on good in the search world right now! That was the most troubling part for us. It will take some time.

From contributor mi

Even though I have 'kitchen' and 'Bath' in my name, I have had people ask me "do you do bathrooms?' It just seems like it helps to spell out for clients exactly what we do. They thought I only did the cabinetry in a bath because that was my background. Of course if you are in business long enough sometimes that word just gets around no matter what your name is.

From contributor Jo

I think changing the business name would be a good idea. The name of the business must be catchy and if it also explains the business service then that's an added bonus. You can contact a business incorporation like to change business name as they will do the job faster.