How to Choose a Consulting Firm Name

In this episode, let’s talk about consulting firm names.

Consultants ask me on a pretty frequent and regular basis, “Does a consulting firm name really matter? What should I call my consulting business? How should I position my consulting practice in terms of its naming?”

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It’s a great question and it’s a question that a lot of people have when they’re just getting started or if you’re looking to go out on your own or transition into a new consulting business.

Does the Name Really Matter?

But does a consulting firm name, does your name really matter? The answer to that is no, but the answer to that can also be yes. It really depends on what your business is about and how you’re looking to structure your business.

Now, what I mean by that is I’ll take here a copy of our book The Consulting Success System 2.0

No one buys this book simply because it’s called The Consulting Success System 2.0. They buy this book, and maybe you’ve bought this book, because you know who the author is.

You don’t need to have everything ready to start making an impact in the market, to start getting out there. That’s the same thing with your consulting firm name.

You’re familiar with the ConsultingSuccess.com brand. When we talk about naming, it’s more about the brand than it is about the name.

Most people don’t just buy from a company called ABC or from a company called Heinz or Toyota or General Electric just because they think it’s a cool name.

Branding Your Name

You don’t go out and buy a Tesla just because you think that the Tesla name itself is cool.

You made a buying decision and your buyers – the buyers of consulting services made those buying decisions – based on the brand.

While a name can be interesting and powerful to get someone’s attention, it isn’t necessarily and actually almost in all cases isn’t the determining factor of why a buyer chooses to buy from you, or even why they select you or even why they reach out to you.

Doesn’t Your Firm Name Matter?

There are many other factors behind that in terms of your brand, your positioning, your expertise, your value proposition, you as a person. If we ask ourselves the question, “Does it really matter what I call my consulting firm,” the answer would be no.

It’s not so much just about your name in terms of how you call your consulting business. It’s more about how you’ve established and built and developed your brand in the marketplace that people will come to know you by that is the deciding factor.

The other part of this that we want to look at in terms of your consulting firm name is that many consultants end up just using their own name.

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Using Your Own Name

They use their last name or they even just call their business by their own name, so John Henry Consultants or Sarah Whittaker Associates.

Most people don’t just buy from a company called ABC or from a company called Heinz or Toyota or General Electric just because they think it’s a cool name.

There are many different people out there, many consultants who just simply use their name. The question around that is does it make sense? Is that a good thing to do? The answer to that is, again, it depends on what your goals are.

If you’re structuring your business where you are the brand, where it’s really a personal consulting brand that you are establishing and a buyer is going to be reaching out to buy from you because they see you as the expert, the authority, then certainly using your name as the business name makes a lot of sense.

Finding Your Name Online

That’s what people are going to be searching for online. They’re going to see you speaking. They’re going to read your book.

They’re going to check out a report or a video or a podcast or whatever it might be. They’re going to hear about you.

They’re going know you as the brand and they’re going to search you out online, or they’re going to ask someone else, but then it’s important that they’re able to find you.

Planning an Exit Strategy?

If your plans and goals for your consulting business are to create a business that is much larger than you, where there are going to be many other consultants or many other staff or employees as part of the business it can make sense to consider not having the brand and the name only about you but something that conveys much more about what you do as a consulting firm.

If the name is attached to you and you’re looking and planning to grow your consulting business with a potential to exit, to sell the business down the road, having that name directly attached to you if you’re planning to leave that business doesn’t make the most sense.

Naming Strategy for the Majority

For the vast majority of consultants, using your own name as the consulting business name or using your last name or part of the name and labeling it as ‘consulting’ or ‘associates’ or even ‘partners’ if there’s more than one person, or ‘strategy,’ that’s totally fine. It makes sense.

Don’t overthink the consulting firm name. Too many consultants tell me, “I’m waiting to re-launch my business, to really get out there until I have my name and my branding and my website and my logo ready.

I need to have my glossy brochures and my business card before I make a slash in the market.” I tell them, I say that that is ridiculous. Don’t wait.

You don’t need to have everything ready to start making an impact in the market, to start getting out there. That’s the same thing with your consulting firm name.

Don’t let trying to perfect that name hold you back from taking action and from the real action that matters most, which is to get in front of your ideal clients, to gain that visibility and exposure and to start creating meaningful conversations with real buyers.

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