Should I use my name or create a business name when starting?

I get asked this question a lot and to be frank and to the point, I’m going to say to use your name.

Now if you want the case on why, I’m going to outline 3 reasons as to why I have this response.

There’s obviously cases for both sides, but I want to share with you some thoughts as to why you should think about using your name.

1. People do business with people

This is especially true in the freelance or consulting space.

When you are starting out, there are a ton of distractions that force decisions on you that to be honest, don’t matter.

What matters is getting out there and getting those first few clients. How you get them is by making conversations and talking about problems that you can solve.

Chris Ducker, founder of Youpreneur, always says that people do business with other people. Forming that P-2-P relationship is the foundation of business.

I couldn’t agree more. Here’s the thing, if you continue the discussion with a random business name rather than your name, you start to dilute the impact your name has.

There aren’t a couple of logos that sit across the table from each other and work together.

When you build trust as yourself and not a business name, that trust is much more solid. It becomes something you can build a foundation off of.

2. You will change direction

What you start out doing today won’t be what you are doing 3, 10, and especially 20 years from now.

When you pick a business name, you’ll probably go with something that is related to the “thing” that you do.

Just as an example you are doing development today but then 5 years from now, create a product to sell. Sure you can use your business name for anything, but people are more likely to follow Jane Smith to the next thing, more so than “XYZ Development Inc.”

This is the very heart of a personal brand. People recognize a person and will follow that person around to their next thing. When a logo changes or shifts direction, people are much more reluctant to shift because it doesn’t fit what the logo once was.

3. Get that business name

Starting out is easy, but building business and being sustainable is hard.

You may not make it. Let’s face facts, right? Since you are listening to the show, you are trying to build sustainability and I have little doubt that you’ll get where you want to be.

As you build your business and it continues to grow, then you can go out and make everything formal.

See here in the U.S. there are certain benefits to formalizing a business. If you are starting out and not putting all your effort into building sustainability no business name will matter.

Nothing is set in stone other than yourself. Putting your name out there as trustworthy, responsible, organized, and professional is what the focus should be. Build that reputation around yourself, not a business name.

When you are ready and get that business name, that business name will have instant credibility because you are the founder.

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