Helping women start their own businesses and find the freedom of working from home is something that I’m extremely passionate about. One of the most commonly asked questions in my Facebook group for virtual assistants is kind of funny…what the heck should you name your virtual assistant business? Well, I have a couple tips for you today, so keep reading!
If you do take a second to check out my Facebook group (or the multitude of other groups for VAs), you’ll see that there’s a huge variety in the types of business names that VAs use.
Each type of name has its own perks, and honestly I think one of the biggest things to realize is that there is not a wrong way to name your business. You just have to decide what feels right to you and what you can grow with as your business changes.
How to Name Your Virtual Assistant Business
When naming your business, there are basically two general directions that you can go. You either work under your name, or you create a business name to work under. Neither is right or wrong, they’re just different ways of going about it.
Option #1: Branding under your name
Using your name is great for a lot of reasons. You can change what exact services you offer without growing out of the name, and it helps people recognize you when you are networking on social media.
For example, if your business is Jane Smith Designs and your Facebook profile is Jane Smith, it’s easy for potential clients to recognize you when you are interacting in groups.
Going this route to name your virtual assistant business also makes things like banking easier, because there is no need to file for a fictitious name registration. Some states require that you register your business name (if it doesn’t include your last name) in order to open a business bank account. Check the laws for your state to see if this applies to you!
What if your name is common or exotic?
If your name really is Jane Smith, you might find that there are no domain name options for you. Similarly, if your name is Janika Smitzickli, you might find that people are always typing in your URL or email address incorrectly.
One way of dealing with those issues is to use your first and middle name, or a nickname, as your business name instead. A friend of mine has a really long name and has cut it down to Vidya Ravi to help her US-based friends pronounce her name, and ended up branding her business as “VRDigital.” Another VA that I know combined her first name and nickname to come up with her business name, which is Alisa Kay.
If you want to name your virtual assistant business with your name but the domain is taken, you can try using a different domain extension. Lots of people are using .co instead of .com right now, and there are dozens of other domain extensions that you can consider.
Another option is to add a descriptive word like “digital” or “media” to your domain name to find one that isn’t taken yet. I’ve put together a list of VA-related words that would work well to use with your name.
Growing with your business
One thing that I have seen happen multiple times is that someone starts out picking a cute name, but as their business grows and changes, they feel that it doesn’t fit their brand anymore. This is one of the biggest reasons that I recommend branding under your own name. You simply can’t outgrow it!
Another point to make is that you should avoid using terms and descriptors that your business could potentially outgrow. For example,if your domain name is janesmithva.com and you decide in a few years to transition into only offering social media management, you are stuck with having to rebrand everything.
Option #2: Branding under a business name
If you decide to create a brand-new name that you will do business under, there are tons of great ways to come up with something creative that will fit and grow with your business. You can always use a business naming tool like the ones at Shopify or Hipster Business Name.
Using a business name generator or looking around at other VAs you know and brands you like can help your brain jumpstart a name idea. Try to decide if you want a professional-feeling name or something more fun and quirky.
Choosing significant or descriptive words
Some people already have really significant things in their life that they want to use in their business name, like a favorite activity, a memory of something meaningful, or a term that describes them in some way. You can use those words, look for synonyms, or even combine them with other words to name your virtual assistant business.
You can also decide to choose a more professional significant word, like a character quality you portray, or a value that you uphold in your business. These words can pair really well with descriptor words, too.
When choosing descriptive or significant words, write down a list of terms that describe you, your services, and how you want your clients to feel about your services. Try to answer these questions:
- Who do you help?
- How do you help them?
- What do you do to help them?
- What makes you stand out as a VA?
This should help you come up with a great list to combine with your personally descriptive and significant words.
Keep it pretty simple
Similarly to what we talked about with names that are hard to say or spell, remember that people are more apt to remember words that they are familiar with. This doesn’t mean you have to choose super common words, but try to avoid words that could be common misspelled or really complex terms.
One great way to add some clarity about what your business does without elongating or affecting your business name is to add a simple tagline that tells people what you do.
For example, my digital marketing and virtual assistance agency is called “Miranda Nahmias & Co.” with the tagline “Digital Marketing for Smart & Skilled Online Service Providers.”
No matter what you decide to name your virtual assistant business, this is a decision that you can’t get hung up on!
There are people running super profitable businesses under the weirdest names, and there are also people who are so stuck on getting their name and branding just right that they never get started.
If you are feeling stuck getting your name sorted out, don’t forget to download my list of VA-related words to help you name your virtual assistant business!
So let me know in the comments: how did you come up with your VA business name?