You made it through school, through all your licensing, through every bump in the long road to starting your own practice. Now that you’re here, the last thing standing between you and opening your doors is choosing a name.
The name of your business has an impact on where you fall in search engine results and how memorable you are in a long list of other service providers. Your potential clients are sifting through a lot of information to choose their practitioner, so make sure you stand out from the rest.
There are lots of ways to build your brand voice. But it’s diverse marketing strategy that’ll maximize your reach, and that starts with a memorable yet timeless business name.
All this may make picking a name for your practice seem like a high-stress, high-stakes activity—but it doesn’t have to be. There are a couple easy questions you can ask yourself to figure out how your name can reflect your values.
First, Think Big Picture
While picking a name is a crucial first part of getting your practice off the ground, it plays into a much larger question—how do you want to present yourself as a business? Do you want your voice to be super formal, more relaxed? Somewhere in between?
Your name should reflect the tone of your practice. Once you figure out what you want your overall tone to be, you can decide whether to go with a fun and quirky name, or something more serious.
Choosing a Name Based on Your Name or Location
Although naming your practice after yourself does simplify things, it also boxes you in. What if you grow your practice and add more clinicians? What if you want to rebrand later? Such a specific name makes it difficult for your business to scale, so you want to pick something that you can really grow with.
You run into similar issues if you include your location in your name. You may move or open offices in different cities. But, if you have deep ties to your community and aren’t planning on leaving your area, the presence of your city or neighborhood in your practice name is a nice way to demonstrate your roots. When you’re building up your client base, it may be easier to draw in local clients if it’s clear that you’re close by and accessible to them.
Choosing a Name Based on Your Specialty or Values
You made important decisions in your early days of private practice about your specialty, your approach to care, and how you want to be viewed by clients. All of these choices have a lasting impact on how you market your business and what you want your brand voice to be. A name based on one of your business values is the easiest way to market and scale your practice.
It may seem like a tall order to capture the essence of your business in a few short words, so break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. Try this exercise—write down single words or images that you feel align with your values, and use those lists as a starting point for a more cohesive name.
Next, Get Into the Nitty-Gritty
Once you’ve found a name that you love, it really just comes down to dotting some i’s and crossing some t’s.
- Make sure that your chosen name is easy to spell, say, and pronounce. A big part of getting the word out about your practice will be just that—word of mouth. You want to make it as easy as possible for your clients to remember your name, and recommend you quickly and easily to their friends.
- Check that the website domain of your new name is available. We’ve all fallen in love with something only to find out we can’t have it, and that heartbreak is real. Once you have your short list, double check that you’ll be able to own that website name, too.
- Create a logo and start using it. Use it on everything that leaves your business. The more your name is out in the world, the more chances people have to become your client.