Give Your Biz a Name

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the beginnings of the new season. Here in the Bay Area, Spring has sprung and I am so enjoying time outdoors.

A favorite Spring activity of mine is pausing to hug a tree. What’s yours?

Seems like new beginnings are in the air as many Kids Yoga Teachers have been asking about how to give their biz a name. This is such an important question and one not to be taken lightly. I have heard that professional naming organizations spend up to six months carefully choosing a name for a company so you should definitely plan to spend at least a few weeks if not more. Of course, a biz name can also come super quick, like mine did.

The name for my company, Next Generation Yoga, came alive when I was in the car with a few friends playing with names for my then new Kids Yoga biz. It was in 1998, right around the time when everything was Y2K relevant and “next generation” something. Do you remember those days? Well on that car ride, it was a friend who said, how bout, “Next Generation Yoga!” And boom it resonated so deeply and was the start of something relevant.

The truth is, the name of your biz is really important and should not be taken lightly. The right name can make you the talk of the town, help people find you easily and give you instant credibility and success. The wrong name can leave people confused about your offerings, forgetful that you exist or turned off by your branding expression.

Here are tips and to-do’s for giving your biz a quality name.

Enlist help from friends, family and experts. Like most things in biz, don’t try to do this alone. Not only is it more fun, but you’ll get great feedback and insights from people that you might have missed if you did this process alone. Invite some peeps over for dinner, wine or tea and have a biz naming party.

Know what you want your name to communicate. Your biz name should reinforce the key elements of your biz. The more your name clearly communicates, the less explaining you will need to do. Consider including words like “Yoga,” “Mindfulness,” “kids” so that people are clear on your services and not left wondering what it is exactly that you do.

Choose a name that appeals to the kinds of customers you are trying to attract. Think comforting and familiar words that makes people feel warm inside versus unfamiliar abbreviations, puns or nicknames that only you understand.

Include your personal name or not. If you know that your Kids Yoga biz will remain all you, and that you will be the only person teaching and working in the biz, no matter how much you grow in the future, then consider using your own personal name in your biz name. For example, Jodi’s Kids Yoga. But, if you aren’t sure and you have an inkling that your biz may grow beyond just you, like having teachers come work with you, then it’s probably best to not include your own personal name.

Avoid using geographic names. Especially if you think you will one day expand your biz nationally or internationally, it’s important to not include a city or state. Don’t be afraid to think BIG!

Try it out. When you get close to a name you love, go ahead and write the name down on paper in different fonts to see how it will look. Say it out loud in different voices, and to different people, to hear how it sounds. You will know intuitively if you like how your potential new biz name looks and sounds. Of course, if you feel stuck, ask some peeps for feedback!

Do your research. Once you have a few potential names, do a search to make sure your name doesn’t infringe on any trademarks and that no one else is using your name. In addition to Google, The United States Patent and Trademark Office website, allows you to review all federal trademark registrations and applications. If your new biz name is available, consider spending the time and money trademarking and protecting your name. The USPTO website or a business lawyer can help you to accomplish this.

Build enthusiasm. Once you have your new biz name, start telling everyone you know to build the buzz for your new name immediately! Your biz name is your first step toward building a strong company identity, one that should last as long as you are in business!

I hope these tips and to-do’s help you in choosing a biz name that you love and others do to. Don’t be afraid to take your time, but also, don’t let it paralyze you. Make it fun and be sure to be smart and professional.

In support of you,
Jodi

PS – If you are serious about your Kids Yoga biz, then don’t miss one of these upcoming course for The Biz of Kids Yoga LIVE! From the east coast, to the west, coast and now happening in Australia. Check out the schedule.

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