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What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

I'm making early plans to transition from government employment to private consulting.  I'm currently reading
Inside the Technical Consulting Business by Harvey Kaye.  Kaye suggest using last name as opposed to a fictitious name, but I am leaning towards the latter.  Any suggestions on choosing a name would be appreciated.

RE: What's in a Name?

You would be surprised at the names already taken.  Also, some states have regs that refer to naming-it can't be misleading.
It kinda depends on your last name.  If it's hard to pronounce or spell, might be better to go with a dba.  Also, can you get a domain name close to your company name?  Things to consider.

RE: What's in a Name?

Stay away from names that sound like planets in Star Wars, like Enron.

RE: What's in a Name?

Call it Mike Crow Soft   :)

RE: What's in a Name?

It always struck me as a bit funny that "Enron" sounds a bit like "end run".  Try to avoid sounding like cheating is your main goal.

Also, avoid lame initials-into-words names like "Emkay".

RE: What's in a Name?

Greenone is right - you'd be surprised by what names are already taken.  I struggled more with naming my company than I did naming my children (and I didn't even have to haggle with my wife on the business name).  In the end, I settled on my last name.  I was initially opposed to using my name because I hope that one day I'll be able to sell the business and retire - I don't like the thought of somebody else being in charge of "my name".  Ah well, maybe my boys will take it over and I won't have to worry about it.

RE: What's in a Name?

When you sell your company, especially if it is just an engineering services company (no trademarked products), then you are just selling your client list, not the name.  Unless of course your clients will only work with you, but that puts them out of business the same time you retire.  I doubt they'll accept that.



RE: What's in a Name?

I have gotten an awful lot of positive response to the name of my company.  

It was going to be David Simpson Engineering, but everyone I knew hated that name.  

One day I decided to name it after an esoteric piece of downhole kit (a half muleshoe is a pipe stub with threads on one end and the other end mitered to a 45, it is used to run tubing into an open hole, if you hit a ledge then rotating the muleshoe will often slide you off the ledge).  The company became MuleShoe Engineering and a bunch of folks have said that the name is just like the company--solutions to difficult problems that are no more complex than they have to be.

You just can buy that kind of press and I highly recommend spending some time thinking of some tool, device, or technique that your clients will probably recognize and people you don't really want as clients won't get.

The only downside to the name I picked is people keep asking if I'm from [Muleshoe], TX.  I show them the picture on my card or on my web page and tell them I've never lived in Texas in my life.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering
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The harder I work, the luckier I seem

RE: What's in a Name?

I like the name MuleShoe.  When I started my company, I wanted to use my children's names.  Oldest daughter is Corrinnne, youngest daughter is Chelsea.  I took the 1st three letters of each to get CORCHE.  It is a conversation starter.  The interesting part is that corche is a medical term for a manequin that shows the human muscles i.e. no skin.  I say that I look behind the skin of buildings since I do mostly HVAC design work.


RE: What's in a Name?

Had this conversation with a Taxi driver once.  He said you wanted a name that will get listed near the front of the relevant section in the phone directory.  Perhaps more relevant in his industry than engineering but...

I plan on starting 'Aardvark Engineering' or 'Aardvark Aviation Services' or maybe even 'Aardvark Industries' when I grow upsmile

RE: What's in a Name?

Would you hire "AArdvark Engineering" or "AAA Engineering"?  I would avoid this obvious ploy to appear at the start of the Yellow Pages.

For a consumer-services company (like your taxi-driver business consultant) it is a great idea to show up early in the listings.  For a professional-services company it looks cheep and shabby--not an image an engineering company really wants.

I got exactly 3 calls from my Yellow Pages ad from people who were actually looking for engineering support (hundreds of sales and charity calls from it).  None of the calls ever resulted in paying work.  I'm not going to renew it this year.


RE: What's in a Name?

Um, I thought the smiley face and fact I talked about 'when I grow up' made it clear my comment was a bit tongue in cheek.  

However, for something like building surveyors that may work literally directly for the public I'd have though it may have some applicability, perhaps not as extreme as Aardvark though.

RE: What's in a Name?

I've just never mastered the whole smiley thing.  My wife and kids are always on my case for failing this basic communication skill.  

I do see people who start AAA Engineering and immediately have their pre-going-out-of-business sale.

Sorry if I missed humor.


RE: What's in a Name?

If there's a place you DON'T want to advertise, it's the yellow pages.

There's people I'm really not interested in having as clients.  A guy that looks up "Engineering" in the yellow pages is one of them.


RE: What's in a Name?

I like Muleshoe alot, that's a good choice. Very warm.Where's Texas? Who cares.

I struggled with trying to find a name and rather go Mote Eng (and the entailed difficulties of advertising eng component here in Canada), I setted for Motagg Solutions where the agg came from my wife's family. Mote is too short and harsh but Motagg is curious and impossible to google anything in english.

Liked the comments too about the yellow pages, useful to know. I think everybody must have though of being the Aardvark Advanced Automatic Association, at one or another, thinking it a smart move!

RE: What's in a Name?

I would suggest that if you are using a name that is not a persons name or something known it should at least be easy to pronounce and easy to say when answering the phone. My company is planning to merge with another company soon and our name will be a new one that does not associate with either company. I have a hard time saying it and every time I practice picking up the phone and greeting people with the new company name I cringe. I am sure I will be asked constantly to re-pronounce the name and spell it. Oh well it was not my decision.

If I were you I would put some thought into it, like zdas did, you'll thank yourself down the road.

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