Okay, so we’ve started our journey to set ourselves up as a legitimate on-line entrepreneur. We’ve decided what it is we are good at, what our passion is and what other people might consider worthy of paying for our services, for. The something, as you may recall, in my case, was editing/proofreading and all thing bookish. Step number one out of the way, so what’s step number two on our journey to riches?
What are you going to call yourself?
How important is the name of your little cottage industry?
Actually, it’s probably more important than you initially give it credit for. Now, if you’re anything like me, secretly a little vain and proud, your initial instinct will be to put your own personal name into your business name... but is this the best thing? To start with, I certainly thought it was and I toyed with some sparkling variations of my name, as possibilities for my new business enterprise. I tried: Grant’s Author Services, Leishman’s (very descriptive), Leishman’s Author Services, and even just the simple, Grant Leishman. The more I looked at it, though, the more amateurish (and even try-hard) I felt it looked. Yes, there is some value in having your own name in your personal business name, in some instances, but in my opinion, there were better reasons not to use my own name. It is a personal decision though and my advice is to go with what your gut tells you – feels good.
It actually hit me, like a ten-ton locomotive that I already had a business that was using my own name! I was Grant Leishman – Author and that was my brand. It made absolute sense that I wouldn’t want my “author” persona being mixed up with my “editing” persona. The two skills (writing and editing) are two completely different skill sets and I decided that I needed to keep them totally separate, including the name. I then started looking at a variety of other options. The two most important things, when considering what to call your business, it seemed to me were; 1/ The name should be descriptive enough that a casual browser could see your business name on a website somewhere and immediately grasp the type of service you were offering; and 2/ Not to pick a name that would genuinely confuse or mislead potential customers (there’s nothing more annoying to a potential client than for them to click a link thinking they were going to a particular business or type of business and finding out, in fact, that they’d been a little duped). Under this section I would say, don’t choose a name that sounds or looks very familiar to a well-known business or brand. e.g. calling your business MacDonald’s not only potentially infringes their trademark or brand (and you might get sued) but it also confuses potential customers who think they’re going to a fast-food website to order dinner. Your name should reflect what you do and that’s about it, really.
So, I looked at some names that I felt described the services I was offering, including; Author Support Services, Author Support Centre, Author Resource Centre and some slightly crazier ones like, Editing Is Us (potential trademark infringement there – Toys R Us etc), Editing 4 U, Books, Books, Books., Book Services etc etc etc. How did I finally choose Author Resource Centre as the name for my new business?
Well, I sat down and thought, “what are the two things every online business MUST have?
1/ A website and 2/ An email address.
I didn’t want to have differing names for both, so it was important to me that I had a website URL that said www.authorresourcecentre.com (or whatever name it was that I chose) and an email address that said firstname.lastname@example.org or whatever other email service provider I had decided to use, such as hotmail, yahoo. Always conscious of my limited budget, I knew initially I wanted to use one of the free email hosts, in my case Gmail. So, before I decided on choosing a name, I put my potential options to the test, making sure I could get both the URL and the email address, before I committed. As it happened, my first choice for a name, Author Support Services, not only had an unfortunate acronym (ASS) but was also not available as a URL (it was already taken). After some experimentation, I concluded that Author Resource Centre was both suitable and available – VOILA! My new business was born.
With the second step completed, my next task was to build me website, which I’ll talk about in my next instalment. Until then, keep dreaming and keep working toward your goals.
Remember – “You don’t have to have big dreams, but if you don’t, then big dreams can’t come true.”
I love that Grant Leishhman doesn't pump out formula plots, as I love originality. As he is a proofreader, you can be certain his books are skillfully written. You'll be certain to enjoy them. I've not been paid no express this opinion of Grant Leishman's books or for promoting them here. I do this to encourage great writing talent.
Cheers, Ryn Shell, author and artist.