Friday, October 1, 2010

Personal Name vs Business Name

I have been thinking on this topic for a while now. I freelance under my personal name and have a website too for it. But I have personally come across many people who freelance under a business name. So which choice seems apt? I think it is more of a personal decision and depends on what you perceive your business to be.

Let us take it up one by one. I chose to work under my personal name because since I was starting out as a fresher I wanted to concentrate more on acquiring clients rather than entangling myself in the intricacies involved in branding a start up. Also, to be frank, I wanted to initially test the waters and see as to if I can establish myself successfully in this field. Apart from this, I feel there are several other factors too which can make the choice of using your personal name as your brand name a better option.

To start with, it allows you to convey a sense of personal involvement to your client. In a way it provides to the client a belief that the work delivered by you will bear your personal stamp and signify your true capabilities. But all this does not take away the disadvantages that are associated with using your personal name. To some clients, the use of your personal name as your business name might make it sound too casual and non professional. Also, it might get a bit difficult for you if you wish to sell the USP of your business by using your personal name. Pronouncing your name and remembering the same for future references too might be an issue for some clients living in other countries.

So does that make a business name a better option? Well, I see some disadvantages here too. Not only is the job of branding your business expensive but at the same time it needs to capture the true essence of your business too. The process of registering your business name to is a bit lengthy and involves a lot of paper work. What is also important is the fact that with a business name once in place it would get difficult for you to re invent or start something new under the same brand name. This is because the existing business name might not capture the true feel of the new business that you want to start.

So what should one do? I say go with your heart! If you are starting out afresh it is a sensible thought to start with your personal name. Once you see your business grooming according to your expectations you can then switch over to acquire a more professional sounding business name.