If you are starting a new dental practice or business, your first step is to name it. The most obvious choice is to name it after yourself, especially if you are a solo practitioner; but it’s a good idea to slow down and contemplate Shakespeare’s timeless question, What’s in a name?
There are pros and cons to naming your business after yourself. It depends on your situation and your goals for the business. Grace Rizza, founder and CEO of Identity Dental Marketing, says you should ask yourself three key questions to make that decision:
- Do I plan on selling the business in the next five to ten years?
- How do I want to expand, or do I want to expand at all?
- What are my long term goals?
The case against naming a business after yourself
If you have an exit strategy that is less than ten years away, it will be more challenging to create a smooth transition with your buyer if your practice bears your name. Do you want to bring on a partner or associates? If your business is eponymous, you run the risk of clients demanding to see you, the named owner, instead of one of your very capable associates.
“You are going to create some level of roadblock for future communications and you’re not going to be able to expand as seamlessly as you would with a different business name,” says Grace.
When should you name your business after yourself?
It can make sense to do this under certain circumstances: You are a solo practitioner who plans to work without associates for the next few decades; your expertise is your selling point; you have an extremely high profile in your community; or you want to grow your personal brand as an influencer or YouTuber.
There are no hard and fast rules for naming but be open to suggestions by a marketing expert.
“I’m always going to tell you exactly what you need. It doesn’t mean you have to do all of it right away,” says Grace, a dental marketing advisor since 2009. “But just like when a patient comes to you and says, ‘I just want whitening,’ or, ‘I don’t need x-rays,’ you’re the expert. It’s your obligation to tell them where their opportunity lies for a healthier mouth. In the same way, it’s my obligation to tell you where the opportunity lies for a healthier business.” For an expert evaluation of your brand, website, or social media marketing, email Grace Rizza directly at email@example.com.