Naming Advice: When to Rename a Business

Tips for Naming and Renaming Your Small Business | Greatest Story Creative

What's in your name?

Over the next 7 weeks, I'll be writing a weekly series here - covering some of my favorite best practices to put your "best foot forward" in your small business to attract more ideal clients and customers.

Today's story is all about taking a closer look at your business name.

And I'm doing this to celebrate my first-ever complimentary seminar on branding your small business - coming to NC this February - Small Business: Best Foot Forward - 7 Steps to a Profitable and Relatable Brand. (Register for free here, tickets are limited and already 25% gone!)

Let's jump right in.

Let's Take a Closer Look at your Business Name

Through Greatest Story Creative, I help clients name or rename their small business through our Naming Research and Recommendations Process. Today, I want to lead you through an exclusive exercise from that process that can test the strength of your business name.

Ready? Whatever your business name currently is (or whatever you are currently thinking of naming it), I want you to take out a sheet of paper and write it out. Put it aside.

Now, I want you to write on a separate sheet of paper a quick brainstorm on the following question: "Where do I see my business in five years? What kinds of things do I hope to be doing / selling / offering as a business?" (Don't overthink).

Put the pieces of paper next to each other - face up so you can read them - and then consider this key question:
"Is my business current name flexible enough to fit the business I see in my 5-year vision?"

If your answer is "yes," that's one indicator that your current business name is a strong choice to continue with - as it can likely grow with your current goals for the future.

If your answer is "no" or "maybe," you may want to consider renaming your business or adjusting your name in some way to better fit your vision before you get stuck. And here's why.

A name is definitely a big thing to change - you build up equity in your business name through the the work you do, the products you offer, the clients you work with and more. For this very reason, you should invest in a name that is wide enough and flexible enough to encompass the broad strokes of what you do. You need a name that can grow with you for the longhaul - so you can really build on and capitalize on your equity as much as possible.

I often work with clients like Harper and Matt from School of Home, a lifestyle project and blog that was created via our Naming and Brand Creation process. Harper and Matt came to me thinking they'd want to call their business "Skoolie's Out" because originally their idea was to create a blog around their renovation of a school bus into a mobile tiny home (a "skoolie").

When we went through a similar exercise and my Brand Story Questionnaire Process, it became clear that their vision for their business was much larger and dynamic than capturing a renovation process. They had interests in interviewing communities, featuring travel and food adventures, living creatively and sharing what they've learned.

When I saw this potential in their story and their goals, I pitched them instead on "School of Home" - a name that can cover their first project, and grow with them for years to come - as they may grow from a blog, to books, to podcasts, to all kinds of products and offerings. This name, plus the tagline we created, "learning through living," kicked off a larger, more innovative mission than Harper and Matt originally imagined. 

Like many of our naming clients, Harper and Matt chose a creative name we recommended over the one they'd originally liked and brought to the table. For them, just a few months since their launch - their stories are already broader and their interests are so much more diverse than their original intent of just covering the bus. If they'd stuck with "Skoolie's Out" - they'd feel limited in what content they could write, what opportunities they could take, and already be "off" from the beginning.

With "School of Home," Harper and Matt have a name that will grow with them even now - and in turn - continue to grow their business and success! That's what it's all about and why it really does matter "what's in your name."

Curious about a naming project for your new or existing business? We offer naming only projects and as a service in larger branding packages. Tell me more about your business or business idea here.

Learn More Ways to Put Your "Best Foot Forward" With Your Business

This advice is an example of the kinds of best practices I'll be sharing at my new NC-based seminar, Small Business: Best Foot Forward.

This 90-minute event is a fun introduction to branding for small business owners and anyone considering starting their own small business, complete with open networking before and after the presentation.  

At Small Business: Best Foot Forward, you'll learn our exclusive 7 action steps to:

  • power up your marketing
  • attract and book more clients
  • become a profitable and relatable business

Tickets are FREE but limited - and as I mentioned earlier - already 25% taken! Snag your spot now and click an event date below to register.

These may be the only dates for Small Business Best Foot Forward for the next 6 months to a year, so if you're curious - definitely join us! 

Learn more by visiting

Looking to Next Week

In next week's story in our Best Foot Forward series, I'll be talking about logos and sharing a favorite best practice to ensure your logo will work well for your business. If you have specific questions about logos, reply to this and let me know! 

Until then, wishing you the best as you continue to tackle this new year!