Recently Community Manager David Anderson put a great question out there: How did you pick your company name? He addressed it to freelancers and consultants who have picked names for their own businesses, but I thought it would be helpful to open it up for everyone’s input. As always, the community stepped up to share some great tidbits and personal experiences that we can all appreciate.

Here is just a sample of the great responses we received:

Jackie Van Nice: “I went with my own name when it became obvious that... clients and potential clients who want to do business with me are excited to do so explicitly because it's me. Making them try to remember whatever my [business name] was when they wanted to find me just became a barrier.”

Melissa Milloway: “I agree with [using your first and last name]. I think it... reinforces your personal brand. It's easier for me to remember someone's name rather than their company.... Going with your name totally makes sense if you are a one man band.”

Adele Sommers: “After much deliberation involving many word combinations, I ended up choosing the shortest, most direct phrase that focuses on end results: Business Performance Inc. That allows us to direct our energies equally in the areas of instructional design and business consulting, which often involve the same clients.”

Tim Slade: “Make sure [the business name] communicates what it is that you do! For example, Artisan E-Learning (the company I work for) used to be named Alcorn-Ward & Partners… Potential clients would call us thinking that we were injury legal lawyers. Needless to say, Artisan E-Learning is much clearer.”

Jerson Campos: “I started thinking about the items I was planning on selling. I was selling visual aids to other developers creating e-learning. So I decided on Visual-e-learning. It's a play on both words. It sounds like "Visually Learning"  or " Visual e-learning" when you say it.”

Matthew Bibby: “I ended up going with my own name. As I'm not planning on expanding my business beyond myself or selling it in the future, this is the 'brand' I'll be working under for the rest of my life, even if my focus changes from e-learning.”

Phil Mayor: “Went through a number of iterations, basically decided on a name that says what we do (Elearning Laboratory LTD), also wanted a bit of fun... Overall it says what we do, we throw everything into the pot and mix it around add in the secret sauce and we have our solution.”

Jeff Kortenbosch: “I struggled for a long time, everything I came up with seemed to exist already... Until I was driving home from work.. and heard a commercial on the radio [for] this event called 'Serious Request'...And then it hit me... Serious Request.... Serious Learning…. and lo and behold the URL wasn't taken yet!”

Trina Rimmer: “I decided to go with a somewhat generic name Rimmer Creative Group even though I was A) Not a group, and B) Not fond of calling myself creative. But I like the fact that this name means a lot to me (I love my family!) reflects my preference for creative work and that it leaves open the possibility of future growth. The word group also implied collaboration - which is a big part of who I am and what I want my business to be.”

As you can see, there isn’t one set way to choose a name for your business! It all depends on your personality, your organization, what you do, and your personal preferences. Thank you so much for to our awesome community for sharing your business-naming advice and experiences with others here in the E-Learning Heroes forums.

Do you want to read more about this and see what others had to say, or share your own story for how you chose your company name? Head on over to this discussion and join in! We’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for more e-learning advice every day!

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Kim Gillham