When to use your personal name: You are looking to build your language business around your language expertise (translator, interpreter, language consultant, etc.) and the main commodity is YOU. YOU are planning to continue providing the services yourself and make this your career for a long time. If this describes your aspirations, name the business with your name.
When to create a new name: If you have built a reputation using your name as a freelancer and now you’re considering crossing the chasm into an LSP, keep the following in mind before using your own name or creating a business name:
- Your long-term goals. If you want to grow your business and eventually sell it, you risk putting all of the brand equity on yourself rather than in your business. In the event of a merger or acquisition, you may need to stay with the new owner since the business is pretty much YOU.
- How big do you want to be? Using your own name for your business can make you look a bit too small and personal. In order to grow, you need to be perceived as a “legitimate business” rather than someone who can be bothered on a Saturday for a rush job.
- Who is your target market? If you are aiming your services to translation agencies or a market where translators are more attractive than businesses, you should continue using your own name. In these cases, keeping your name prevents you from coming across as a large firm. Using your own name can make you look more affordable, too.
How to choose a new name:
If you decide to create a new name for your business, make sure it has the following characteristics:
- True to the services your offer.
- Recognizable, different, and unique. They set you apart from the competition.
- Sustainable and durable.
- Flexible, so that you don’t have to re-design it every time something changes.
- Something that your company can commit to.
Do’s and Don’ts
Here is what you don’t want in a name:
- Something that is boring and common
- Something that is hard to pronounce or remember
- Something that might have negative connotations for a particular segment of your population
- Acronyms and inside jokes
Make sure the name of your translation business:
- Is memorable and noticeable
- Speaks about your services
- Engages customers
- Is unique
- Is appropriate and inoffensive
- Is web-ready