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Question added to topic Starting a BusinessSeptember 26, 2007

What's in a name?

If you are in business for government contracting, is it necessary to include those words in your business name?
Contrary to popular assumption, business names rarely exist outside of contextual support. Can you name an instance where your name alone has to explain what you do, how you do it, and why you're better at it than your competitors? Wal-Mart isn't a specialty store that sells wall coverings. How does a sign that says The Gap tell us they sell shirts and pants? And I strongly suspect that Virgin Airlines has employees and passengers that aren't virgins. Bottom line: Names are highly overated. In the grand list of things that contribute to the success of a business, names are down near the bottom. Put your energy into something that will create a reputation so that your name will actually stand for something in the mind of your prospective customer.

Paige Arnof-Fenn is the founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a strategic-marketing consulting firm whose clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as early stage and emerging businesses.

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