Your home inspection company name is so important and deserves some serious thought. First, you'll want to pick an inspection name that is easy, short and memorable. A simple name is always best because others are more likely to remember it and be able to easily recall your name when in a position to refer your services to others.
You'll want to think about growth and even exit strategy when naming your business. I know it may seem strange to be thinking about exiting the business with a name when you may be just starting out or feel you'd like to continue inspecting for many years to come. However, your business name can become one of your biggest assets when it does come time for you to exit the business and will greatly impact the value others will place on your business at that time. You will want to have a name that can be "branded". A name that you can market throughout your home inspection career. This is why I strongly discourage inspectors from naming their company after themselves personally! While this may seem like a good idea originally, it will dramatically reduce the branding effect you can achieve with another more generic name and will reduce the value your company will have down the road.
If your name is Bill Denison, for example, and you call your company Bill Denison Inspection Services Ltd., those using your services will know you as Bill Dension. While it is true that it's not a difficult name to remember when your company and your own name are the same, think about 5, 10, 15 years down the road when you decide to exit the business. You have spent years branding Bill Denison and once you are gone, what do you think Bill Dension Inspection Services Ltd. is really worth without Bill Denison? The answer is: not much! Sure, you may be able to sell your phone number to another inspection company for a few dollars so they can try to capture the calls that may still come in, but how is it going to go when the caller wants Bill Dension? After all, it's always been about Bill Denison.
If you had named your company with a generic, easy to remember name, lets just use "ABC Inspections" as an example, you could have spend those 5, 10, 15 years branding ABC Inspections. If your company has a good reputation, volume of calls and your printed material and website etc. all promote ABC Inspections, the ability to retain clients after Bill leaves the company is greater. The reason retaining clients is easier is because it's always been about ABC Inspection and what ABC Inspections can do for the client. When branding an inspection company under a name that can grow or continue to grow even after the founding inspector leaves, that inspector can leave with some serious financial reward for the company he has built.
We did this very successfully with our former inspection company and, under an easy simple company name, took a single inspector firm performing 3 inspections in his first week to a multi inspector firm performing over 1000 inspections a year in a very short time. When the business was sold over a decade after it began, it was a very profitable sale and the new owner benefited greatly from the name branding we had done during the time we owned it. The new owner stepped in and was able to enjoy continued success. This would have been much more difficult for the new owner if the company was originally named after the founding inspector.
Another way using a name that was not that of our founding inspector helped us was that when it became time to add other inspectors into the mix, we didn't experience the same resistance we would have if all our marketing had been branding an individual inspector. Customers did not think of only one inspector's name because our marketing (both print and online) marketed a company, not an individual.
Branding a company successfully for growth means looking at everything from your business cards, brochures, mailings, website etc. to ensure the emphasis is on the company "we" "us" "our" rather than "I" and "my". While the inspector should personally have a business card with his or her own name on it, there should also be generic cards (as soon as you become a multi-inspector firm) that promote the company without the name of any particular inspector listed. These generic company cards are the ones you should use to brand your company through your marketing. It is these cards (without the inspectors name) that should be used in mailings or left in places like real estate offices, mortgage brokers or anywhere you have a brochure/card stand.
If you send out a personal letter to someone, of course insert your personal card, but if you are including other cards for them to pass out to potential customers, it really is effective for a company interested in branding their name to use cards without a specific inspector's name or where the branding places higher emphasis on the company name than the inspector's name. This is very important as soon as you have even one more inspector in the mix. This is extremely important when you really become a multi-inspector firm and/or are looking at an exit strategy.
Lets say, for a minute, that this all sounds great if you were just starting out, but maybe you have already named your company after yourself, what then? I would recommend changing it and starting to immediately market the new name. For the first while, note "formerly known as Bill Dension Inspections" on your marketing material. If it is not feasible for you to change the name of your corporation, then I recommend developing a tag line or acronym that you can use on all marketing material in place of your own name. You can still show your legal name somewhere in smaller text on your material but the heading and emphasis should be on the tag line or acronym.
Here's what I mean....Bill Denison Inspection Services Ltd. could market as "BD Inspection Services". With a tag line of "Best Delivered Home Inspections" BD Inspection Services is short, easy to remember, especially with the tag line BEST DELIVERED utilizing the BD. If this company was built up and branded well at the time Bill Denison decided to exit the business, the new owner would be paying for the BD Inspection Services, Best Delivered Inspections name and would definitely value that higher from a financial standpoint.
So, give some serious thought to a company name. Once you have one you're comfortable with, brand it well and when you are ready, it will be there to serve you well as you grow and expand your business. Then, when the day comes for you to move on, you can enjoy the added financial benefit a well branded inspection company can provide.
Canspec Home Publishing