Choosing a name for your handyman or other service business can be a very difficult and time consuming task.
There are so many factors that you need to consider along with the fact that millions of handyman names are already taken.
However, I assure you that the time and effort are well worth it. This is not something you want to rush as it has such a large effect on your success as a handyman.
Here’s what to expect in this article:
- IMPORTANT things to consider when choosing the RIGHT handyman business name.
- An EASY method for coming up with a GREAT name.
Remember, the right handyman business name won’t make or break your handyman business, but it will have a significant effect. Having to overcome a bad business name takes a lot of marketing and you don’t want to have to go down that road.
Business Names and Marketing
Be recognizable. Choose a name that is unique and catchy so when people hear it, they want to know more. You want your business name to stick in their heads. Try to stay away from just using your name and putting “handyman services” after it. This won’t necessarily hurt your business, but it certainly won’t help. Unless your name happens to be Michael Jordan, pick something unique.
Pick a name that is easy to say and spell. If people can’t pronounce your name, they are much less likely to recommend your services. I know when I’m unsure how to say something, I avoid saying it at all costs. Being easy to spell is now more important than ever. The Internet is the place to do business these days and Google owns the Internet. If your customers can’t type your name into google correctly, then they may not find you.
Make a statement. An ideal business name tells what the product or service is. This can be especially important for a service type business. This doesn’t mean that you have to have the word handyman in your name, although it is a good idea if you can work it in. You could have a name such as HandyPRO and it will give people a good idea of what you do while being unique and memorable.
Relate it with your services. Are you specializing in a particular niche? If so, try to work something in that says what you specialize in. A good example of this is the franchise Shelf Genie. It’s pretty obvious what they do, they install shelves. Are you planning to target a very specific area? Let’s say you live in the suburb called Whispering Oaks in San Antonio. “San Antonio Handyman” would be a great business name, but it’s probably already taken. Instead, you may try “Whispering Oaks Handyman.” However, depending on how much you want to grow your handyman business, this could be restricting in the long run.
Is the domain name available? You are likely to benefit from a good domain name that matches your business name. In fact, I highly encourage you to read this article on how to choose a domain name before making a decision. This is going to restrict your name options significantly. When I was brainstorming names for my business, I would fall in love with a name only to find out that the URL wasn’t available. I eventually found one that I was happy with and the URL was available, but it took some time.
Will it resonate with your target market? Are your ideal customers going to like your new name? If you’re planning to target single mothers in their 30s and 40s, make sure you you pick a family friendly name. You don’t want to scare them away.
Also remember that you don’t have to appeal to everybody, just make sure your name appeals to somebody (your target market). Read Targeting the Right Customers for tips on how to choose profitable customers that you want to work with.
Choosing a Legal Handyman Business Name
In a perfect world, you would just go to a website, type in your desired business name, and it would tell you whether or not you could use that name. This website doesn’t exist which makes this process a pain in the ass.
I’ll try to make it as simples as possible for you. Please note that I’m not an attorney and this is not legal advice. This is only information I have gathered from my experience.
- Do a quick search on Google or whatever search engine you prefer by typing your desired business name in the search box. It’s usually a good idea to go through the first 3 pages of results and see if anything turns up.
- Go to the county clerks office and have them search the fictitious name database for your state.
- You may choose to do an unregistered trademarks search by visiting thomasnet.com and other similar websites. However, these are likely incomplete and will only give you a little more assurance your name isn’t taken.
- Check to see if your name is trademarked by going to the USPTO’s website here. If the name is trademarked you are better off not using it, however there are some situations where you can. If the company that trademarked that name has nothing to do with anything close to your industry and you would not compete with them, spoil their brand, or have any other negative effect on their brand, you can cautiously proceed forward. However, there are always risks when doing this. I would talk an attorney to make sure.
If you have cleared all the checks on this list, then chances are good that you will be fine using your new business name. Congratulations!
If you want to be extra safe, you should go talk to a patent and trademark attorney and have them do a more extensive search. If you want to lock down your new name and protect it from others using it, go have it trademarked. This is totally optional, though. If you are going to be running a single man operation and never plan to expand, trademarking is probably unnecessary.
Now that I’ve overwhelmed you with things to consider when choosing a business name, I’m going to attempt to make it easier. I didn’t say easy, I said easier. I’ve listed out some simple steps below for you to follow during your handyman business name brainstorming.
- List as many tools, materials, or other items that you will be working with on a daily basis. If you are going to focus on plumbing services, you may write down things such as pipe, wrench, solder, valve, gas line, or any other tool you can think of. For just a general handyman, hammer is a great word to incorporate into your business name.
- List any special services you will be offering. If you are planning to offer shelving, write down keywords that are strongly related to shelving such as shelf, bracket, storage, home organization, garage shelving, and anything else you can come up with.
- List any words that would be used to describe you or your business. Professional, experienced, quality, fast, speedy, quick, advanced, and service are some examples. Write everything down and don’t filter your thoughts. If something pops in your head, write it down.
- Now that you have a nice long list of keywords, run them through a thesaurus. You can find a thesaurus on google. Write down any good synonyms that you come up with from the thesaurus.
- Once you have a large list of words, start combining them and see if you can find something clever. Don’t be afraid to modify a word slightly or combine two words into a single word. If you get stuck, go look up other handyman business names for some inspiration. You’ll find that most handyman business names are pretty lame. Resist the urge to follow suite and try to stand out. Be different and you’ll be rewarded.
From this exercise, try to come up with at least 20 OK names that you may consider using. Run these 20 names by friends and family and see what happens. One of the names that you didn’t really like may inspire a friend to come up with a good name that you would have never thought of. Ask for feedback as well, but be careful taking feedback from somebody that isn’t in your target market.
It took me about a month to figure out my handyman business name. I had plenty of really good ideas, but most of them ended up being taken. Don’t get discouraged by this, because there are plenty of good names still out there. You just have to think outside the box.
Try to constantly be thinking of a business name and if you come up with an idea, WRITE IT DOWN! Type it into your iPhone, text it to yourself, whatever you have to do. Keep a running list of ideas to decide from, eventually you’ll figure out that name fits you, is inviting to customers, and stands out. This is how I finally arrived at my handyman business name.
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