Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Would a company have better market appeal with a generic name (ABC Company).
Would you be able to sell your customer base with a name like Jane Doe Company?
Any thoughts?
Brenda
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Make it personal if you can. ABC works if you are part of a national chain.

Ask yourself who you would call. DEF plumbing or Mom and Pop? Depends on your targeted clients.

Judgement call.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Here, filing for a fictious name costs $28.00 and has to be in the newspaper for 2 wks. Not much for a new business. That's the newspaper cost BTW.
If you use your name, say Brenda Smith, DBA, Brenda Smith Wallpapering, you circumvent that fee.
You will have to go to your local licensing dept. to get the details for your area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,265 Posts
I don't know of any hard evidence that points either way. Clearly there are many success stories on both sides of the issue. It seems to me that the contracting community has at least an affinity for seeing their own names on display - if not an obsession. I'm of the thought that most people have only an interest in seeing their own names. Putting my own name in front of a potential client seems to me little contribution towards the effort to persuade them to hire me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
People choose company names for alot of reasons. I did market research and tried to answer the #1 and #2 complaints of residential consumers in my area when I chose my name. #1 is tat most contractors are not reliable, infact contractors rate #3 (recently moved from #2 spot) as the most complained about industry. #2 is there are alot of immigrants and there is a communication barrier.

Interesting fact. Most of the major companies in my industry (roofing) are all named after a person, or appear to be named after a person. I know one guy who made up a fake name (Adams) to get in the top of the yellow pages.

If you are doing residential work I think the name means alot. If you are doing commercial your name can be anything. It's the $$$ that talks.

Just like Pipe said above there are success stories on both sides of the issue. i think it is the business management that means more than the business name... I do also think the business name matters. It just depends on your focus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Here we have AAAAwhatever just to get at the top of the listings. I just figure that they are desperate. I'm swamped and turning down 6-8 jobs a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
My husband chose a geographical area as the name of the company. Since then, he's gotten divorced, remarried, and moved twice ... so, for us it has been a challenge to target our local area for business with a name that implies we are located elsewhere!
 

·
Repair/Remodeling Tech.
Joined
·
1,645 Posts
Change Names...it surely doesn't cost enough to justify the savings, especially if you're losing work over it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Brenda said:
Would a company have better market appeal with a generic name (ABC Company).
What do you mean by market appeal? - if you mean a wider appeal then the answer is hands down, don't name your company after yourself. John Smith contracting - tells everybody that you are a small shop, probably one man. Is that bad, not necessarily, but it depends on your goals. If you want to be nown around town as the local guy then you have done it. Most people associate companies named after the owner as small. A generic name is generic and therefore gives little to preconcieve what the company size is, other than the name it self being descriptive. Look to the national brands you walk into and buy from everyday. Do you go to Walmart or do you go to Sam Walton's Discount Store? Look at the success of national franchises you are going to find almost all are what you are calling "generic" names.

(The real question here should be do you not use a personal name, but should you use a generic name or a descriptive one.) I personally feel that anybody not using a descriptive name is totally missing the boat and setting their marketing up to be so much harder. What's easier for a consumer to instantly get what you do - Dependable Co inc. or Dependable Plumbing Co inc. If you don't have what you do in your name you are missing it big time.

Self named companies work great for niche services that require a personal touch, such as those that require art or design. Susan Stanford Interior Design is superior to Top Notch Interior Design, because people have a notion already about interior design that they will be working with a designer on a one on one basis, the designers personality and experiences are what they are paying for. Troy Johnson Plumbing carries none of this because the plumbing field isn't seen that way.

Brenda said:
Would you be able to sell your customer base with a name like Jane Doe Company?
Any thoughts?
Brenda
You are going to have to elaborate a bit more in exactly what you mean by sell your customer base. Anybody can sell a customer base, it is just a list of names and addresses. Are you talking about selling the company and passing it on to the new owners without the customer base being effected by the new ownership?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Changing names can work wonders.
My only business that has not changed is Advanced Marine Systems.
I started out in construction as 'smalljobs,LTD.'. Unfortunately, I was thinking as a contractor, the public viewed it as a handyman business. In retrospect, the current name sounds more like a law firm but I'm too old to worry about that now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
I went the catchy thoutful way.

My company is ppmc - Professional Painting And Minor Carpentry-

I am putting up billboards with just this

CALL

WWW.PPMC.BIZ

DAVE

In my eyes everyone will go there out of curiosity and then remember sub-consciuosly that call dave is what to do when you want a paint job.


Within a year I want 4 billboards tageted in money areas and after 2 years ppl will be at a bbq and talking to there friends and say hey homer I was thinking about painting my house,and hopefully if homer has not had a reputable paint job he will say call dave.

And I am trying to get my number changed to -call dave-also.

Good luck. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
I agree with most of what Mike said, but here is where I disagree... Yes naming your company by a persons name gives the perception that it is small, but with proper marketing you can convince many different areas that you are "the neighborhood guy".

Hey True story here... I was bidding a monsterous roof job, I think it's $20,000 job and that' sjust half the house. I came in and did what I always do. I found out I was bidding against one of the bviggest companies in the city, which is named after a person's name and has been around I think 80 years. At the time I was a one man shop, very small indeed. During my sales presentation the customer told me:

"I don't think I want to go with Named Roofing. I would prefer to go with a big company like yours."

After the presentation was over I called up one of my buddies and told him. I was shocked and amazed. It was the first time I realized my marketing efforts to appear big were paying off. I get people calling me quite often and in conversation they ask if we are a big company. My answer almost always is, "we are small enough to care and big enough to get the job done right the first time."
 

·
Back from the dead...
Joined
·
6,646 Posts
I had my company named about 12 yeas ago, Ace Paperhanging. Even had a logo and shirts, etc. designed in my head. I figured I was an ace, and it would get me close to top billing in the yellow pages. My sister is a commercial artist, and surprised me on my birthday with 1000 business cards, and a logo and layout of shirts, hats, signs, etc. on a floppy disc. They read 'Professional Wallpaper & Painting'. I said what the heck, and dropped the 'ing' from the end, and the rest is history. According to this thread, I got real lucky. My name tells what we do (wallpaper/paint) and how we do it (professionally).
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top