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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I am in a pickle. I have decided to go out on my own, but before I quit my full time job I wanted to get everything sorted out. I have read multiple books and watched videos with everything from sales, to marketing, to business, to running a contracting business. I have taken my test (and passed), and now I need to get the business end of it finished.

For months now I have been trying to think of a company name. EVERYTHING is taken:censored:. My last name is for some is hard to pronounce, so I don't want to use that. I also plan in the beginning to only build decks, screened porches, etc. but maybe down the road get into finishing basements and maybe more, if times get slow.

I have read all the post about business names and what not, but I had a few questions for you guys with experience in the business.

1. Should I pick a name with decks in it, so people know what I do and build? Will that get too confusing if I end up doing more than decks down the road?

2. Is it a big deal if someone in a different state has the same company name? How does that affect my web results, facebook, and whatever else customers use to find a company?

3. Any suggestions on figuring out a catchy, elegant (want to stick out to high end customers), and an all around good name? How did yours come to you (to those who didn't use their names)

Also, am I thinking too hard into this? I will type a name into the Kansas business name availability and it will come up available, but when I google the name there are always at least one, usually more, companies with the same name.

To make this post go on even further!:whistling It will also be an LLC. I could do something like "x" Contracting Ind. and have a deck company listed under that, and if I ever do end up doing more, also start another company under the x contracting entity. I would have to talk to my lawyer about how that all works, but there are a few companies around here that do that.

Thank you for taking the time to read all that, and for your helpful comments!
 

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stacker of sticks
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Get an llc in what ever name you want, then get a dba under the llc, so you can have your deck company, but if you end up wanted to change your name it's 35 buck
 

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1. I would go with a more general name. You'll have a tough time convincing anybody you can finish a basement if you are a deck company. And you definitely couldn't charge top dollar.

Put DECKS in huge letters. Put pictures of decks. Put your business name in fine print at the bottom.

2. It's not easy, but keep working at it until you find something unique. You definitely want to get a good URL. You don't want to be the .net guy. You don't want to be the contractingbydavewesternohio.com guy. You shouldn't have to explain your web address. It should be your company's name with a .com on the end. That just instantly adds to your credibility.

3. Pick something that is easy to spell, pronounce, and remember. Imagine your next potential customer is not a native English speaker. You don't want to be Dave's Residential Appurtenance Construction. Go with something easy. Remember that a lot of people will have to write your name on a check. If the name you want is taken, throw in an adjective. How about "Big Red Hammer Construction"? I checked it. bigredhammer.com is available. Then your logo is a big red hammer. How easy is that? Or if you seriously want to go high end, slip in the word "fine" or "luxury".

I think it's more important to have an easy, memorable name than one that educates the public about what you do. What does Apple sell? How about Target? You wouldn't guess from their names.
 

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And when you come up with what you think is a good name, test it on a bunch of people to be sure. After you say it in your head a thousand times, of course YOU'LL think it's easy to remember.
 

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Use the handle name you have for this forum. Decking Out, that sounds cool to me. Print T shirt out with your name, but the entire shirt will be like a 3 piece suit.
Don't be normal. have a name that stands out and is welcoming to customers. if your just doing decks for contractors, then it wont matter. Specialty Contractors get good at a few things. Nothing wrong with that, and those guys can make a lot of money. focus on that. when you feel doing decks and fences is getting easy and your ready to branch out then do so, at that point most everyone will know who you are and what your about. but as far as catching the eye of someone searching through the phone book for deck installers. your name will have to stick out.
some names:
Deck Rabbits
The Deck Fairies (wear pink shirts with wings printed on the back) not joking
Dream Decks
The Deck Dudes
The Deck Militia (wear camouflage shirts)

this sounds stupid, but people will remember you. Good or Bad work
 

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When I came up with my name I thought about what service I was providing my customers and not what I was building. I didn't want my company name to limit me. If I called it "Decks by Joe" I wouldn't be top on someone's mind when they wanted a finished basement, but something like "Transformations" would not limit you. My tag line on my business card explains what I do. I'm no marketing genius, but like it was said you don't know what Target is by the name. The way I see it my brand is built by reputation. If I do great work my customers advertise for me. Doesn't mean anything if I have the best name and snazziest website if I can't deliver.


Good luck!
 

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if you build decks I would have DECKS in your name...im big on having WHAT you DO be in your name...someone should see your name and instantly know what you do for a living

you should decide on a Niche market......one that brings in high end clients.....you choose your customers..they don't choose you.....your name and advertising is one of the main ways you choose your customer......

a name like Economy Deck builders will get one type of customer
a name like Exclusive Deck Builders will get a completely different type of customer

once you pick the market or niche coming up with a name will be easier

I also have a horrible last name....it would have been my first choice because having your last name in your company name typically means quality...you stand behind your own name!

I chose a large city nearby as my company name....it makes me look like ive been in business forever....it also makes it easy to be #1 on search engines for the city....problem im finding is people 30 minutes away don't want to hire me because they assume I only work in the large city my company is named for....its turned into a negative for what I want to do....

whatever you do don't pick AAA Decking
 

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If you want to get into multiple lines of work, you can do it different ways. You could have Dave's Construction and Montenegro Decks as two separate business. You could have Dave's Construction dba Montenegro Decks. You could have Montenegro Decks (a division of Dave's Construction). You could name the product a "Montenegro Deck" by Dave's Construction.

I think it makes a lot more sense to have decks as a division of a construction company than to have basement refinishing as a division of a deck company.

And don't count on the website to drive much business. All the referral services do aggressive SEO and dominate the search results. Word of mouth is still king. Everybody else is reading reviews before they even go to your site.

For a small business today, a website is basically just a business card. People can pass it around and use it to look up your contact info. This is important, but unless you offer something truly unique or high end that needs a lot of explaining, it's just an online business card.

There is no law saying your URL has to be the same as your business name. You can have as many URL's as you want and have them point to the same place. Register montenegrodecks.com, davescontruction.com, and bigredhammer.com and have them all point to the same place.

Too much glam will scare away some people. I take a contrarian approach to advertising. A simple, one-page website is all you need. If it looks a little amateurish, that's okay. It makes you look down to earth and affordable. But, as huggytree said, you pick your customers. If you want to build a deck for Steve Jobs, spend as much as you can afford on the website.
 

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I'm in a similar situation as OP but I've already been establishing my brand for the past four years. It's not a major concern for me as I've got a generalized brand but I believe strongly in developing a specialized company. I just didn't know what specialty would suit this market when I started up.

My advice would be to choose a simple name and then add your specialty to it once you've really built up your rep for that product. Being able to diversify when you are starting up helps keep the work steady. Keep your eye on the prize and always be marketing your specialty.

Example:
Company name: XYZ
All purpose name: XYZ Remodeling
Specialty names: Decks by XYZ
XYZ Basements
Etc.
 

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Can anyone honestly say that your business name was even a minor factor in the success or failure of your business?

I know of companies with the most generic names that probably took about 30 seconds of thought (like "joe blow concrete construction" or "decks and more" or "m&m manufacturing" that are known locally as the premier supplier or contractor for their trade.

I also have known of plenty of businesses with names like "rock star construction" or "top hand framing" or "blue ribbon custom homes" that had great logos and colors and slogans and truck lettering to go with the name, and were a complete joke of a company.

Don't overthink it, is all I'm saying.
 

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Talking Head
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Can anyone honestly say that your business name was even a minor factor in the success or failure of your business?
:laughing: Actually, I can. When I first moved to RI the real estate market was in free fall and I started my remodeling company with a name designed to capitalize on marketing to customers who were interested in increasing the curb appeal on their "for sale" homes and not spending a lot of money. That customer turned out to be even cheaper than I could imagine and I ended up back in medium-high end construction. I had a couple professional contacts say that they were referring me but getting a negative reaction to my business name. So I changed it.

If you're great at what you do, you will eventually get recognized for it. People will trust a name if that's all they have to work with. If someone does a search for deck builder's and they see: M&M General Contractors, Dilbert's Remodeling and The Quality Deck Co., which one do you think they're most likely to call first? I'm ranked highly for several types of construction on Google and, if I'm the FIRST call they make, I'm frequently the ONLY call they make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you everyone for your helpful advice! I've figured out a couple names that I think my work. I'm going to run them by friends and family to help narrow it down.

I think what I will do is have a company llc name like "xyz" industies llc, then build up from there, making a dba name for decking and if demand/work gets slow I'll get one for framing, basements, remodels..whatever I feel I can make work the best

I appreciate any info I can shove into this little brain of mine, so please keep your advice coming!
 
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