So, you’re in the process of setting up your Virtual Assistant business but now you’re stuck on the part where you have to decide what to call yourself. Yeah, we’ve all been there and that’s because it’s a really hard decision to make! There are actually a few routes you could go down, so let’s look at these in more detail.
How to decide what to call your Virtual Assistant business
Because there are various different routes you could go down when it comes to naming your Virtual Assistant business I’ve broken them down into the most common categories to make it easier for you to decide.
I’ve also outlined the pros and cons of each option, provided some examples of each and also shared some real-life VA business names from members of my Facebook group.
Here are the various options available to you.
Using your own name
I personally chose this option. I went for Munro PA Services rather than Munro VA Services though as I thought that in 2009 most people would know what a PA was whereas they may not have heard of a VA.
Also, I chose to call myself a Freelance PA as I wanted my clients to view me as their own ‘personal’ assistant and because I offered diary and lifestyle concierge services at the time.
Tbh, I just wanted to get my business launched and it was an easy option.
I think that most VAs use a variation of their own name – usually their surname – as it’s simple and personal. Your own name will also work well if you can use it as a fun play on words.
Using your own name may not work so well if you later want to expand your business and become an agency or if you get married and change your name. But it’s quite a good option overall.
Using a random name
There are many Virtual Assistants that go with a generic name (like Blue Banana) and, while this is a totally viable option, it may not feel personal to you and you may become sick of having to explain the name to people.
Also, being constantly met with blank or confused faces at networking events may make you want to throw yourself off a cliff after a year or two.
Using your location or something personal
Some VAs use their location (country, city, town etc) as part of their business name. I’ve also seen many VAs incorporate a word or phrase with a personal meaning such as the name of their child or pet, their favourite flower or even a religious or cultural significance.
I think these are great options unless you later move to another location, obvs!
Spelling it out
Some Virtual Assistants have the words of a service, benefit or client pain point in their business name. Examples of these would be the words Admin, Secretarial, Office, Time, Busy, Help, Assistance, etc.
This option is a great way of spelling out exactly what you do and how you help however if you ever change your services or niche/focus, then you may need to change your name and/or rebrand.
PA or VA?
As mentioned, I called my business Munro PA Services rather than Munro VA even though I didn’t offer PA-focused services. I considered changing it later on when I started to focus on more techie services but I didn’t bother in the end.
There were a couple of reasons for this:
- Even though my site clearly said that I specialised in techie services, I received (and still receive) enquiries about all sorts of things. My business name doesn’t seem to matter.
- I couldn’t be ars*d with the hassle of changing it and rebranding.
So, don’t worry about getting it “wrong” because it hasn’t affected my business one bit.
Be careful of:
- Choosing a name that you always have to spell or explain to people. On one hand, it’s a good conversation starter but on the other, you may tire of it after the billionth time.
- Opting for something too cutesy as you may not be taken seriously.
- Choosing a pun or a play on words unless it’s going to stand the test of time. I once saw a VA called Magnum PA which I thought was ace but if someone doesn’t remember the TV show Magnum PI, then the pun is kinda lost on them.
- Having an inappropriate website URL. Pen Island translated as penisland.com which is NOT good!
- Listening to the opinions of everyone around you. Run your shortlist past friends and family and note their feedback by all means, but remember that it’s your business and your decision.
- Taking so long to decide that you fail to get started.
What other VAs named their business and why
Every few weeks I ask members of my VA Handbookers Facebook group what their business name is and how they came up with it. These are saved to the Guides section of the group if you ever need a bit of inspiration.
As these random examples show, they are all combinations of the options I’ve just outlined.
“My company is called Flamingo VA. When I left my old corporate job, my boss gave me a card that read, “Be a Flamingo in a flock of pigeons”.
He said that when he spotted that card in the shop, he immediately thought of me, which I took as a huge compliment. When I came to name my business it was such an obvious choice and Flamingo VA was born!”
“Dextra VA. Dextra is Latin for right hand, which is exactly what I feel I am for my clients. My name is way too long, and I am not keen on using just initials.”
“Dragon Virtual Assistants is my homage to Anne McCaffrey there were no other contenders, I decided in about 10 minutes!”
“Simply my name – Claire Goyer, VA Services. I did think of others (The Lemon Tree VA as I have a huge lemon tree in my garden in Spain and often work under it) but in the end, I went with the easy option. Not to say that I may rebrand in the future, but for now, it’s all good.”
“My business name is Fabulously Organised Life. It just felt like it describes how I can make a difference.”
“Mine is Stable Admin. I specialise in equestrian admin and event planning but also do normal admin for non-equestrian companies. I felt the name didn’t indicate I was just equine. I try to keep a country-style feel to what I do as I mainly deal with rural companies.”
“My company name is Vivo Va… Vivo means ‘Life’ in Esperanto, and the whole point of me becoming a VA was to create balance in my life.”
“I used my initials and got VMVA. Tried others, but kept coming back to this one. Nice and simple I guess!”
“I started off with my local area in my business name but changed it to reflect music and synergy when I decided to focus on that niche – I’m now In Harmony VA.”
“Mine is “Salataris”, which actually has nothing to do with my name (that was just an added bonus). I searched for Latin words for words relating to what I do, and Salataris is Latin for Useful, Helpful & Advantageous. Which is what I want to be to my clients.”
“Mine is A Virtual Presence Online Business Support. I’ve had it for over 3 years now, but wish I had chosen something else. You would be amazed how many people can’t spell presence and it’s a PITA to spell it out when I tell people my email!
I am thinking of rebranding in the near future, although tbh, clients don’t really care what you call yourself as long as you can do the work, in the same way that we don’t care what they call themselves as long as they give us the work!”
Does it matter what you call your VA business?
On the one hand, your business name is a formality and you just need to get going, and on the other hand, you kinda need to decide so you can sort out your website, logo and business cards.
However, I personally don’t think your business name matters that much because:
1) Google knows what your website is about because of the content in it and not because of your URL or business name. I explain more about this in my free website set-up course.
2) At first, people will find you because you give them your business card or the URL of your LinkedIn profile or website via email.
3) Later people will find you via word of mouth, while networking, on social media or by typing something like “admin help (location)” into Google – because that’s how we all find stuff on the internet.
3) Many VAs rebrand later down the line anyway. I can promise you that in a few years, your business will not look anything like it does now.
You may decide you want your brand to be more classy or fun or minimalist or funky or sophisticated etc or you may want to better reflect a niche industry or service you have settled on.
Rebranding is extremely common and how you set your business up is not (nor should it be) how it will stay forever.
What if your business name is already taken?
In the UK, unless you are a limited company and registered with Companies House, you can have the same business name as someone else.
I’ve seen tons of Busy Bee VA’s for example but only one of them will have nabbed the website domain name. So you can quite happily have your website URL as yourname.com and your business name as something completely different.
Again, I explain more about this in my free website set-up course.
It’s your decision
I cannot tell you the number of people in my Facebook group who ask the other members what they think of this or that name or what they should call their business.
And I give the same answer each time:
“You may have seen me say this before but it actually doesn’t matter – what you call yourself is just a formality and you can always change it later if you want to. I know many VAs who have rebranded later and this is why I recommend you have your name as your website URL and not the name of your business.
You will need to make 1000 decisions as a business owner so I think it’s good to get into the habit as soon as you can.
Women, in particular, seem to need feedback and validation, but your opinion is the only one that matters. You could ask 100 people and they would all give you a different answer – what do YOU want to go with?
You’re now at an exciting time in your life when you finally get to make all your own decisions – it’s YOUR business and therefore it’s totally YOUR call.
Just make sure you don’t delay getting your name out there and getting the work in just because you’re stuck as to what to call yourself.
People do business with people. They will do business with you because of your skills and your personality and because of the value you bring. They won’t care one bit what your business is called.”
There are a lot of capitals in my comment but you get my point.
If I told you what to call your VA business or what services to offer or what colour your branding should be then it would be my business and not yours.
Don’t wait for perfect
I’ve seen many of my trainees spend ages agonising over what to call their Virtual Assistant business when they were actually using it as a stalling tactic.
They were waiting for ‘perfect’ which actually doesn’t exist. Anywhere. Ever.
VAs are extremely detail-orientated which makes us great at our jobs but it can hinder us when it comes to running our own business and making decisions.
So, you may not get your business name right first time or straight away but don’t stress over it. Just make sure you’re not using it as a delaying tactic.
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