How to decide on a name for your VA business

How to decide what to call your Virtual Assistant business

So you’ve decided to go ahead and become a Virtual Assistant. You know who your target market is, what services you’re going to offer and you’re all ready to get going…  all you need now is to decide what to call your business. Of course, this is easier said than done! So exactly how do you decide on your company name?

Deciding what to call your business can actually be quite tricky and not just a little bit stressful.

On one hand it’s a formality and you just need to get going, and on the other hand you need to decide so you can sort out your website, logo and business cards. If you get it wrong then it can be costly, people might be confused as to what you actually do, and you might change your business/focus/location later and have to completely rebrand. Not ideal.

So how do you decide on a company name?

Well there are a few different routes you can go down:

Use your own name

I personally chose this option and I went for Munro PA Services rather than Munro VA Services as I felt that most people knew what a PA was, each of my clients would see me as their own ‘Personal’ Assistant (I also offered diary and travel management when I set up) and it did the job for what I needed so I could get my damned business launched!

Using your own name might not work so well if you want to expand or sell your business later, but it’s quite a good option overall. Even if your SEO isn’t top notch yet, your website would still get found if your website copy explains what you do and where you do it.  Plus you’ll mainly be giving out your business card or directing people to your site yourself in the beginning anyway rather than relying on being found through Google.

By using my own name I’ve also implied that it’s just me. I could say ‘we’ on all my website copy, but I do work by myself and don’t want to give the impression that there’s a team of people when there isn’t. I hate it when people do that personally – I can see it’s just you so why are you saying ‘we’? Don’t start off by lying.

Use a generic name

There are many companies who just use a generic name where you don’t really know what they do. But they are mainly massive global corporations who can afford for it not to matter

Spell it out

By having the words of the main service or benefit you offer such as Admin, Secretarial, Office, Decluttering etc in the company name you’re telling people exactly what you do and also giving search engines a helping hand. So you could mix either of the above options like I did.

Questions to consider

  • What services are you going to offer? Having the words Admin or Transcription in the title is no good if you later change your niche
  • Virtual Assistant or Personal Assistant? You can interchange them in the text of your website obviously, but you’re stuck with what you pick if you choose one for your actual company name
  • Does anyone else already have the name and is it similar to something dodgy like a porn site or another completely unrelated and undesirable business?
  • Can people tell what you do for a living?
  • Are you going to have a tagline? My Munro PA Services one was actually given to me by a networking friend when I was explaining what I did for people. He said “blimey, there just isn’t an app for what you do” and lo, a tagline was born!

What you DON’T want to do

  • Choose a name that you always have to spell or explain to people.
  • Go for something too cutesy or you won’t be taken seriously.
  • Choose a pun or a play on words unless it really is incredibly genius and will stand the test of time. I once saw a VA called Magnum PA and I thought that was ace.
  • Have an inappropriate website URL? Pen Island translated as penisland.com which is NOT good!
  • Listen to 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.
  • Choose something that won’t translate well to a logo.
  • Make it location-specific if you think you might move to another town one day!

My DIY VA course covers all this and everything else you need to set up your own VA business

6 Comments

Gill Pipkin

Thank you Jo for all the advice – I am hoping to set up as a VA shortly and have most of the details sorted (what sort of work I am able to offer, how much to charge etc) but am really struggling with a name that does what it says on the tin without being too smaltzy. I like the idea of using your own name, but Pipkin reminds people of the childrens’ TV characters and I always get ‘How sweet’ – not exactly the professional image I want to project!

Reply
Joanne Munro

Haha! Yu could still always use yourname.com as the URL then call your business what you like. They don’t have to be the same, then you can change your business name later if you like. x

Reply
Dan Smith

Nice post Jo. Would also suggest some keyword research as well. Doesn’t help as much as it used to in a domain name but this together with some on page optimisation for said keywords will give you a boost in the serps for sure.

Reply
Joanne Munro

Hi Naomi, the answer is quite a long one but if you post the question in the VA Handbookers Facebook group (link in the sidebar) I can reply properly there. The answer would also be useful to the other members you see.

Reply

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