For Doctors: Picking The Right Business Name

When doctors go into business, there is a lot of new ground to cover. You know and love medicine, but business, that’s a whole new ball game.

One of the things many doctors get stuck on is the name of their new venture.

What should I call it? What sounds right?

They waste a lot of time trying to pick the right one, then thinking about trademarking or registering that name etc. That’s a lot to get stuck on before you even begin.

This is a problem because if you don’t get things right in the early stages, it could significantly slow you down, suck up time and money and lead to a speedy end to your business dreams. While the wrong name may confuse potential clients, attract the wrong ones or even be totally ignored by the right ones.

After being a doctor in business for over 10 years now, I’ve come up with dozens of businesses and names. Some of them great and some terrible ones. I’ve learnt that there are two major considerations to address when picking a name (number 2 is my favourite):

1 – Make it descriptive.

The trouble doctors have is that most of the companies you deal with are large international conglomerates which have those generic names like Pfizer, OtoNexus, RasLabs, Little Sparrows.

Reading over these you’ll probably have no idea what they do (except for Pfizer). It means nothing to the person seeing it unless you’ve been exposed to their millions of dollars worth of marketing. If you’re not Google then you can’t spend millions of dollars on brand awareness and you can’t afford to have a generic name. Instead, it needs to be clear and stand out to your ideal clients.

The more specific the better. Something that describes what you do or the benefits to the clients. For example, one of the businesses I’ve run for many years now is an online education company which helps people prepare for and pass the medical school entrance exam called the GAMSAT.

We help people pass the GAMSAT. So our company is called “PassGAMSAT.” And the program we sell is called the PassGAMSAT Bootcamp. Simple and clear.

When you read it, you know exactly what we do and it speaks to our ideal client.

Another good example are the false eyelashes called the 3 Second Lashes. These are false eyelashes that use lightweight magnets rather than glue to attach to the eyelids. It means no more long laborious and usually painful (so I hear) application of lashes, instead, it takes only 3 seconds. Hence the name, 3 Second Lashes.

You want to arouse curiosity in your ideal client. Make them think, this is something for me, let’s find out more.

At the same time, you don’t want it to be tacky like the 3 second lashes.

So find a middle group – something descriptive and professional.

So ask yourself, what is the main benefit your offer? What problem does your service/product solve? What do they get out of using it? Then use that as part of the name. Keep it short and simple.

That was the first aspect to picking a name, however, the second is far more important. Without this second component, there will be no business.

2 – Help someone.

One of the biggest mistakes doctors make in business when they first begin is they fuss over the name before they even get started. My wife and I were once thinking of starting a business which created webinars for people – those online presentations with a product offer at the end of it.

We were getting fantastic results on webinars. However, at the exact same time there were at least 3 others in the same industry starting to teach some form of webinar presentation skills. So we were on the back foot compared to the them. We spent too long thinking and weren’t fast enough in implementation. Also we realised that we didn’t enjoy writing webinars for others. So that business didn’t go very far.

Speed to start, and having paying clients, is more important than the name.

The business name means nothing unless you can help someone with what you do in your business.

The name will change multiple times and that’s ok. You may not get it right the first time and you don’t need to. What you do need to do is find people who you can help and who want to pay you for your product or service.

It should happen the other way around. Get the business started first, talk to someone you can help as quickly as you can, even before you have a name. Sign up a few clients right away. That’s how I like to start all my businesses and it’s how I started my business coaching program for doctors.

I had a feeling that medical professionals wanted our help. So I sold my program before I had a name for it. I just described what it did and then made up a name later. The funny thing is, nobody cared. They wanted my program for what it did for them rather than for the name. They were interested in how being part of the program would help them acheive their goals and dreams. I could have called it almost anything, as long as it they knew the benefits of it.

When it comes to the name of your business, apply the above two steps and you’ll have what you need to get the name right, but more importantly, you’ll hopefully get the business started much more quickly and successfully than you would otherwise.

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Tomasz Forfa

Tomasz Forfa

Dr Tomasz Forfa is an Australian Doctor-Entrepreneur whose purpose is to transform the face of Australian Medicine for the better. His vision for the future is one where Doctors are unafraid to push beyond the limits of their profession and break through the confines of the medical industry’s traditional methods and ways of thinking.