Choosing a name for your business can be hard. It’s a permanent decision with a lot of ramifications, not to be taken lightly. Here’s the story of how we arrived at Dental Web Now.
When you start a new business, whether you’re a neophyte or an MBA, the only thing that is fairly certain is that there will be unforeseen challenges ahead, adventures in entrepreneurship. On top of determining a business plan, facilities, taxes, registrations, certifications, hiring employees and outsourcing, choosing a name can become challenging enough that many simply go with “Dentist” or their personal name! And if you’ve made it through dental school you’re likely a perfectionist on top of it all. So naming your practice can be a confusing foray into the sometimes unfamiliar world of marketing and branding.
There is wisdom in taking your time, in seeing how a business name evolves throughout initial planning, and considering several key factors. And in our case the process was probably made even more complicated by the fact that those providing input were all engineers and geeks. Add to that the fact that we kind of stumbled into our line of work after our founder simply helped a friend of his, who is a dentist. We found we enjoyed the work and could get unusual results given our collective backgrounds. So we found ourselves, all of a sudden, with three clients and more who wanted on, and no business name!
Of course, we wanted a name that conveyed what we do well, and in looking it over, realized it had to have more:
- It would have to convey that we’re focused on the dental industry.
- It should convey that we’re techies focused on marketing—particularly web marketing. An advisor suggested we not use “Web Marketing” as it had become a redundant term, just as “color television” now is.
- Our name could not of course already be trademarked or copyrighted elsewhere.
- The corresponding web address or a very close approximation of it should be available.
- So should the name be available on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- It should be easy to say, read, understand, and remember.
- While not a vital aspect, the name should be SEO-friendly, too.
- We—the team—should all be comfortable with it.
So we held a meeting. We might have loved something exotic like “Zentists,” but the moniker summarily died with an initial vote. So we applied the rules from 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. In our meetings, it’s okay to duke it out if for the sake of the team. There should be no special treatment given any one member and if you can back your position with data, so should we follow.
And I recall that meeting like it was yesterday. I thought I had some winners, honestly, to suggest, myself. I wanted a short name that showed we were techies: “iDDSpr,” and “DentalScript,” I suggested. (I was sure all who encountered “DentalScript” would understand it meant we employed Python Scripts, right up until one too many actual dentists had no idea what that meant! To each his own area of expertise and always keep your audience in mind when communicating!)
A former, brilliant team member (Judy) whom I wish was still with us, and who always did her homework, walked in and suggested “DentalWebNow” with a host of research to back it up, even the inclusion of the at first awkward “Now.” It passed a vote right away.
Today, several years later, we’re happy with it. It communicates what we do and how but also when. We’re focused on providing web marketing solutions today for your practice. Over time, of course, you have a chance to make your name more than a set of words and symbols. You build connotations and associations. You have a chance to create goodwill that can take on actual monetary value. But most of all, we are proud today to live up to the reputation we ourselves have established and which accompanies our name and our logo. Finding your name is always an exciting part of a startup, but raising it into an accurate and plentiful source of pride is, frankly, even better.