When starting a new business one of the things people have to consider is their dog walking business name. In this post I want to look at some of the factors you should consider. Hopefully you can then consider which may apply to your circumstances so that you don’t later regret your decision.
Dog Walking Business Name – The Usual Candidates
When you look at what people tend to call their business the results generally fall into one of a few categories.
- Using your name in your business name. It’s quite common to see businesses with names like ‘Sarah’s Pet Services’ or ‘Harry’s Happy Hounds’.
- Using your location in your business name. This is what I did when I picked Northampton Dog Walker. Again there are some pros and cons to this that I will discuss later.
- Picking a generic name like Happy Paws, The Dogfather, Paws on Patrol etc.
In deciding on the name most people probably only consider whether there is someone else locally with a similar name and whether the domain name is available (should they plan on having a website). I would like to throw some other considerations into the mix which are admittedly more long term considerations.
Dog Walking Business Name – Long Term Considerations
In all the excitement of starting your new pet services business you probably aren’t thinking about 5-10 years down the line. However life has a habit of changing and some changes can have an impact on your business.
Let’s assume you have used your name in the name of the business. You are Harry’s Happy Hounds and you have built up a good selection of clients and your website ranks highly in Google so you are not short of new enquiries. You decide on a complete career change or due to ill health you have to give up walking dogs. An established business with top ranking website is worth money. You could just sell your client list to another local business and it would have some value. The value however would be less than the clients and the top ranking website combined which ensures future enquiries too. Someone called Mark or Claire is more likely to want to buy an established name like Paws on Patrol than they are Harry’s Happy Hounds. Using your own name for the business does limit it’s resale value.
Moving on to using your location in the business name. What possible considerations could there be? In the event you decide to sell your business you should find you have a good selection of potential buyers. If the website is attractive and ranks at the top of Google it will appeal to lots of other local dog walkers, especially those new to the business who are struggling to establish themselves. Buying such a business gives them the existing client database, the top ranking website and all the goodwill and positive reviews built up by the previous owner. The only downside to consider is if you decide to move to a new location but continue being a dog walker. In such cases you probably need to sell your existing business and start again in your new location with a new name, new website and no positive reviews. I did consider this myself but it did not put me off using the location in the dog walking business name. In my case I have the website building experience and know I could start again and have a top ranking website very quickly in a new geographical area. Yes I would have to build up the reviews again but I’ve always enjoyed the process of building a business from nothing. I appreciate my circumstances are not typical however and most people don’t look forward to starting from scratch.
Finally picking a generic name may give you the best of both worlds. Should you decide to switch careers the business will have value to someone else. You can sell the client database and business name to someone locally. Alternatively you can sell the client database to someone locally and sell the website and business name to someone in a completely different location. Changing a business address on the website and on social media is simple. A website with good domain authority should start ranking in a new location quite quickly once Google understands that the location has changed. It also might be the best option to someone who wants to maintain their business once they have moved to a new part of the country. You could sell your client database to someone locally but maintain your branding and website in your new location. Google already trusts your website and it would be a quick job to get it to rank on local and organic search in your new location. Building up a new database of clients in your new town becomes much quicker when your website ranks well quickly and you have lots of previous good reviews (even if those reviews come from customers in a different town). The only possible downside with generic names are finding a unique one. Do you really want to call yourself Happy Paws if you later move to an area where someone else already runs a business with the same or very similar name?
Hopefully this has proved useful to those thinking about starting their own pet services business. We can’t always know where life will take us in 10 years time. A decision taken in haste today can have financial implications in the future. Feel free to comment about what considerations you had when coming up with your business name.