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How to choose a business name???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by trailboss, Jan 9, 2001.

  1. trailboss

    trailboss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I have had a very small lawn and landscape business for the past couple of years. This year I plan to really make my business grow and give it some real effort this season. I have been using my last name for my business name up until now and I have it registered and have a business checking account and accounts set up at nurseries etc...

    I have a friend who has a very succesful L&L business and he also uses his name as the business name. He says if he had to do it over again he would NOT use his name in the business. That way if he ever decides to sell his business it will be more attractive and it keeps the business totally seperate from his personal life.

    Anyway, I am debating on changing my busness name and thought I would get some input on this subject.

    Do you use your name as your business name???
    If so, do you have any regrets???

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    As far as creating a value for your name, when/if you sell at some point your name will only impact your direct clientel. Afterall, you wont be there.

    If you use a corporate name, then you will have a better chance of offering potential buyers an increase in business because you have built a company acknowledeged within your community as a reputable service provider, thus increasing your asking price.

    I have found that people are willing to pay a Landscape Contractor (Roma's Landscaping) more for a job than a Lawn Care Service (Roma's Lawn Care).

    Hope this helps.
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

  4. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I use my own name in the business and regret it. Unfortunately, I've been in business for the last 11 years and don't think I could gracefully change it now even if I wanted to. For one thing, it's long. Try writing it on a check and you'll see there's almost not enough room for it. Now that you've wasted a check just mail'em to me (don't worry about the amount, I'll fill that in for you ha ha). A friend of mine whose last name is Scotland used to call his company "Scotland Yard" which I thought was kinda catchy. I think if you can come up with a short, easy to remember name you'll be better off. Remember, once you choose your name you've got to get out there and make people remember it. Plaster it around town, business cards are cheap so drop one on the counter of every store you go into and always be sure to carry them on you.
  5. double e

    double e LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    How bout this one?

    MAFIA LAWNCARE "We cut yout grass, or we cut your throwt.

  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I use my last name in the title of our company. I don't regret it at all. In fact, I see a few advantages to it. But I do think you have to make sure it sounds professional and not too long if you go that route.

    I think when people use their first name in the business name it makes the business sound more rinky-dink. Bob's mowing. Sounds cheap. Sounds like it's just Bob and maybe a buddy of his. I suppose if you aren't planning on every getting big, that's fine. Otherwise, I wouldn't use a first name in the business name.

    I think it's important how the name sounds in the business name. We have several companies in this area that sound pretty good. Teufel Landscaping is like #33 in the country. But something like "Ignacio Landscaping" is not only hard to remember, it just doesn't flow either. So be sure it sounds decent and that people will be able to remember it if they see your trucks several times.

    There are benefits and disadvantages. One benefit I get all the time is that people love to know they are dealing with the owner. And I am the one who gives all the bids. So when I introduce myself I shake their hand and say "Hi, I am Jim Lewis." They often smile and say, "Oh! Are you the owner! Cool!"

    One disadvantage is that it makes it a little more difficult to sell your business. I mean, if I were Joe Black, would I really want to buy Lewis Landscape Services? Well, maybe. But the name would bother me.

    So I have thought of the above problem. My idea is that if I ever want to sell my business I will change the name to "Big Red Landscaping" (Since all of our uniforms, trucks, etc. are bright red) about a year before I intend to sell it. This gives your clients and the community time to get used to the name change before you sell it.

    Otherwise, if you don't want to use your name, there are a lot of great names out there. I think using a name that implies that you do a great job is good. For instance, "Superior Landscape". Regional names seem to work well also. For instance; "Northwest Landscape Industries" was the #1 in Oregon before they got bought out by TruGreen. "All Oregon Landscaping" is a big one around here. "Tryon Creek Landscaping" refers to an area of town. Etc.
  7. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    First off he should have used NACHO which is how we refer to the Ignacio's we know and who couldnt remember Nacho Scapes -- LOL.

    As far as your customers becoming acquainted with the owner, if you are like myself and run more than 1 crew for grounds care, I would STRONGLY advise that if you are working in the field that you rotate amongst the crews either weekly or bi-weekly so that you do in fact get the chance to oversee ALL your clients properties.

    I have found that you will be able to find the little things that employee's might have missed along the way. Two things will happen ... 1) Your initial customer's won't feel like an account number and 2) Your new clients will feel like they've joined forces with an outfit that has their best interests at heart.

    Just my .02
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    if the name fits use it .... my sod friends last name is "king" so the business is "sod king" ... someday you'll retire and sell .... if that's the case don't use your name ... but if you have kids & will pass it on then you have too
  9. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    There is two very large companies here in town and both are the names of the owners; when I say big I mean over 2 million a year in sales. We obviously don't use our name, but I believe that if those companies would sell, the name itself will not change anything. In fact one might be run by someone else now.
  10. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,254

    A freind of mine owned a large landscape company and just sold it for about 5mil. He used his last name for the company and it sold for a good price don't you thinK!?

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