Generally there comes a time when every business needs to either change their name or at least have a name refresh of some sort. This often goes hand in hand with a new logo, branding etc. Often the old business name simply doesn't really reflect the services offered, or the business has grown geographically and the old name is too limiting, or perhaps it was named after a founder and that doesn't work anymore. We generally know when that time is, because we often really struggle with the concept of a name change.

I meet a lot of business owners who are terrified of changing their business name, even though it is no longer relevant or appropriate. My advice is always the same, if you think you will lose all of your clients simply because you change your business name you really haven't got them anyway, no matter how strong a marketing tool you think the history of your business name is.

The reality is that we live in a world that embraces new, it welcomes innovation, change and fresh thinking and ideas - and that applies to what we call our business. If you are changing your business name for all of the right reasons, it's a great thing. In fact it gives you a lot to talk about and many ways engage with your customers. It reinvigorates your team. It gives you a chance to set the scene for the future. All very positive things.

But back to the big concern of losing your clients if you change your name. I've helped hundreds of businesses to rename and rebrand. Not a single one suffered in any negative way with this dramatic change and in fact, they all benefited incredibly. The key was how we communicated the name change to the existing customer base as well as the general public.

We had to be strategic about the communication. We didn't just change the name overnight and leave it for people to speculate on the name change. We let everyone know in advance that things we changing. The name was changing. We explained why, we gave them time frames, we got the team on board, we over communicated it however we could and turned it into a great marketing campaign. And that's what made them all successful.

My advice to you is that if you are struggling with the concept of a name change, you probably need to change it. Don't worry about losing customers - focus instead on how you can actually turn this into a major opportunity to engage your customers and re-energize your relationships. Get excited, talk it up, communicate it across every medium you can, from your email signature to your website. Do this well and you will be asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner.

Published on: May 10, 2018
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of