How to name a counseling private practice
What’s in a name?
The name of your practice should be something that reflects who you are as a person and what you want your practice to focus on. Here’s my story:
Initially I had my name as “Sanok Counseling PLLC” but then a business consultant friend/my brother (Pete Sanok from www.drinktown.com) pointed out that it would be hard to sell the business if I wanted to. He said, “What if you want to get out, wouldn’t something without your name be easier to sell?”
So now I am “Mental Wellness Counseling”. It was a long process. I was reading an article and a counselor referred to the concept of “mental wellness”. I knew that I wanted something holistic, but not cheesy. I didn’t want people to walk in and expect incense. Here are some things that can get you going on selecting an awesome name!
Tip #1: Use Google
I would start with googling “your town” + “counseling”. What are the practices on the front page?
What do you like?
What name would set you apart from the pack?
Do people use a lot of nature terms, rivers, lakes, trees? That is fine, but will you get confused with other practices? When “Traverse City” + “counseling” is typed in, the top practices are (in order of page 1 Google appearance):
Professional Counseling Services
Old Town Psychological Services
Pine Rest Traverse City Clinic
Northern Health & Psychological Services
Heeren Family Therapy
Joyous Life Counseling
Even before I launched Mental Wellness Counseling, I had an idea of how to stand out. A number of the names appear very clinical and professional. That is great if that is your goal. Others are confusing, is it counseling or something else? Do an assessment of the names in your community that are on the front page of Google. Maybe get friends together and assess what non-clinicians think of the names.
Tip #2 Domain + Name
Then once you have ideas, go to Bluehost (this is an affiliate link, I use this hosting because it is awesome and I get a commission if you go through them) and find out if the domain name is available.
Also, you can go to namecheap.com (another affiliate link, but I use and like them too) and see if the domain is available (if you have a great name, but a website that is different it will confuse people). They don’t do as good a job with the hosting. If you’re not sure what all this means, I have an article about How to Start a Website, that you should check out. Maybe you love the name “Smith Counseling” but unfortunately, smithcounseling.com is taken.
Also, if you can buy www.”Your city name” + counseling.com that can always be linked to your website. It helps with SEO later on. It may be taken, but maybe another combination is not.
Tip #3 Engage friends and family
As part of that process, make sure your name reflects who you are, not who you think you should be. Also, avoid cliches. Brainstorm tons of words and see what stands out. You can always do a PLLC or LLC and do business as the name you end up loving. Have fun!
ESSENTIALS: Five things you must do after you name your counseling private practice
1. Start a website that will rank high. Buy it right away through Bluehost and read the walk-through so that you can learn how to start a website. It will help you learn exactly how to do that on your own, and save a ton of money doing it including how to start a domain, how to sign up for hosting, and how to design a website.
2. Read through and implement the infographic “How to Launch a Private Practice in 12 months.”
3. Join the newsletter to get daily steps for your first week.
4. Listen to the podcast “Launching a counseling private practice.”
5. Tell everyone you know!
Are you ready to take your practice up a notch? I created my member’s newsletter out of the need for a structured coaching program to help counselors in private practice. We walk step-by-step through evaluating your practice. If you are starting a private practice or need to evaluate your current private practice effectiveness this really works.
As you probably know by now, I rarely try and sell things to folks. Especially because this blog post about how to name a private practice is so popular. In fact, I’ve waited a while to let you know about this. Honestly, it is hearing from clinicians that have grown their private practice that really makes me want to offer this here and now. Also, I’m really confident this this will help you, so I offer a 200% money-back guarantee. If after a year of reading and implementing what we talk about you feel like it wasn’t worth it, I’ll give you double your money back, I’m that confident that this will take you beyond just how to name a private practice and to a whole new level.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is a licensed professional counselor and owner at Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI. He’s glad he does not have to name another private practice. He also loves sailing on West Bay.
Photo used thanks to Creative Commons, thank you ladybugbkt.