Q&A was part of Next Level Practice, the most supportive community for therapists starting a private practice. In this video, Joe answers the question based on whether you should use your own name in your counseling business name.
Should you use your own name in your counseling business name?
If you know that you just want to do counseling yourself, and you don’t want to ever have a group practice, that you will never do it and you are certain on that, then I’d say just do it as your name. But, there are a lot of reasons why you should have it be a name that’s not just you. If you ever want to move away from being in the chair as much, it’s a lot harder. People want to see you, they want to see the person whose name is on the side. They may pay more for that, but it’s a lot harder to pivot out of that role.
Also, if you figure, you can spend three years building up your name as your name, or you could spend three years building up the practice name. When people know that it’s Mental Wellness Counseling, run by Joe Sanok, it’s a lot easier to then build that brand. So, I’d say if any part of you thinks that you might even consider group practice, name it something that is beyond your name. You can always change it later. The official name of Mental Wellness Counseling is Sanok Counseling PLLC, but then we filed it ‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) as Mental Wellness Counseling later on. And, that’s just because I couldn’t come up with a creative name at the beginning. It took me a while to land a Mental Wellness Counseling.
When you’re brainstorming your name, I’d highly recommend getting some post-it notes and just think about all the outcomes of counseling. Also, what is it like to go through counseling with you? Are you direct? Is your personality kind of soft? Are you peaceful? Are you like science-based and outcomes based? Just brainstorm all those things, and put them up on the wall. Do you call yourself a therapist, a counselor, or a psychologist? What are those words that you associate with? Just start to play with those different post-it notes. And then, you can get an idea of what could sound good.
So there’s the ‘outcome of therapy connected your ideal client’ as a way to name your practice, and then there’s a totally different way. There’s this guy, Courtland, who is in one of my Mastermind Groups and he has Little Red Telescope Counseling. He had this story all about his little red telescope, when he was a kid, and how he had this sense of wonder and awe when he looked through it. And, he still has that within his counseling practice. He likes to help clients find that. That’s something that sticks in your head – little red telescope. So having something like that, it stands out too. You don’t have to stick with a typical name. And, from a branding perspective, you’re really going to stand out in a competitive market.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .