Selecting the perfect name for your practice is as important as choosing a name for your first-born child. Names are powerful and influential. You don’t want to be too generic and blend in with the rest of the crowd. Your name helps tell your story and communicates the characteristics of your practice. The right name can attract new patients and even weed out the types of patients that may not be the best fit for your practice. You can’t rush the process. It is much more difficult to change your business name later on, so take your time and use these tips when going through the selection process.
When you’re in the brainstorming phase, ask yourself a few questions. What are the main goals of my clinic? What is my purpose? Do you have a mission statement that helps you reconnect with this purpose? Do you have a target patient demographic? Some questions that may seem silly, but are important to ask: Does the name have a ring to it? Does it roll off the tongue and sound good when you say it out loud? This is a name you will be saying again and again. This is a name you or your staff will say countless times when answering your business phone every day. This is a name you will be putting on business cards, doors, documents, t-shirts, etc. The name of your practice is the foundation on which you will build your brand.
If I had to guess, I would say the most common way chiropractors name their practice is by using their last name. While this can create some personalization and name recognition, it does not allow for addition of other doctors or change in ownership. In my opinion, this is the most generic way to name your practice. It also doesn’t tell anything about your practice or your purpose, it just tells everyone who owns it. Be more creative!
Another common way practices are named are based on their location. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, it does not tell potential patients much about your practice besides the city or town in which it is located. What if you have to move to another location? The first clinic I worked at was named based on the location of the practice. While I was working there, we actually had to move the practice to a different city only about 15 minutes away. Still, we had a handful of people cancel their appointments and new patients go elsewhere after they realized the practice was not in the location that it was named after. It is almost like false advertising. We ended up abbreviating the name from Mission Beach Chiropractic to MB Chiropractic so it didn’t say the location, but it definitely confused patients. This leads me into another consideration…
Using initials or abbreviations can seem like a great way to simplify a longer name or phrase. If you use your own personal initials, it has the same disadvantages as using your last name. If you use an abbreviation of something, be prepared to explain it constantly people will be curious of the meaning behind the letters. I drive by a chiropractic office called B.L. Black Chiropractic every single day and wonder what the name means especially knowing the doctor there has a completely different name. Maybe he purchased it from a doctor with that name, but it was too much trouble to change it? Don’t get stuck in this type of situation. Think about selecting a name that is more self-explanatory and can start to tell your story.
When you start to narrow your list down, you might want to check on a few things before you make a final decision. Google the names and check web domains. If you plan to use social media marketing, check social media handles as well. Depending on where you are located, you may be able to check with your local business-licensing department. If you are in the United States, also check the US Patent and Trademark Office webpage to make sure your business name has not been trademarked. While it is not requirement to trademark your name once you decide, it may be a smart idea to avoid any infringement issues in the future.
So once you’ve considered these tips and narrowed it down, present the final few options to friends and family. Have them vote! Outside perspective is important in this type of situation. Then, after you find the most fitting name, start working on your logo to make sure it ties in well with the name. For example, the business called “Root Cause Chiropractic” uses tree roots that connect to a spine that branches out into tree branches and leaves. It all ties together and tells potential patients the focus of the practice: to find the root cause of your problem! Remember to keep it simple, but make it memorable and unique! Tell your story and communicate the purpose of your practice. Good luck!
-Jade Thompson, DC