“What’s in a name?” In the event of a business sale, it can cause potential buyers to pass on the opportunity without serious consideration of the financials. Tom Brady and Sons may have spent twenty years building a reputation as the premier widget distributor in New England. While Tom hasn’t been active in the business for several years, customers still ask to speak to him or one of the sons when they have a concern. What will those customers think when Reliable Distribution takes over?
Steve Braverman founded Brave Manufacturing more than 45 years ago and the company is the leading in manufacturer of a unique tube. The company has used a Native American in its logo since inception. Will buyers shy away from buying the company for fear of backlash from those offended by the Native American character and name? Will buyers also worry what a name change will do to customers looking for the Brave tubes?
The business world is full of company names like Verizon, Google and Accenture because the company brand becomes the meaning of the word and there is no person, image or history associated with the name. When RJ Reynolds decided to distant itself from its past as a tobacco company they chose the name Altria Group as a way to start fresh.
Owners need to consider the opportunities and limitations their company name provides. What was a perfect name when the company started may no longer be relevant to what the company has become. The use of the individual or family name, which made sense when it was a small local operation, may not resonate with international customers or a web search optimization.
Companies with the family name on the door should also consider whether they want to sell the family name along with the business. If not, they should make a name change several years before the sale.
If you have questions about how the name of your business might be viewed by potential buyers, give me a call at 781-352-4258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org