11 Easy Strategies to Choose the Perfect Private Practice Name
Congratulations! You’ve decided to spread your therapy wings and start a private practice of your own. It’s an exciting time, with so many decisions to make and actions to take.
Will you practice from home, or a multi-disciplinary clinic? Will you have a specialty, or aim for a broader demographic? What about branding, or a color scheme?
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But when you stop for a rare moment in the hustle and bustle of all the dreaming and planning, the most important question of all lays silently waiting to be answered… What will your private practice name be? And where do you even begin?
This is the name you’ll repeat every day of your practice life – the talisman you’ll share at networking events and in marketing, the moniker your family will use to tell others, and the epithet you’ll live by. Ok, so I guess you’ve got the gist… It matters!
But how do you actually come up with the perfect private practice name?
Let’s dive into some of the do’s and do not’s, and look at some free online tools that can help. Keep your pen busy and by the end of this article, who knows, you might have cracked this practice size nut… Or at least be a little closer.
1. Keep It Professional
Check! Pretty self-explanatory. You are a mental health professional after all, so you’ve got to build trust from the get go.
2. Borrow Inspiration
No one said you’ve got to be a pariah.
There are tools available online to fire up your creativity. Here’s a list of 10 free business name generators. Enjoy!
It’s as good a place as any to begin. Here are some initial thoughts to ponder:
- Which words do you love?
- What phrases best represent what you do?
- Why should people choose you? What changes do you help bring or challenges do you help people overcome?
- Are there businesses or practices you’ve already noticed just from their name? Why? What captured your attention? Is there a component or feeling you could model?
Use the Internet to expand your possibilities. Do a Google Search for something like Practice name ideas.
Or use the synonym search on one of my favorite sites – RhymeZone.com – to discover different options for words you love.
Head to www.leandomainsearch.com. Pop in a word you’d like to include and see what comes up.
4. If You Can’t Match It, Ditch It
You’ve fallen in love with a name and decided to go for it. There’s only one small hitch. The domain is already taken. That’s ok, you tell yourself, I’ll just tweak the URL a little. Brain Pain can become brain-pain.com right?… Or is it?
Your URL, or domain name, needs to be both memorable and unique. For example, if BrainPain.com already exists, you can bet your bottom dollar that those who hear your name vocally will head there. Been advertising on the TV or radio? Yup, them too. Has someone shared a critical piece of information with a friend who happens to be your perfect client… Only they missed the brain dash pain?
While BrainPain.com will LOVE you, there’s a good reason why you should forget the dash. Clients won’t remember the dash part. It’s the same with .net’s and .org’s. Better to move on; cut your losses rather than continually count them.
5. Consider Your Keywords
Your URL and website live in cyberspace so don’t limit yourself to the old school (yes, I’m talking about offline). People search Google, Bing, and Yahoo every day looking for help, for your expertise. Each single word used for a search is called a keyword, and each search term is called a keyword phrase. If you specialize in a specific condition i.e. depression, consider incorporating this into your practice name and URL.
How might these work?
It’s worth some time spent spitballing to see if you land on a professional, keyword containing practice name that might be a contender. Add it to the list.
6. Never Name a Practice After Yourself
Many people consider this, after all, it’s great for the ego. But what does it tell a potential client about how you can help them? And how much effort and money will need to be spent for you to become a household name? Tip: It’s a lot!
And what happens if and when you want to sell your practice? Can you hear it… “I’d like to book an appointment with Dr. X please.” Receptionist: “She doesn’t work here but I can book you in with….” If you don’t lose the potential client, you have certainly lost an element of trust and rapport, and immediately.
You have to start with the end in mind.
7. Puff Your Chest up and Brand Big
People trust big business and educational institutions. Why not harness this understanding to give your fledgling and future practice a boost?
- The American Stress Relief Institute
- The USA Relationships Center
- The National Depression Clinic
Like fish growing to fit their fishbowl, appearing bigger can help you grow bigger if that’s your aim. Regional, even national, attracts those looking for large and stable rather than little and startup. Expansion is easier, with franchising a future option as well.
And on the critical topic of branding, our article Your Therapy Brand Matters: A Powerful, Profitable and Heartfelt Strategy is a must-read because…
“Whether you are deliberately constructing or practicing without brand awareness, you are actively building your brand.”
If there are various spellings, move on. If your potential business name includes words, which are commonly misspelled, you guessed it, move on. A practice name needs to be memorable and unique, yes, but it also needs to be easy to spell.
And while we’re on the simplicity trail, it might seem like a good idea to come up with something clever, embedded with a little secret sauce. Consider what this will mean to others looking for your professional services and how it will — or won’t — help your practice bloom.
9. Choose a Name That Is Representative
While we’ve hinted at this above under the brainstorming and keyword headings, consider this a point of finer distinction. Decide on several possible practice name versions and ask around. Family and friends will provide great insight.
If they begin to giggle, maybe your name has an underlying, unwanted and unconsidered meaning.
- Do the initials, or obvious abbreviations, undermine your intentions?
- Does it plain make sense?
- Do they think it fits your aim and approaches?
Accept any feedback with good grace and consider carefully.
10. Can It Fit in a Mouthful and on Your Marketing
If The United States National Happy Couples Relationship Clinic is on your list, how will it sound over the phone, when shared with others and where will it fit? And oh, try typing that into an Internet address bar!
11. What Type of Therapy Do You Offer?
Ok, so I left this until last because it’s not the most exciting. Yet, it might be your perfect fit. If you offer a specific form of therapy that is well sought after, it may be worth including this in your private practice name. For example, your specialty may be a therapeutic approach such as:
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Family Therapy
For example CBT Trauma Recovery Center or Transformative Family Therapy Clinic.
Just be aware, this will obviously limit your ability to alter your therapeutic approach in future.
Please, take these only as the obviously inspiring examples that they are 😉 You’ll need to do the research yourself.
Now, how’s your private practice name list coming along?
Check it’s not already taken (URL, business name registration, trademark etc).
While many therapy practitioners don’t give much consideration to their practice — aka brand — name, it is important. It can let the world know who you are, what you stand for and, of course, how you can help. Spend some valuable and constructive time to decide on the right private practice name. It’ll give you the opportunity to sync your brand and practice, to build congruency from day one and to potentially shortcut your journey to success.
Decided on yours (and secured it already)? Share it with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear!
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