your name

Setting Up a Tutoring Business in 2024 – Step 3: Your Name


It’s All In The Name.

Every company has a name. Some are well thought out. Others are plain rubbish. Some answer the question “What do they sell?” in a word. Others leave you guessing what the link between product and name is (I’m looking at you Apple!).

By now, you’ve probably already read Steps 1 & 2 in this series of blogs. If not, it’s worth starting at the beginning here – seems like a sensible place to start, right? Assuming you’re all caught up on our previous two steps, let’s get stuck in to the next.

Figuring out what the hell you’re going to name your tutoring business!

Check That You’re Original

You might think that it’s easy coming up with a name for your business – but often, you’d be wrong. And there’s plenty of reasons why. Let’s address the main struggle for naming a business straight away – not being the first to come up with it! But how do you know if somebody has already beaten you to that God-sent name that has just popped into your head? Easy! Check out this page on the Companies House website. It’s essentially a free to use database of all registered companies. You can simply type in your preferred Company name and – with any luck – nothing will come up!

There’s a good chance you’ve just tried this feature straight away and, like most people, are left frustrated that some lucky so and so out there has already taken it! Don’t fear. You see, your name can still be the same as theirs – well, sort of. There is the slight ‘loop-hole’ of being able to register a trading name, as well as your official ‘registered’ name. It means that your customers can know your business by one name (trading), but your “official” name (at least as far as the government is concerned) can be used in small print only and so isn’t really used, or even widely known, by your customers. If you want a bit more information on this, check out this useful blog post from GoSolo.

Don’t Be Too Clever

It’s easier said than done – especially when you want to be regarded as an all-knowledgeable academic service – but try not to be so clever with your name that you come across sounding more like a type of medication than a provider of education!

Sometimes simplicity is key. It allows your potential clients to easily identify what your services, and sometimes even values, are in one or two words. Take our name – TutorRight. I’m sure there are a thousand more creative names out there, but it does something really well… it tells you what we do and what we’re about: We tutor, and we do it right! I take zero credit for the name, as it was my wife who actually cooked it up, citing RightMove as a point of inspiration (we do both spend an ungodly amount of time on their app searching for the lottery home of our dreams!).

Avoid Cheese

Forget the fact that I’m one of only a handful of humans deemed “crazy” for not liking cheese (it’s true) – when you’re deciding what to call your business, you obviously don’t want to make it sound lame and cheesy, to the point that kids and parents alike roll their eyes when it’s said out-loud.

That means avoiding OTT claims within your name, such as “Best Tutors Ever Ltd” and copycatting more prominent names, to create “Tutor Hut” (the cheese theme is strong, right?).

It’s a personal dislike, but including slang can, in most cases, belittle what you want your tutoring company to represent – solid academia. So, in other words, “Getta-Grade Inc” should definitely “do one”.

Being playful with your name can work, but of course, there is a fine line. You don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of being humorous and being silly. There’s also the chance that, just like me, you’re told by every person who knows you that you’re just not funny to begin with… which hurts. But then, it might be true… And if it is, being the dad joke of the business name world isn’t a prize you really want to get up on stage to accept.

Your Name

It goes without saying, but a lot of people will often flirt with the idea of naming their company after themselves. I mean, why not? Sure, it’s a little egotistical, but it’s your business!

Well, here’s a couple of things to consider if you do decide to go down that route:

  • Not all surnames were created equal. That’s right – and you know it. Take my last name; “Walsh” is a fairly non-descript, middle-of-the-road kind of name. It wouldn’t particularly stand out to potential customers, but it wouldn’t draw ridicule. But what if your last name is “Smellies” or “Nutters” (yep – both real surnames)?
  • What if you wish to sell your company further down the line? If I’d have named my business “Chris Education” not only would I have sounded like a B-movie character who is quickly killed off, but it would have been tricky for Sarah or Phil to wrap their heads around offering to buy the company off me later down the line.

Whatever you decide to go for, just remember, your name can be changed further down the line. But – it’s not always a straightforward process.

An extra point of consideration would be to check that the URL isn’t already taken. This is an easy check by using sites such as GoDaddy and typing in the name that you’re considering.

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