Getting the name right for your bed and breakfast will be one of the crucial elements to your business success. Prior to opening your bed and breakfast, you should create a business plan to ensure that you can afford to own and run a bed and breakfast. Once that is complete your business plan is the best place to start when you begin the process of creating your name.
Since your business plan identifies who your customer is, what you are offering them and distinguishes what is going to make you stand out from the competition, this information will be useful to start a brainstorming exercise to create a list of potential bed and breakfast names.
Once you have a substantial list, consider the following:
- A good name tells people what you do, and what they can expect.
- If your B&B has a special history, consider incorporating that into the name
- A good name makes you stand out from your competition – search on Google for commonly used names or to trigger some ideas
- A good name is easy to remember, pronounce and spell, so people can find you easily; people prefer words they can relate to and understand
- Think alphabetically – many directories are alphabetical; with numerals coming first. If people find what they are looking for, they will stop looking, so it helps to be near the top of the list
- Make sure the name and web addresses (urls) are available
- Think about alternative meanings of words or how the words translate into other languages (especially if you are targeting an international market) – use Google translator.
- It’s great for a name to have a special meaning or significance -it sets up an opportunity that can be used to tell your story about your bed and breakfast, and make it more memorable
- Is transferable if you want to sell at a later date
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few names, get input from family and friends who can be objective, and won’t be hurt if you don’t end up going with their choice.
If you are still stuck, consider hiring a professional marketer – just like using an accountant to do your taxes, they will help you avoid trouble using trademark or already registered names, and will consider the impact of your choice on design elements such as a logo, signage, stationary, etc.
Some things not to do when choosing your bed and breakfast’s name:
- Be too funny – people may not share you sense of humour, or feel that you do not take the business too seriously
- Use abbreviations – they may only make sense to you
- Do not choose a name that is protected under trademark or registered to another owner
- Use unacceptable terms that imply connections that do not exist (e.g. the large tourist attraction here is the Island Queen boat cruise – I could not name my property The Island Queen B&B); misleading descriptions of your business (e.g. calling it a hotel vs. B&B); nor infringe on the rights of others who have already claimed the name
- Refuse to change your name if it’s not working.
For more information on owning a bed and breakfast, sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly posts in your inbox.
To begin your journey of discovery to see if owning a bed and breakfast is right for you, download “3 Questions Everyone Who Wants to Own a Bed and Breakfast Asks – or Should!”
And check out more on-line video training on Susan Poole, The B&B Coach’s YouTube Channel – and don’t forget to subscribe!