CleanGuru – Should You Change the NAME of Your Janitorial Business?

Hi this is Dan again from Clean Guru. And
today I promised you that we would take a little walk down memory lane as far as Tony
and I in our cleaning business that we got going back in 1987, and the name changes that
we went through. There weren’t a lot of them, but there were a couple that I thought I would
show you. And the reason for that is we get a lot of calls at the office, we get some
emails talking about “should I change the name of my company?” “Should I change the
name of my cleaning business? Because we now would like it to be more professional, we
would like to reflect the fact that we are offering green cleaning now, or that we clean
medical buildings?” So folks want to change their names over the years and we think it’s
a good idea, but we don’t recommend people do it an awful lot. Because you do want to
send out a consistent steady branded image of yourself and your company name is a big
part of that. You don’t want to do it recklessly, but there may be times strategically that
it’s a good idea. So we thought we would take a look at this. One of the fun things we’d
like to do real quick is show you this. Remember my wife Jennifer made up this board for Tony
and I, and it was just a reflection of posting the several of the business cards that we
had over the years. What I’ll do is set this down and we’ll try to give you a better shot
of each one of these as we go through. Before Tony and I even got involved, the first
card, I think, says Jim’s Janitor Service, and that’s what it was even before we got
there. But then in 1987 by the time we got there, I believe they had just got new business
cards and it was with the owner now it was Jim’s Cleaning Services. So that was kind
of a neat thing, but when Tony and I got involved we just didn’t want to continue on with Dan
and Tony owning Jim’s Cleaning Service. So we felt like we could come up with a name
to get a fresh start, professional name that reflected this new approach. So we came up
with Toledo Commercial Cleaning. And he reason we did that is because this was the area we
were servicing, Toledo and the surrounding areas, and also the fact that it was commercial
cleaning, we were not doing residential, and then we just thought it would be a good move
for us. Now I got to tell you, and this is one of the things I would like to touch on
is, you do have to check, I recommended you check with the states where you are going
to be doing business, because that name may not be available. You need to check the availability
of it, I believe that is with the secretary of state’s department. Every state may be
different, but every state were you’re doing business you need to be checking to see if
that name is available and then you can register that name in those states.
So there is a little bit of an expense a little bit of a challenge involved, but it can be
well worth it. So we changed our name to Toledo Commercial Cleaning, and the one business
card we had a logo of some sort with a pyramid. I think I remember we just bought a couple
of beers for a friend of ours who was kind of a graphic designer, and he helped us come
up with that. And boy were we proud of that when we had this little pyramid next to Toledo
Commercial Cleaning. Then I think we had another card that was
a white business card with Toledo Commercial Cleaning with a different font. And that went
well, and again this reflected our company for a long time. We were cleaning all kinds
of commercial buildings in the Toledo area, and it went fine.
Eventually we wanted to change that because we were growing so much that we were starting
to clean areas outside of Toledo, kind of far out of Toledo. And when we went out there
they might of asked, “hey how can you make sure I’m going to be supervised and hired
and make sure that I’m going to be taken care of if you are all the way there in Toledo?”
So rather than raise that as an objection, we decided maybe we should make a couple changes
to our name. Number 1, take out the restriction of Toledo, and secondly take out the restriction
of commercial because we were considering getting into residential carpet cleaning,
maybe residential and some other things. So we said let’s go a little more generic and
take away the geographic restriction. We eventually, as you can see, settled in on Clean Care Inc.
We were pleased with that, and we came up with business cards you can see there. And
it went just great. So up ultimately until December of 2008 when we sold our company,
our name was Clean Care Inc. Now the reason I mention this is just to touch
base on a couple of things. It is possible to do, now we only did it twice right, when
we went from Jim’s Cleaning Service to Toledo Commercial Cleaning to Clean Care Inc., and
we just think it’s a good idea to be very thoughtful when you make the change. You don’t
want to be changing your image all the time. There are so many legalities and expenses
to it. Speaking of which, that’s the other thing
real quick. You do have to check with the state you’re doing business in to see if they
are available. You then have to register them and then of course there is the expense of
if you use forms. So depending on whether you use invoices, letter heads, and business
cards. That’s another consideration. The last thing to is this, folks do worry
if they change their name will their customer think that there is some kind of a problem.
It’s like a window of vulnerability; will they be unsettled or upset if we change our
name? We tried to turn it around. We tried to, when we changed our name make a big point
of saying, “hey we’re going to be changing our name to this, but it’s the same ownership,
it’s the same supervisors, and it our same company. We are just looking forward to growing
because we are doing so well. We are looking to expand, and we wanted to upgrade our image.”
So we tried to turn that around and make it a very positive thing. So anyways, that’s
it for today’s talk on this. I hope you enjoyed that and again it can be a good idea to do
it. Just take some time to think about it before you do and consider all the alternatives.
Next time, what I want to talk about is…is one of the biggest hot potatoes in commercial
cleaning as far as we are concerned. And I’m not going to tell you anymore about it than
that. Just a hot potato, and depending on how you handle it, it can be a terrible thing
or it can be a great thing. And we’ll talk about that next time. Until then remember,
you can do this, you really can.

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