The Perils and Delights of Launching a New Business Part 1: Give it a name

The Perils and Delights of Launching a New Business Part 1: Give it a name

28 Jun 12:00 by Steve Twinley

Lightbulb moment for Steve Twinley choosing a new company name and rebranding

I was stuck on a delayed train back from Legoland in September 2016 when the name Next Phase came to me. Or rather, to my wife. You see, we had been talking for a while about relaunching SLS Services under a new name, because the old name was, well, old.

But the problem with coming up with a new name for a business, especially in recruitment, is that pretty much every combination of letters or words that you can possibly think of has already been taken by someone else. Try it for yourself. Think of a word, or a selection of random letters, or a short phrase, then go on to Companies House, and I will bet you that someone else has taken it already. Banana Limited? Yep. Banana Recruitment Limited? Uh huh. Blue Mango Limited? Indeed. Blue Mango Recruitment Limited? Of course! Now, try any combination of 3 letters and stick “Recruitment” at the end (a la SLS Services), and almost all will have been taken (or at least registered). SLS, STC, FRS, BSJ, SRG, HRS, GRB, RBW, GRP…FFS!

Coming up with a new name is therefore very very difficult, especially if you want something that has at least some connection to what you actually do as a business. It therefore felt like (and indeed was) rather a fluke when, after a lot of brainstorming on the train with our two children but getting nowhere at all, my wife asked me, “What exactly does the business do?” (a very sensible question). I responded with, “Well, what we do is we help people to find new jobs. We work with people in life science and technology to move to the next phase of their careers and…”

“What was that?”

“We work with people in the…”

“No, not that bit. The Next Phase bit. That’s good”

And that is where is began. On a train back from Legoland. Thank you, Southern Rail.