What’s In A Name?

Changing biz card reflects evolving business

The first order of business now that I had a business, was figuring out the company name.  It has been both enduring and ever evolving.

In 1987, I had never heard of a professional organizer but I knew that what I was now doing independently was something I had done in every job I’d ever had.  I was organizing.  I was untangling messes, finding simpler ways to to get work done, creating systems and processes to make work flow and in general taking action to move towards a desired goal.  So ORGANIZATION was clearly a key word and at the time unique. I capitalized it because it was important.

The Plus! part of the name was easy too.  I didn’t know what I might have to do to earn a buck doing something I had never seen or heard of before.   Plus! was a nice catch all.  I added the exclamation point because things were exciting and new. Seriosuly, that is how I came up with the name ORGANIZATION Plus! 

Turns out, although I hadn’t heard of it, there was already a fledgling professional organizing industry coming together in California under the banner of the National Association of Professional Organizers – NAPO.  There were also at least four of us around the U.S. using the name Organization Plus – though no one else capitalized ORGANIZATION and no one else used the exclamation point.  Three of the four of us our still in business and NAPO now has over 4,000 members.  I served 13 years on their national board of directors in a number of positions, founded the Oregon Chapter of NAPO and generally had the joy of being a contributing part of building my industry from some of the earliest days.

But I digress :>)

The nice thing about owning your own business is it gives you massive opportunities to grow personally and professionally.  About every 5 – 7 years, I set aside some serious thinking time to recognize what I’ve learned, how I have changed and what activities I’m doing now that I wasn’t doing before.  I use that information to evolve the business model, change the tagline, my color pallet, my service offerings, my mission and vision statements and to relook at the company name.

Over the years I have been too unknowing to have a tag line, to ‘We help put your business together’ to ‘ The business organizing professionals’ to the newly minted “Liberate time to think and space to act”  I have revisited the company name many times. I have worried it was too generic since that vast majority of the 4000 professional organizers use the word ‘organize’ in some form in their name and that my name gets lost in that crowd.  But I keep coming back to the Plus!  

The Plus! in my company name has also evolved over the years.  It started as a way to give me an ‘out’ to do anything in case this wild idea of helping other business owners organize the non-exciting, but ever essential back end of the business did not work out. 

Today, it stands for some pretty specialized talents and learning that I have built, sharpened and honed over the last 23 years. These special talents allow me to work with clients at a level above the physical ‘stuff’.  I may have to ‘clear the decks’ once in a while as a part of the process but the real gift I bring my clients is helping them to order and focus their thinking.  I am very proud of all the time, effort, learning and thinking that make my Plus! something unique.

What’s your business name and how did you come up with it?  What does it reflect?

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