Language in Bloom

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Lessons I Learned When I Changed My Business Name

Changing Business Name

If you follow me elsewhere, then you’ve already heard the news (I meant to announce it here on the blog at the same time as my other site, but you can see that that did not happen!)

I’ve changed my business name from Shenandoah Valley Language Services to Language in Bloom, LLC!

I shared some details on the Language in Bloom blog but not too much about the process behind it. I learned a great deal going through these changes with rebranding, redefining my role, and also being strict about the work that I want to do as part of this new direction. I want to share some of that with you here.

The new name: The name is one that I picked last year for a product that I never really followed through with (that product is now the Language Learning Formula, which will be released September 9). When I was working through the new direction of the business, my mind (and progress) kept getting blocked by my indecision about the name. It took me a while, and an emergency meeting with my mastermind group, to finally get over that hump and have people point out to me that I already had a great name, I just wasn’t using it for the official identity of my company.

The name change: The internet will tell you that it is very difficult and expensive to change your business name. In my own experience, this was not the case, although there are still a couple loose ends I have to tie up because of my bank (based on this and other experiences, I do not recommend BB&T).

I filed the necessary paperwork with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the IRS (and by “paperwork,” I mean a signed letter saying I changed the business name), and my city (for the Certificate of Occupancy and Business License). I informed my insurance company, my clients, and my banking institution/payment processors of the change. I did have to get new business cards, new checks, and it did cost money to file an Article of Amendment online with the SCC, but other than that, the name change has not cost me anything. I also changed my name with all the various accounts for online services.

In the end, I realized that it’s actually not that hard to change your business name, as long as you’re positive it’s the right move for you and your brand. The paperwork was probably the least difficult part of the whole rebranding that I did.

The logo: Do as I say, not as I do. I talk often of the fact that if I could do it all over again, I would not design the logo myself. Well, I DID have the chance to do it all over again, and I went ahead and did it myself anyway. I did try, though, to have a professional do it: I started a contest on 99designs, and it went horribly. I even paid more money to have it “boosted” so more designers would apply, but the designs were all so uninspired and cheesy that I said “I could do a better job.” And maybe I didn’t do a much better job, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Language in Bloom Logo

Here she is, the logo in question! I designed her on Canva, which is my favorite tool for anything image-related.

The work:  Even though I stopped advertising that I did translation and interpreting a while ago, there were still a couple clients I had for whom I did that work if they asked. When I finally announced my new name, though, I took that step of letting those clients know that with the new direction, I could no longer provide those services. It felt really, really good, and today I delivered my very last editing project. It feels awesome to know that I’ll be that much more focused on the jobs that do come my way that are aligned with my new direction, because I won’t have the other tasks to distract me.

The upshot: I am so glad that I took a solid month to really make sure that I focused on the new direction and solidified a plan. If I had not said that I wouldn’t take on any new projects, or hadn’t created that big goal for myself with the commitment to really get it done, I might still be floundering with a name that didn’t honestly reflect my work or my passion, and I might still be avoiding making the hard choices that come with exciting new directions.

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Tammy Bjelland
Language lover, teacher & coach.

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