Several years ago, when I founded VETgirl, a subscription-based podcast & webinar service offering online veterinary continuing education, I pondered what to name my new start-up company. Then, how did I pick a logo? As Garret Pachtinger, the COO of VETgirl, and I pondered this, we decided to go with our gut: VETgirl.

With the growing popularity of the word “girl” in pop culture (similar to Grammar Girl, my all time fav grammar podcasts; Skinny Girl; Money Girl, etc.) and the growing prevalence of women within the veterinary field (80% and growing in current veterinary school classes!), we decided to go with VETgirl.

After we picked our name and our logo, we got some savvy business advice from a friend on how to pick a name. Ideally, you want to pick a name of your small business that:

  • Represents you
  • Is unambiguous (Can you tell what the company does from your name)
  • Alphabetical (Yes, people still use the yellow pages to look up companies and companies starting with “A” are often “found” first)
  • Short (Hey, we all have short attention spans. Plus, “Veterinary Online Veterinary CE” didn’t have the same ring as “VETgirl.”
  • Domain name (Is it even available for you online)?

Next, how do you pick a logo? Well, we broke all the rules, but are still happy with our logo. And so you know, big Fortune 500 companies like Target also broke these logo rules.

The logo rules?

  • Pick one that represents what you do
  • Ideally, avoid a color that insights danger (e.g., red, orange)
  • Make the logo simple enough so it can be scaled both large and small (can you print it on both a business card, water bottle, and t-shirt)?
  • Make a logo that has branding capacity (can you wear it on a shirt)?

Not sure where to start? Ask a few friends and colleagues if they like the name. Once you’re looking for a logo design, consider online sources like 99 Designs, which is a great service of graphic designers who create your logo!

Before you know it, you’ve just completed the first major jump of your small business.

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