Ann Scott, Presley & Partners Chartered Professional Accountants

Can you describe your business in just one word?

This one simple decision can make you and your business memorable. A word that you “own” can effectively separate you from the local crowd.

Most businesses never think to find their word. But if you look at successful commercial brands, they have no problem planting their word in our minds. Think of Volvo and you think “safety”. Who but Google means “search”? And let’s not forget Trump. Like him or not, by now, no one will mess with that word.

You might think that one word is too few to describe your business. “My business is just too complex to distill down to just one word.” And, of course, as simple as it sounds, it’s often difficult to describe the essence of a business.

But the benefits of finding the word can be huge. The world turns to Google for “search.”

And then there’s also the other side of the coin. If you don’t take control of your brand you run the risk of someone else doing this for you. If they do, the result might not be complimentary, or at least not in the direction of where your business is going.

If this is not as simple as it seems, how do you find your word?

First, ask yourself some questions. What are you really good at? What would you say is the thing that you’re the best in town at doing? Are you king or queen of something? What do customers thank you for? What do your customers need? Do you possess a critical knowledge or product for your market?

The word for your business lies in the answers to these questions – at the intersection of your strengths and what the market desires. Once you’ve found the word, you can and should use it constantly in your marketing. Register a URL with it. Get the Twitter handle. Blog under the name. Write an article about it. Use it over and over again.

If you’ve read Tim Ferris’ bestselling “4 hour” books, you know what he’s talking about right away. He’s cemented his ownership of this word.

With your “word” and effective marketing of it, your business can come to own it and become the go to business for that need. Who knows how far that can lead?

Even if you’re not trying to be world famous, finding and marketing your “word” will ensure Vancouver Island knows your business and what it does.

Ann Scott is an FCPA, FCA, business advisor and a partner with Presley & Partners Chartered Professional Accountants. She can be reached at 250.338.1394 or

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