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My Biggest Mistake: Bad name for small business

March 14, 2011 |  5:57 am

Consultants, self-help gurus and moms agree: Mistakes are how we learn. Small business owners tell us their biggest error. Here is this week's:

-- Business owner: David Lewis, Stamford, Conn.
-- Company: OperationsInc.
-- What I did: Chose the wrong name.
-- Background: We provide human resources services, helping companies with training, coaching, performance reviews, payroll administration and counseling. We help them if they have to lay people off.
-- The mistake: Our name. I thought we were going to be more on the operational side, helping companies run their businesses, hence the name: OperationsInc. But we spend a fair amount of time trying to explain the name and what it means. When you hear the company name at a cocktail party or a business meeting, or when you see it on my name tag, it’s not inherently clear what we do.
-- What I learned: The name has to explain the company. A name change may be in order for us. We’ll probably turn it into a fun exercise, get employees involved, have a contest.

Have you made a mistake from which other small business owners can learn? Please tell us about it at