In a previous blog post, we covered off what a B.O.S (Business Operating System) is and how it is integral to your business. So if you are reading this and have no idea what a B.O.S is, I recommend you read What is a Business Operating System and Why You Need One.
So we know that having a B.O.S is critical to your success; it’s the home that you and your team frequent and nurture, and it’s where all your business assets live neatly organised for ease of use.
It only fits that something so integral to the business should have a name, one that is aligned with your brand and culture. When naming your B.O.S., you can be as innovative and creative as you feel fit.
How to name your Business Operating System (B.O.S)
What’s in a name?
Deciding on one can be hard; names can trigger a sense of attachment and pride; they can inspire us; they can define us. A name plays a central role in the adoption and engagement of your B.O.S, and should ultimately become a part of your internal vocabulary. It should fit nicely alongside your values and culture, an expression of your brand and character. It’s a part of the business, so it’s worth taking seriously and investing some time to think through. After all, this is going to be the well-used name that your team will identify with bringing what appears to be an inanimate piece of software to life. With the right name, you make it more personable, approachable and instilling a sense of ownership.
With the right name, you make it more personable, approachable and instilling a sense of ownership.
Avoid using generic names such as “Operations Manual” as it tends to have negative connotations, after all, who wants to read an operations manual … boring. In one, two or three words, you want to attempt to portray your company culture; inspire and motivate your employees and capture the purpose of your B.O.S.
Building your B.O.S. is an exciting time. Much effort goes into the setup, customisation and curation of the content. Getting your team involved in naming your B.O.S. adds an element of fun and drives higher adoption.
The name you select should be easy to say, easy to remember and relatable to everyone in your business. Below I outline ideas for naming your B.O.S. plus some real-name examples for inspiration.
Naming Your B.O.S.
Start a Naming Competition
Your team members will use and engage better with your company B.O.S. when they are included in the naming process. To start a naming competition, request ideas from every staff member who wants to be involved. Make sure you have some guidelines in place when you announce the contest.
Here are some naming guidelines:
- Use a name that is catchy and easy to remember
- Use a name that reflects the essence of the business, the goals, the mission and the vision
- Do not use a name that has negative connotations, is rude or controversial in any way
- Keep the name to one, two or three words or come up with three letters that are acronyms
- Optional – include a tagline that explains the meaning
Once you have a selection of names, run a poll to start the voting. The winner is the name with the highest number of votes.
Create an Avatar
In marketing speak, an avatar is often referred to as a person or image that you think about when you describe your ideal client. In the same way, you can think of your B.O.S. as a person or character that takes on a relatable persona. For example; Watson – The infamous sidekick and assistant to Sherlock Holmes. For the U.K. book retailer Waterstones, Dr Watson is a reference to the passion of their customers, their books and their objective to make one central location a useful reference to every employee.
Create an Acronym
Sometimes it can be a challenge to think of one name that conveys the meaning you are looking for, in that case, consider several words that together provide a definition. These words could be your core values, the purpose or your actual business name, for example:
CHLOE – Commitment, Honesty, Loyalty, Optimism and Excellence
CHELSIE – Creativity, Honesty, Empathy, Loyalty, Simplicity, Integrity and Education
OODLES – Open-mindedness, Optimism, Dependability, Loyalty, Efficiency and Spirit of Adventure
UBS – Ultimate Business System
FERN – Frampton Employee Resource Network
The DRUM – Detroit Rentals Ultimate Manual
Before making your final decision, make sure your name has meaning, you can describe it easily and it can’t be misspelt or mispronounced which could deem it inappropriate.
Use the name every time you and your team refer to the B.O.S. and listen to make sure it sounds natural and flows. Often a name will come to mind intuitively, like when naming your children and other times you’ll have to sit with it a while before you commit. The key is not to overthink it and if you get brain freeze, leave it for a while and see what comes up naturally when you aren’t feeling the pressure.
Don’t feel that you have to come up with something quirky or out of the box; ultimately, it comes down to what feels right for you and your team.
Here are some conservative and some innovative examples that may inspire you:
- The (company name) Handbook/Guidebook/Playbook/Hub/User Manual
Now it’s getting interesting…….
- CAKE – Connect and Keep Engaging (Staffordshire Housing)
- CECIL – shorthand for CitySprint Employee Collaboration and Innovation Lab (CitySprint – UK delivery network provider)
- YETI – named after a character or mascot (Magenta Living)
- GURGLE – a play on the word Google, when a user needs something, they simply Gurgle it. (South East Water – UK)
- The Watering Hole – Houston Zoo
- BEDPost – U.S. Mattress Firm
- The Fridge – where all the cool content is found (Online retailer Ao.com)
- Click – a play on their purpose, taking photos and their mission to get users to connect or “click’ with one another (Tourism Specialist Magic Moments)
- The Green – has the connotation of a community village green, a symbol of positivity and the outdoors (UK Children’s non-profit)
- 1634 – 16 and 34 are the names of the brand’s two runways, the reason the company exists (Wellington Airport)
- Bridge-It – this name incorporates a location and the spin-off of a traditional name that identifies their primary goals as “bridge the gap of information”. The company is also located in London Bridge (London Law form Howard Kennedy)
- iCAN – inferring a sense of ownership for the user with part of their brand name (Canterbury City Council)
- RCN Space – (The Royal College of Nursing)
- The Pantry – New Seasons Market
- CityBizz – City of North Vancouver
- Dwight – after Dwight Schrute, the “Employee Know It All” from the TV series The Office
Use the name every time you and your team refer to the B.O.S. and listen to make sure it sounds natural and flows.
Your B.O.S. isn’t just for processes, resources and training; it builds culture. Once you have named your B.O.S., refer to it often and associate it as part of your company’s internal vocabulary. It becomes part of your values and culture and embodies your company ethos.
Need help implementing systems and processes in your business and documenting how you work into your own B.O.S.? Book a System Success Call and let’s see if I can help you to put the systems in place for your business to run smoothly and efficiently.