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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Service business easiest to start

By Roger Pierce

Only women can appreciate the sheer hassle of changing their last name. Rena Anderson is turning that frustration into small business profits.
Rena Anderson's unique company, What's In A Name? Bridal Name Change Services, helps recently married (or recently divorced) women wade through the name-change red tape.

"I was excited about assuming my husband's last name, but didn't even know where to begin the legal process," explains Anderson (nee Matsumoto). "I spent days phoning different government offices and standing in lineups trying to change all my records to my married name."

From that experience, Anderson decided to help other recently married (or recently divorced) women wade through the name-change red tape and created What's In A Name? Bridal Name Change Services (

Her unique company offers an "In-Person Service" and a "Do-It-Yourself Bridal Name Change Kit," containing a step-by-step system with all the requisite paperwork.

Complete instruction, guidance and up-to-date government forms are included in her service to help a woman change her name in all legal records. Additional services include address change and Social Insurance application processing. "We can even stand in the lineups at government offices for our clients," adds Anderson.

Anderson was drawn to a service-based business because they are less costly to start, don't involve any inventory and can target a real niche market. Most importantly, her service company has purpose. "A service business must do something useful. I found a way to save people time and effort, and it's paying off," she explains.

Long-term plans include taking her company national by selling franchises and developing her Name Change Kits for each province.

For now, she's busy helping brides-to-be who are planning summer weddings with a booth at The Total Wedding Show held at the International Centre from Jan. 21 to 23.

Anderson advises aspiring entrepreneurs to keep both ears open. "If you're looking for a business idea, listen to people saying, 'I'm so busy. I wish someone would do this or offer that' -- it led to my new business!"

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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