I always wanted to start a small business to compliment my income. After saving for a few years, I now feel confident that I have sufficient funds to start my dream small business. Since I already know what business I want to get into, my next big question is what to name my business. To answer this question, I first have to let you know why it is so important to select the right name for your business.
Giving your business the right name is key in running a successful business. It is the first thing your potential clients get to hear even before they hear about your products or services.
You want to come up with a name that is unique, that makes your business stand out. However, your creative juices do not always come flowing when we need them to, making this process a rather frustrating one. This is why I decided to scour the internet and compile pointers that I think are important when coming up with the business name.
Here are 11 factors to consider when naming your business;
1. Try not to name the business after self
I found out that as a small business owner, you have more leeway and can get a little audacious when choosing a name. However, the do not name your business after yourself. This is a common mistake among small business owners.
Remember, you might want or need to sell your business in the future. According to business experts, this will be a lot harder to do if your name is tied to it.
Going for a name other than yours, gives the impression that the business is not a one-man show and goes a long way in telling your company’s story.
2. Avoid pigeonholing
Consider the possible future growth of your company when coming up with your business name. I have discovered that when most people are starting off, they are anxious to get their goods in the market and get traction.
This causes most people to go for very literal and functional names that pigeonhole them in the end.
You may be only selling dresses for now, but you might later want to venture into men’s wear too. So do not choose a name that only implies ladies’ wear.
3. Be specific
Always Use a name that has meaning to it, and one that almost immediately gives your customers an idea of what they stand to gain by using your services or products.
Go for a business name that gives as much detail about what your business is about as possible, at a glance. Using details such as numbers e.g. making 1-minute lunches, can prove quite helpful.
4. Keep it simple
A good business name should be simple to pronounce and spell, especially for new potential customers.
I know you want to find a unique name for your business. Being unique is great but it doesn’t mean being complex. You will find that when it comes to business naming, staying simple mostly works.
5. Ensure your business name sounds good when said out aloud
Your business name is a name that people will say a lot during advertising or when they are chatting with pals. I suggest using alliteration such as Chucks-Trucks or Poppy’s-Puppies.
6. Do not copy
It may be tempting to use names that are similar to already popular brands dealing in similar products but do not do this. Be a little imaginative or a lot! But always keep point number #1 in mind.
7. Avoid using initials
Using initials might seem like the easy way to go, and a lot of really big companies seem to pull it off just fine. I’ve learnt that not all businesses can get away with it, especially not small businesses.
They are also rather boring and remember you want to keep things interesting, especially when you are just starting out.
8. Do not get caught up in trends
I know it’s hard but avoid the Web 2.0-ish syndrome. This is where people mildly dyslexic spelling e.g. fabulo.us or 4nes4u. It may have been the it way to go a few years back, but it is no longer as appealing.
9. Stay away from puns
Using puns in your business name can be quite risky. Granted you might land a good one that makes your business name stick, you also run the risk of getting a bad one or one that’s overused,
10. Test it out on Google AdWords
The “find keywords” tool on AdWords lists similar search phrases, along with how many global and local monthly searches the phrases are getting.
By testing your potential business name on AdWords ensures that there isn’t an almost similar name out there that could potentially stand out more on the Internet.
11. Consider Your Domain Name
Try securing the “.com” domain name for your business as opposed to other possible domain extensions alternatives such as .net, or org. research shows that customers mostly associate a .com name with a more established business.
Use tools such as the Bluehost domain checker below, to check on the availability of a domain name.
And if someone already owns your.com name of choice, don’t fret. you can track them down by using the “Whois” tool at Domaintools and see if they are willing to sell it.
Popular social media sites such as Pinterest and Facebook can help you find your preferred business name.
Most entrepreneurs put so much effort into every aspect of the business and screw up one of the most important things: naming the business.
This might prove costly later if the business name does not catch on. Scandals and huge screw ups in the running of the business may sometimes cause you to rebrand your company, which often calls for renaming of the business. If you find yourself in this predicament, do not fret. Go ahead and rebrand.
Often times, companies will rebrand later on in life, when they often have more money than when they were first starting out. This is great as it enables them to solicit more outside counsel when choosing their names. This is good, but you need to ensure that you provide context when you are floating the name out to people so that they have an idea of what your company does or what you want the name to bring to mind.