What’s in a business name?
Coming up with the right name for your business requires more thought than you might think. Finding something that is meaningful to you, memorable to your customers, and not already in use can be a challenge. However, the name of your business heavily influences your success and is, therefore, worth putting some time and effort into.
Here are some things to consider when figuring out what to name your business:
1. Get Creative, but Keep It Simple
Of course, you want your business name to be unique; something that sets you apart. Yet, it’s important not to overthink it. Brainstorm simple names that easily convey what your business does. Choose a name that resonates with your target market and won’t cost an arm and a leg to brand. Avoid using names that are hard to spell, alternatively spelling (intentionally spelled wrong), or include numbers. You want a name that people will know when they see or hear it, and won’t get it wrong.
If you are struggling to start the brainstorming process on your own, check out this free Generator from Shopify to get the wheels turning.
2. Make it Scalable
Whatever name you choose, make sure it will keep its relevance as your business grows. Forbes provides a good example by saying,
“Imagine if Jeff Bezos had picked the name ‘OnlineBooks’ instead of ‘Amazon.’Forbes
His business would have been limited to books, and not able to scale into the mega online marketplace it is today.
3. Make sure it’s available
There’s nothing worse when you think you have the best business name to only find it’s someone or lots of people already have it. You’ll need to check multiple places to ensure the business name you select you can easily use.
1. Make sure the website domain and social media handles are available
Check to see if your website domain is available on Google Domains. For more information on website, domains check out our article here.
2. Do a basic internet search
Do a general search to see what comes up under the name you’ve selected. Depending on the type of business you’re starting, this should let you know if the name has to be changed, or if you’re able to proceed.
3. Conduct a thorough check for registered entities
Do a search at USPTO.gov to get an idea as to whether you can get a trademark or service mark for the names.
Make Sure It Sounds Good Out Loud
If you get the all-clear from your exhaustive search, it’s time to do one final check. Does your business name sound good when said aloud? You want it to be catchy, but not too crazy. Does it distinguish everything you envision your business to be? Is it memorable? If so, it sounds like you have a winner.
Use these resources to help you choose a name
There are a number of sites that can help you brainstorm names, including:
- VisualThesaurus.com (gives you a visual around a keyword)
- NameMesh.com (provides a startup company name generator)
- Naminum.com (allows you to generate names based on a theme)
Harroch, R. (2016). 12 Tips for Naming Your Startup Business. Retrieved from Forbes Media at https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2016/10/23/12-tips-for-naming-your-startup-business/#38a7ef27904e
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