How-To

Choosing A Business Name

Your business name is one of the most important elements of your business. Select carefully! When choosing, you need to make sure what kind of business you are in, its easy to remember, catches the attention of the right people, creates a professional image, inspires clients to want to buy from you, and is distinctive (stands out). So, if you are having trouble coming up with a catchy, appropriate, and, well…perfect name, here is some ways to help you get that brain workin’.

Think of it is a promotional tool

Advertising and marketing is how you get your company name out there. The right name is the most effective advertising tool, and therefore should describe your business. If it doesn’t, then potential clients may look right over you not knowing that you probably offer something that they need.

Choose a simple name that is memorable by your clients. Make it easy to pronounce and to spell. Clients need to be able to remember your business name correctly when looking you up or filling out your name on an invoice or email, or when calling information. A way not to increase your advertising costs is to keep it short, simple, and sweet. And remember: the first letter of your business determines where you are placed in the phonebook.

Make a list and BRAINSTORM!

List the characteristics of your business; find alternate words (synonyms). Make us of a thesaurus; they were created for a reason. Play with various combinations and check several categories in the phonebook to give you examples. With all the lists that you make, brainstorm to get the ideas flowing. Just say whatever comes to mind. Get different and unique ideas by sitting down in a room with several others and just start shooting out ideas. There is never a wrong idea. If there is a conflicting opinion on two or more potential names, vote on it! By having more than just your own input, you allow your business name to become more colorful and original than you may have thought before.

Your Own Name? Possibly…

Is using your own name a wise choice? Well, in some cases yes and some cases no. Often times, your own name makes your business more personalized, and many people like that. In some cases, it is not a wise choice to use your own name, but perhaps the name of your products, what you do, sell, etc. For example, Microsoft is such a better name than Bill Gates Technology, or something along those lines. If you do choose to use your name, try not to make it too long, but do follow with something that associates you with your product/service. For example, “Bill Pate, Design Services.” Or “Fiona Fields, Notary Public.” Include the service that you provide so your name rings a bell when a client hears it.

Test Your Name

Choose a few names that you feel are great choices for your business. Test them on friends, family, and even the public with the use of opinion polls and surveys. Ask them what they think you do, what your business offers. And try to make sure that no one else is using the name that you decide to use. After all that hard work, it would be a shame to find out that the name is already registered and used.

Here are some extra points to help you when selecting your name:

  • Do you want the name to reflect what your business does? Or do you want it to be more abstract?
  • Should you include your own name?
  • Modern vs. old-fashioned? Do you want your name to suggest something innovative and fresh, or traditional sounding, conveying traditional values and durability?
  • Be a forward-thinker: the future is important, even though you can’t see it. Avoid words and/or phrases that have a shelf life.
  • If you are going to be an international company, MAKE SURE that the name translated in other languages doesn’t mean something else, either inappropriate or irrelevant.
  • Avoid very long names, unusual spellings, and strange wordings.