Tips, Advice and Resources on Naming a Business
Selecting a name for your business can be one of the most important and potentially challenging steps of starting a business.
Some business owners automatically know how to name their business, but others may struggle with identifying a business name that truly encompasses the business and everything it stands for.
These articles will walk you through the process of how to name a business, share a few important things to consider, and provide tools to help you overcome your business-naming challenges. You will also have an opportunity to share the story of how you named your own business.
Simple Steps to Help You Name a Business
One of the most effective ways to get started with naming your business is by going back to the basics. Take time to consider the foundation of your business, what you stand for and what you hope to accomplish, then follow a few simple steps to determine if the business name you have in mind is a good one.
There are many different business naming best practices, and it can be overwhelming to pick one method when you’re starting with a fresh slate. There are many business naming styles that are among the most common in business names. Consider these popular styles as you decide what name is right for your business. The best way to do it is to study other businesses online and on bill-boards and even on shops and buildings, or in advertisements..
Free Business Name Generators
If you hit a business-naming block and are having trouble coming up with business name options, business name generators are a great way to help your creative thinking. There are at least seven business name generators that can help you brainstorm, think creatively and break through the mental block to find the best possible name for your business. ‘Google’ them and you will find them useful
How to Register a Domain Name
Registering a domain name is an important, but often overlooked part of naming a business. Even if you don’t anticipate creating a business website right now, you may in the future. If you decide to wait, you may be unable to secure the best domain name for your business, and this can damage your brand. To prevent this from happening, follow this step-by-step guide to registering a domain name for your small business.
The 10 Commandments of a Great Business Name
Once you have a name in mind for your business, review these 10 business-naming rules to make sure you’re not missing something. This list will help you look at your potential business names from a new perspective, anticipate potential problems and run through a series of checks to determine if your business name is a good one..
1. Take Naming Seriously: Naming your business or products is a serious matter. The name you choose can play an integral part in the marketing of your company. Your name projects your image, brand, and position in the marketplace.
2. Avoid Word Play Dangers: Taking the word play strategy will add to the difficulty in having customers remember and find you. Being cute can backfire. Some examples of real business that undoubtedly got it wrong are below:
- Ear-Resistible Designs Plus
- Dirty Ernies Paragon Hotel
- Fireball Oven Co
- Mess Graphics Inc
- Ralph Rotten’s Nut Pound
- X-Ray Sweaters
3. Don’t be an IBM: It’s tempting to abbreviate your business name to make communications and correspondence easier. However, as a small business owner you don’t have the resources and marketing muscle to educate your market on what your acronym means.
4. Be Focused: Forget tagging your business name with the moniker such as global or enterprise. Any start-up founder has big visions for their company. You might one day envision marketing to diverse markets and having a wide range of products. Successful start-ups have limited time and money; it’s more likely your success in the world of commerce will come from being highly focused in one narrow area. A small company is a specialist; it’s why your customer wants you.
5. Stay Out of Court: Don’t use, borrow, or modify an existing famous brand name. In Elizabethtown, Kentucky, US., Victor Moseley used the name Victor’s Secret when he opened his adult gift and lingerie shop. Victor’s Secret did not remain secret when the legal department of Victoria’s Secret sent a letter to Moseley claiming trademark infringement. In haste, the name was changed to Victor’s Little Secret, but the change was not enough for Victoria’s Secret who then filed a lawsuit.
6. Think Beyond Local: The bulk of small businesses operate in local markets. This doesn’t mean your name should be geographically based. If you are marketing to customers in a local market, they’ll know you operate locally. Adding your town name to your business name just ensures you will be stuck in a long directory list of other local companies with similar names. If you want a local name, add it to your marketing such as “Exclusively Serving the (town) Area.”
7. Avoid ‘ME’ Ltd: It’s a common tendency for a business to be named after the original founder. If you are planning to one day sell your company, a company owner named business is less attractive to a perspective buyer’s than a brand built on a company.
8. Ask Others to Spell it: A recently started company was named ‘Insightica’, it was unique enough but it drove the owners crazy with the number of times they were asked to spell it. The word could be spelled with ‘site’ or ‘sight’. Put your business name through the spelling test and ask others to spell it. (Yourdictionary.com lists experience, intelligence, jewellery, millennium, and personnel as a few of the top 100 most misspelled words).
9. Be Web Friendly: Consumers are bombarded with business names and advertising on a daily basis. Your job as a successful small business is to make customers remember you. Your website web address should be the same as your business name. Avoid the hyphenated web address names. It’s hard enough to remember a web site address without the hyphens.
10. Check Availability: When you have developed a great business name, spend the time to determine if another business isn’t using it. You can use a similar name for your business if another company uses it in an unrelated market or industry. Once you have your name, protect it by registering the business name with your county or State office.
Your business name should be easy to remember and memorable. Apply the 10 commandments when naming your business and in the end you’ll avoid a marketing disaster.
NAMING A BUSINESS - COMPLETE GUIDE
Martin Button - Managing Director