Coming up with the perfect business name when you launch a new business is an essential step on your entrepreneurial journey. It needs to be done before you begin your logo design.
Whether you want a funny name like Wok This Way (Chinese restaurant), or something more serious like Fresh Look Painting, your organization name does not just affect one part of your company; it affects it all!
From each email sent to every booklet mailed, to your website pages, to the product itself, your business name needs to communicate powerfully. Therefore, selecting the best name for your new company can help your firm soar to new heights of success or start your downfall to business failure.
So don’t take the unnecessary risk of taking a shortcut and rushing this business naming procedure. It can cost you a great deal more time, money, and social media goodwill if you launch with a lacklustre or plain bad name and decide to rebrand later. This could make you fully change your name in the future. Worse, you might just need to shut down shop and begin again.
Instead, carefully consider these hints, tips, and tricks so that you can think of the best name for your company, and then your website domain name while avoiding the most common mistakes that most entrepreneurs make. (Also read “Tips & Strategies for Building a Successful Online Business“)
Six Steps to an Awesome Business Name
Here are the 6 most important factors to consider when thinking up your business name to be sure you have a marketable and memorable name for your new business.
A business must evoke the ideal emotional feeling from the start to attract purchasers. And the great news is, that inspiration can come from an assortment of sources.
The legendary Steve Jobs decided on “Apple” because of the fruit-based diets that he was fond of. But the major reason is that it works so well is that it is a name that is not intimidating, it is fun and lively.
The best titles bring out positive emotions, not negative ones. And of course, the business name needs to be representative of the sort of product or service you are offering. If the emotion is positive but not aligned, it might confuse or irritate your marketplace.
Another example of a good new product name is “Silly String” is fantastic for a child’s toy that does what its name implies. However, simply because the feelings implied are positive and enjoyable, does not mean it is a fantastic name for any organization. If you operate a cyber-security company, a ridiculous name like that could damage your brand irreparably. So labour to evoke the ideal emotion for your customer.
Ask yourself what your company wants to reach or make people feel: Efficiency? Professional? Affordability? Fun? Love? Trustworthy? Prestige? Safety? Speed? Creativity?
Then explore what your true market segment is: Upper class? Lower Class? Middle Class? Men only? Women only? Kids Only? Boaters? Honeymooners? Parents? This will direct you in getting the emotions right on with your title.
When determining the appropriate name for any business, the great entrepreneurs always look to the future.
They inquire if the title will endure future expansion into a wider segment. Both great name, Google and Amazon are titles that could adapt to whatever product or service they supplied.
By comparison, a title such as “Charlie Computer Tech” would need to be changed or you may have to have a new LLC formation as newer technologies were introduced into the marketplace. Remember videotapes anyone?
The same holds for names which indicate a market that’s too narrow like “River Website Builders.” If this company wanted to expand into other electronic services like media, direct response marketing, or more, then they would need to totally rebrand or spend some time and money educating clients about their extra services.
3. Avoid being Offensive
While some business owners may think being funny or visionary will acquire them brownie points with their buyers, it is not really a risk worth taking.
Your business name shouldn’t risk offending individuals who would otherwise purchase your product: that is turning away free cash!
But also bear in mind that names that appear innocent in country or market can lead to an offence in another. In actuality, entire countries such as UAE ban certain sorts of profanity, references to God, along with other words in company names. So do your homework about principles and sensitivities on any places where you intend to do business.
4. Domain Name, Social Profiles Availability
The last thing you need to do is select an excellent name only to learn it is not available as a domain name or social media manager. Bummer.
The farther away your site name and social managers are away from the company name, the higher chance people will make a mistake or give up when searching for you. Do not take that risk: check out your name’s availability before finalizing your business name.
How to Select a Domain Name
You can use the following website domain name generators to help with securing the right domain name. You input your business name and it will suggest abbreviations and variations to name your website.
Remember your website does not need to be the exact same name as your company. In many cases, your selected business name will not be available or is too long. In that case, use a shorter version for your site. Some companies choose a related name for their website. Johnson and Johnson consumer site is called www.baby.com.
Your name ought to be applicable and non-offensive, but it does not mean it should be dull. You want to cause a particular image in the prospect’s mind when they see or hear your company name. Take some time brainstorming ideas that will stick in your client’s mind long after they first know you.
6. Test It
Like anything in business, sales, or advertising, testing is going to be your friend. The fact is it is impossible to assume that your target audience will like to your new business name, they may not resonate with it whatsoever. Rather than putting everything on the line and investing heavily in a business name for a startup too fast, conduct numerous tests on variations of your name to see which gets a more positive response.
Do’s and Don’ts of a Business Name
- Choose a name for your LLC and DBA right away – no need to wait until you have your company brand name finalized. It can be something generic, allowing you to get started while you dream up your perfect business name.
- Consult partners and colleagues for additional ideas. Some of the best business names come kids and employees.
- Conduct a professional Trademark Name Search. Save money where you can. Use this Legalzoom discount code BEST4B to order your business name lookup to be sure that your chosen business name is available for to use.
- Use your personal name for a company. If you ever get bought out, you might be prevented from using your own name on potential products.
- Hurry into anything before you have applied the principles you have learned here. True, your business name alone won’t lift you to success once you begin a business, but a terrific name which speaks to your clients in an engaging and appropriate way is a great start to allow the other elements to fall into place.
Examples of Business Names
Good Business Names:
- Spex in the City (Opticians)
- Whole Foods
- Nike – named for the greek goddess of victory
- Virgin – An employee said we are virgins at business.
Bad Business Names:
- OK Service
- Turd Pizza
- NOVA (A Chevy car model that tanked in Spanish speaking countries because it translates to “Doesn’t Go”)
- Kids Exchange
- Dick Cleaners and Carpet Services
- Butcher Funeral Home
Funny Business Names:
- Wok This Way!
- Pulp Friction (Recycling)
- The Codfather – Fish and Chips
- Jurassic Pork – BBQ
- Surelock Homes – Locksmiths
- Pane in the Glass – Window Repair
- The Found Sock – Laundromat
- Law & Order – Property Maintenance
Select a business name that confuses clients or causes them to laugh at you like Butcher Funeral Home. Instead, select one which encapsulates the best of your business benefits and speaks to your customers in a clear, engaging manner. This way, you will enjoy a distinct advantage over your competitors and gain their loyalty for years to come.
About the Author:
Marsha Kelly sold her first company for at least a million dollars. She’s shared her own experiences as a successful serial entrepreneur on her website Best 4 Businesses. Marsha also regularly shares business tips, ideas, and hints in addition to product reviews for entrepreneurial readers. She is a serial entrepreneur who has done “time” in corporate America, Marsha has learned what services and products work well in small business now.
Further Reading on Business Naming by the author: