Tips for Naming your Business

Your business name needs to be original, legally available and it must be able to represent you and what you do for many years to come. Although you also need to consider other factors when naming your business such as trade marks, registering your business name and branding, here we are going to focus on five things to consider when brainstorming your business name.

1. Don’t choose a name that limits your business

Are you starting your business with the intention of selling it down the track? Lots of business owners name their business after themselves but if you plan to sell, it is better to come up with a more generic name.

Another reason for using a generic name is that although you probably have a good idea what your business intends to do in its first year. My experience of dealing with businesses is that what they start doing and what they end up doing may be totally different.

2. Choose a name with passion

If you have a passion or an inspiration from somewhere else, use it. Explaining why you chose your name can attract people to your business and to your enthusiasm. For example Dotty Dalmatians, Queens Corgis’, Miniature Poodles and Ruff are all great names for someone who likes dogs.

3. Emphasis qualities you want to promote

Using words such as bi-lo, discount, cheap and affordable when naming your business ensures customers know about your prices. Likewise you could emphasise high quality or another aspect of your business that you want to promote.

You may want to emphasis the suburb, city, or state you reside in and encourage the community to shop locally, or you may be targeting a more global audience. Either decision may be appropriate for your circumstances, but make sure your business name reflects this decision.

4. Make your name easy to spell and pronounce

If someone hears it on the radio can they Google the name and find you?

5. Set yourself apart

Before you decide on a name, Google it. Are there other businesses with similar names or is it too general, such as ‘Exotic Cars’, and so it will bring up too many listings on search engines?

Make a list of all of your competitors. Do you want to sound like them or do you want to be distinguished from them? Sounding too much like a competitor can have consequences.

For example, a client of mine ran a well-known business in a county of England and then a business with a similar sounding name started up nearby. Apart from the name, the two businesses were very different. My client would often receive purchase orders on his fax machine that were intended for the other company. He would then source the equipment and sell it to them making a tidy and easy profit!

What next? Get out the whiteboard and markers and start brainstorming using these practical tips. Play with the words and make a shortlist of suitable candidates. Try them out on colleagues and friends that you trust.

Your business name is just waiting for you to discover it!

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