How to come up with the perfect business name
What’s in a 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:
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 spelt wrong), or include numbers. You want a name that people will know when they see it 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 Business Name Generator from Shopify to get the wheels turning.
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.’ His business would have been limited to books, and not able to scale into the mega online marketplace it is today.
Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
Differentiating the name of your business from that of your competitors’ might be one of the more complex tasks in this process. Yes, it is difficult to think of a name that hasn’t been thought of before, but that’s not the only reason this step often leads to certain barriers. You’ll need to check multiple places to ensure the business name you select will be a success:
1. Make sure the website domain and social media handles are available
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
You will also need to check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as your Secretary of State for records indicating a business is already registered under the name you’ve selected.
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.
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
https://www.uspto.gov/ (link only)
https://www.godaddy.com/ (link only)
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