One of the most important decisions to make when starting a business is choosing the right name, but it can also be one of the hardest. You have to think about brand recognition, domain availability, and how it will sound with your company name, slogan, or tagline.
This guide will help you figure out how to choose a business name in order to start your new business off on the right foot!
The key features of a good business name
There are a few key features of a good business name: It’s memorable, so people can recognize it. When they hear it, they know what you do and who you are.
A good business name can save you loads of time, money, and headaches down the road as your company grows. It’s straightforward and descriptive—so everyone understands immediately what you do.
Your business name should be easy to spell and pronounce. You don’t want customers struggling with how to say or spell your company name, especially if they need to call you or refer others to you often.
Finally, when choosing a business name, make sure that no one else is already using it!
Your business name also acts as an extension of your brand, which means it needs to reflect some characteristics of strong brand names. Aim that it conveys a unique selling proposition (USP). In other words, it says something about what makes you different from other businesses in your industry. This helps set you apart from competitors and gives potential customers an idea of why they should choose you over them. It creates a visual image in people’s minds.
Strong brands conjure up images in our minds, whether we realize it or not.
Time to get creative
Before you choose a name for your business, it’s a good idea to develop some naming strategies. You may have multiple name options in mind or none at all, but before you decide on something, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Pick words that are relevant and unique.
- Be sure to consider if your name will make sense for where you plan to sell your products.
- Consider if people will be able to easily pronounce and remember your name.
- Avoid using acronyms or symbols in names—even if they can help with search engine optimization (SEO).
Remember that choosing a great name is just one piece of starting any successful business!
If you’re struggling to find business name ideas, ask friends and family members for their input. It can also be helpful to check out what other businesses are doing—if you like a particular company name, take note of why it works well. Some companies also hire marketing firms that specialize in naming services; don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself!
Creating a shortlist and evaluation criteria
Before you can choose a name for your business, you’ll need to create a shortlist of names.
Narrowing down your options will help you evaluate them more effectively.
Creating a shortlist of business names begins with creating an idealized image of your company—what it will stand for and what it might do.
Once you have that in mind, think about some criteria by which you’ll judge each name on your list. For example: Does it sound like something customers would want to say? Is it easy to spell? Is it unique enough that other businesses won’t use similar names?
Make sure each business name on your list passes all of these tests before moving on to the next step in choosing a business name. When selecting from your shortlist of business names, be honest with yourself. If one option feels too corporate or too childish, cross it off your list immediately.
There are plenty of great business names out there; you don’t need to settle for anything less than exactly what you want! The best way to find inspiration is by brainstorming as many ideas as possible. Then, look at those lists and circle any words or phrases that appeal to you or seem promising.
Consider the domain name
This is a bit of a given, but when picking a business name, you’ll want to think about how easy it will be for potential customers or clients to remember the name and how you can use the domain name.
It’s also important to consider that if your business needs a URL change down the road, it may cost money and time.
Think about where your business falls in relation to other businesses—is there anything special or unique about it? What words describe what you do? The more straightforward and descriptive your name is, generally speaking, the easier it will be to pick out a great domain name.
Tips for picking a memorable business name
A memorable business name is one of those things you shouldn’t skimp on. It has to be something that will stand out and still be around in a few years, not just next week.
There are no hard and fast rules for how to choose a memorable business name, but there are proven tips you can use to help ensure your company name stands out among competitors:
1. Go short; keep it simple
2. Use symbols sparingly
3. Make sure people can pronounce it easily
4. Make sure people can spell it easily
5. Make sure it fits with your brand identity
6. Don’t confuse customers by using a popular word or phrase as part of your business name (such as BandAid or Google)
7. Check if anyone else is already using it!
8. Don’t register any variations of your preferred business name until you know if they’re available
9. Check social media profiles for variations that look like yours
10. Be prepared to change course completely if necessary!
So, if you’ve decided that picking a memorable business name is important – what do you do now? The first step in finding a great company name is choosing your top contenders. This process involves brainstorming lists of potential names and ranking them based on their popularity and memorability as well as other considerations such as marketability and availability.
Choosing between two names
Now that you’ve settled on two business names, it’s time to choose which one is best.
Let’s see how to make that decision.
First, choose whether you want to pick a name for your business now or if you want to keep both names in reserve for later. If you have narrowed down your list of business names to just two, then it’s time to decide between them.
It can be hard to choose between two good options, but here are some tips for making that decision:
1. Is there a reason why one name will be easier to remember than another?
For example, many businesses use acronyms as their company names because they are easy to remember and spell. The same goes for using initials (such as AAA) instead of full words (such as American Automobile Association).
2. Does one name convey more personality than another?
3. Are you trying to market your business toward certain demographics?
If so, consider whether one name may be better suited toward those demographics than another.
4. What’s your gut telling you?
In most cases, going with your gut is a good idea—if only because it can make decision-making much simpler!
5. Do both names have similar connotations or associations with them?
Finally, ask yourself: which name do I like better?
This may seem like an obvious question, but in reality, it can often be hard to choose between two equally good options. So go with your gut here: if you prefer one name over another, then that’s probably what you should pick.
A great business name doesn’t just sound good—it can also make a difference in the way your business is perceived by customers. If you haven’t picked a name for your business yet, now’s the time to get creative and figure it out!
Check out more of our blog for more insights and guidance on starting a business.