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It’s All in a Name: 14 Tips for Naming Your Business Startup

November 14, 2021
Education

Before you spend your time and effort planning and launching your business, you will have to choose a name. During the initial stages, having a name in place can help you focus. It will also help you be consistent with your early marketing and advertising efforts. The name you choose could significantly impact your success, so it is essential to your entrepreneurial journey.

Choosing the wrong name for your business could affect your success. Names that are too difficult to remember or are too similar to those of your competition won’t set you apart. Some time and research should go into choosing your business name to help you avoid legal issues and find the right fit.

Whether you use a business name generator to find a name or use a more organic strategy, it may take some time to find the perfect match. Let's take a closer look at a few tips for naming your business startup.


  • Easy to Spell

The key to a good business name is making it easy for customers to find online. Business names that have complex spellings could be difficult for customers to connect with. As a business owner, you don’t want to spend your time correcting the spelling of your business when dealing with your customers.

  • Internet Search

It’s a good idea to make a list of your top business name options and then start an internet search. You want to determine what names are available and not used by any other companies in your industry. A simple search online can generally help you find out what names are up for grabs. Make sure that you try searching for names that have similar spellings.

  • Domain Name

The .com domain name for your business should be purchased as soon as possible after deciding on a name. You don’t want to prep your company only to find out that another company is already using your domain name. If someone has already purchased your domain name, you can inquire about buying it if it’s not actively used.

  • Positive Meaning

Your business name should have an intimate meaning or connection to your company’s goal. You want the name of your business to shed a positive light on your company and encourage the building of trust with customers.

  • Catchy

You will want your business name to stick in the minds of your potential customers and be catchy for your marketing campaigns. Something that is unique but not too unusual that it is hard to remember is perfect for customer retention.

  • Get Feedback

Before deciding on your final business name choice, get some feedback for all the potential names on your list. Let your family, friends, and colleagues take a look at your list and give you their feedback about their preferences.

  • Unlimited Scope

When choosing a name, you don’t want to get too specific which could limit the scope of your growth. For example, if you are opening a home decor business in Seattle, you may not want to include the name of your city in your business name as it could limit your global range. Many customers want to feel like they are dealing with an internationally recognized company and not one that only caters to a local clientele. Choose a name that encompasses what you do in a broader sense and not one that limits your potential growth.

  • Say It Out Loud

Some business names may look great on paper but aren’t actually the best once you say them out loud. You want a name that is easy to pronounce and uncomplicated to say out loud. Once you have your list of potential business names, go through it saying each name out loud.

  • Brand Identity

Choosing the right business name will help you start building your brand identity. The name that you choose will be included on all of your promotional and business items and should be a strong representative of what your business means and stands for. For service businesses, it’s important that your company trade can be easily identified by the name, making it easier for customers to find you.

  • Short and Simple

Business names that are long and complex are not easy for customers to remember. The goal of your name should be to stick in the minds of potential customers and bring in business. When naming your business, remember that short and simple is effective and recognizable. Consider existing successful businesses and how they have simplified their names like Google and Amazon.

Longer company names will often get shortened down by customers and vendors to make it easier to remember, so keeping it simple can help you retain your business message. Shorter names also make it easier to include on business cards, letterhead, and promotional items. If your company name is best in its longer form, you may consider going with an acronym for your merchandising.

  • Avoid Obscurity

This strategy is all about keeping things simple. Using complex vocabulary in your business name may end up alienating you from your potential customers. For example, if you are opening a bookstore using words like Bibliophile or Omnilegent are uncommon and not well known to the greater population. Not only are obscure words not recognized by many people, but they can make your business name harder to spell and remember.

  • Avoid Trends

You want your business name to last the test of time, so it’s important to avoid using something that is too trendy. Your name should be flexible or universal and will not become dated or seem out of style as time goes by. You don’t want to end up having to change your name just to keep up with the times.

  • No Initials

A business name that is only composed of initials fails to create a company brand. No one will know what your initials stand for and your name may be hard to recognize within its industry. While some companies like IBM have been successful using the initial model of a business name, they also have millions of dollars to spend on their marketing campaigns. It’s best to choose a name that is spelled out in its entirety. If your business name is an actual proper name, you can use an initial if you choose. For example, a company called J.W. Smith Plumbing would be acceptable.

  • Test It

An easy way to determine whether your choice of business name will be successful is to test it out in the real world. Using Google Adsense, you can find keywords that have been entered by users who were searching for services and products. The account will give you a list of similar phrases and words along with their number of monthly searches. This method of searching will also let you know if there is anyone else out there using the name that you are testing.

Starting a business can be both exciting and stressful. Choosing the right name for your company will take a bit of time and serious consideration. The goal of your name is to connect with your potential customer, bring in interest for your company, and help you build your business brand. Avoid trends, initial names, and obscurity and you will end up with a winning business name that will carry you into the future. Try some of these tips to help you choose a new name for your business startup.

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