Once you have decided on a business idea the next task is to brainstorm some ideas for a business name. Get a pad of paper and pencil or open up a word processor on your computer to jot down your ideas as you read this article.
Describe Your Business
Jot down words or phrases that describe your business idea you have decided to run with. Think in general terms at the moment. You will refine as you move forward.
What Your Business Specializes in
What areas of your chosen niche market will your business specialize in. If you haven’t decided yet this is the time to look at that. Instead of doing everything in your chosen business, what niche of that business is lacking? What will your business specialize in to fill the missing piece(s) of that industry?
Write down the words and/or phrases that describe what you will be specializing in.
What Type of Service Will Your Business Provide?
The type of service you provide could be your corner of the niche you decided on. Offering home service when no one else does could be your ticket to a successful business. Are you going to market your business as economical, middle of the road or high end?
Write down the type(s) of service you will be providing.
What Other Words or Phrases Describe Your Business?
Are you going to be incorporated, registered company or limited company? This should have been decided already when you worked out your business plan.
Do any of your tools of the trade set you apart from your competition?
What will you be offering to your customers?
If you need any inspiration to answer the questions above you could search the internet to see what similar businesses are named.
Create Your Business Name
Taking all the descriptive words you wrote down that describe your business, come up with some ideas for a business name. Combine different descriptive words to create a business name that is easy to remember, easy to spell and easy to pronounce. You want business names that convey uniqueness of your business and your expertise.
Now that every business should be on the internet, incorporating words your target audience will search for into your business name will help you to be found in the search engine results. It still has to be memorable and easy to spell though.
Come up with 3-5 business name ideas. As the process continues you may have to scratch off some of your ideas.
People trademark words and names to protect their investment into their branding and business as a whole. If you decided to specialize in a brand name it is probably trademarked so including that brand name in your business name might not be a good idea. Corporations are a bit funny. They either are very protective of their trademarked name/brand or they let things slide if they see you will be an asset to their marketing plan. Being protective is generally the case, especially when you start to become successful and are not under the radar anymore.
Take your list of business name ideas and double check if you have incorporated any trademarked names or phrases in the name(s) on your list.
- US Patent and Trademark Office – Trademarks Section
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office – Trade-marks
- Intellectual Property Office UK – Trademarks
- Australian Government Intellectual Property Office – Trademarks
While looking through the trademark database this might also be the time to decide if you are going to trademark your name or brand to protect it.
Using Your Name as Part of Your Business Name
Some opt for including their name in the business’ name. One thing to consider is if you decide to sell the business it might be a problem. Not that it isn’t possible a business branded with a personal name, just it might be more difficult. Bloggers are perplexed with this decision, whether to build their brand on their name or as a separate name.
Using Location in Your Business Name
Incorporating the location of your business can have it’s advantages. Defines the area you service and would help your website in the search engines for local searches. The disadvantage of including location in your business name is that if you move outside that area or want to go nationwide it creates a problem. Customers in your new area would be confused as to why someone from outside the area is advertising in their area.
Selecting a Unique Business Name
Selecting a unique business name is also an option. This would require more marketing to get the name known and what you do. Just make it a name that people will be able to spell and pronounce.
Is the Matching Domain Name Available?
Businesses need a web presence these days. Even if you yourself are not into the internet, some of your potential customers are. Securing a matching domain name (web address) helps with your overall branding of the business. Getting it now also helps protect you brand even if a website is not in the budget now.
Domain names are not that big of an expense. You can register some different versions of your business name to stop someone else snapping them up before you get your website up.
Picking a Business Name
Picking a business name requires coming up with ideas for a business name that will attract the customers you wish to attract. Make it easy to remember, spell and pronounce while also conveying what it is your business does. Consider if your idea for your business name is brandable and needs to be trademarked.
Use your imagination. Be creative. What business name will make you stand out from the rest of the competition?
Do you have any other tips for coming up with ideas for a business name? Add them to the comments below.
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