Starting a new business is an exciting time and choosing the right business name is a crucial step in the process. It’s no longer just about a ‘sign in the window’— your name will represent your brand across various online media and should make an immediate statement about your business to people who most likely will be just ‘clicking-by’.
I’ve chosen business names before and know that co-ordinating a name to be used across a range of internet platforms can be tricky.
Here are three tips that you should keep in mind when thinking about your new business name.
1. Big isn’t always best: Choose a business name that is memorable.
Seems obvious right?
But it’s not always that easy.
Your business name is your branding. A visual message. You will need to consider how your name will be presented by all types of online platforms— and with the multitude of business names being registered daily keep in mind some applications may require it to be abbreviated or altered. So don’t make your business name complicated.
- Think about your market, current trends and research what your competitors are doing.
- Make sure your business name is not identified more readily with a different industry.
- Keeping the name short and snappy is a good way to ensure it is memorable. Remember: it will be represented as a web address, email, Twitter name etc… a long name can be off-putting. Consider consulting a branding specialist or a Copywriter to help create a name that will be a solid base for your business.
It’s great if you can choose a business name that resonates personally for you, is meaningful as well as conveying the image of your new business… but remember that sometimes a simple name simply works best.
2. Nuts n’ Bolts: check registration requirements for your new business name.
There are different government registration requirements for your new business name depending on the type of business you are opening.
- Will you be a sole trader or a company?
- Is the new business name available?
- Should you be registering your business name as a trademark?
Luckily all this information is freely available online. For Australian new business owners go to business.gov.au for links to business registration information. For other countries check your local government websites for more information.
3. Costoftime: Test your new business name.
Research! This is a vital step and one of my favourites because it is not expensive… it will just costyoutime.
As a web page will be an integral part of your online media strategy it’s important to do a domain search to ensure you can get a website match to your business name. Do your homework! There are plenty of online domain merchants who sell domains at budget prices. It pays to shop around.
Also check that the name is available on other social media platforms such as Twitter. If it is already taken you may need to get creative and think of a variation of the name that still works for your branding.
Tell your proposed business name to people you trust and ask for feedback.
If too many just don’t get it or need elaborate explanations be prepared to go back to the drawing board…
(Well… better now than after those fancy business cards have been printed!)
Give yourself a plug time! Have you got a tip for business name selection? How did you come up with your business name?