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Tips for Naming Your New Business

Starting a new business is an exciting endeavor. Once you’ve determined what types of items you plan to sell or what services you’ll be offering, it’s time to name your new venture. Because the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing a business name, the task can feel somewhat daunting. Your name is the first thing your customers see about you, though, so it’s important to choose wisely. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work through the process of naming your new company.

Brainstorm

Think about what products and services your business will offer, then start listing every word or phrase you can think of that might relate to these offerings. Don’t be afraid to use a thesaurus, and do refrain from editing your list as you go. This is the time to free your brain and generate as many ideas as possible. Think outside the box and include terms that are adjacent or similar to your area of business. The more ideas you can come up with during the brainstorming phase, the more likely you are to find the perfect gem on your list.

Edit Your List

Once you’ve got a long list of words to ponder, start eliminating those that are too generic or already highly associated with a well-known brand. Play with combinations of words to see how they feel. You want to choose a name that lets your customers know what your business does. It should also be easy to say and straightforward to spell so that your website is easy to access. There’s no need to over-complicate your business name. Keep it natural so that it fits the personality of your business and gives your customers the information they need. Once you’ve gone through your list, only a few ideas should remain. These are the ones that you will want to explore further. Get feedback on these business names from friends, family, and other business owners.

See What’s Available

Take the few ideas you’ve settled on and search for them on the internet and at the United States Patent and Trademark Office to see if the names you like are currently available for use. Be sure to do this step before you get too far into the process of setting up your business so that you don’t run into any unpleasant surprises. Your state or county may also have a directory of businesses registered with them that you’ll need to keep in mind.

When you do a web search for your potential names, what comes up? Do you want your business to appear on that list, or would you prefer to keep a different company? Also, check to see whether your business name is available as a website domain. It’s widely considered ideal to stick with the .com version of your domain. If the domain you want is currently owned but not being used, you might be able to purchase the domain from its owner. Using a domain broker can help identify the owner and take the stress out of the purchase process.

Consider Growth

If you choose a very specific name for your company based on your current market niche and offerings, you may find that you are limited in the future if you want to expand or change your business in any way. Going overly generic in your name means you risk people not understanding what you do, so try to find a nice middle ground that fits your business and allows for growth.

Naming your business can feel like an intimidating task. There are so many aspects to consider. Work through the process step by step, and you’ll have a name that you’re happy with before you know it.

BIZCATALYST 360°
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