Picking the right name for a new business requires some serious thought. There are various things that you need to consider as well as a handful of things that you just shouldn’t do. So, with that in mind, here are our top tips for naming your business.
1: Is the name available?
The first thing to do when you come up with that perfect name is check that it’s available as a company name and as domain name. If they’re both available, great, if not, back to the drawing board (unless you’re happy to proceed with a company name that doesn’t match your domain name, which is always an option).
2: Steer clear of ‘cool’
Don’t choose a name that will age the company. Walter White Ltd (it is available!) may earn a knowing-nod now, but what will people think this time next year?
3: Is it Google-able?
People should remember your company name as well as being able to spell it. Try to avoid overly complicated titles or names. Snappy names with standard spellings are always best.
4: Using Locations
If your company name includes you location, you may be limiting the scope of your business. This may suit traditional trades where specifying a location is wise (plumbers for example) but not web-based operations where geography is irrelevant.
5: Stand apart!
Your name should be unique, not only from other businesses in your industry but from other businesses in general. What makes your business different and can you convey that in a company name?
6: Can it be misconstrued?
Think about how the name could be interpreted. Whilst it doesn't have to say what you do, it shouldn’t give the impression that you do something that you don’t.
7: Don’t do an “Apprentice”
Do you cringe when they pick the team names on The Apprentice? I certainly do. Here’s a select few (from the UK and US): Alpha, Excel, Forte, Impact, Instinct, Logic, Revolution, Stealth, Synergy, Unanimous. Be wary of words that may appear to mean a lot but actually mean nothing.
Start-ups need to get their name “out-there”, and that’s the full name. Massive corporations such as IBM have the clout to get away with using initials, smaller businesses probably don’t. Plus, it’s a bit boring.
9: Business isn’t an exact science…
Remember, these are just guidelines for naming your business. Like business in general, there’s no exact science to it. For each point above, you could find a successful company who have done the exact opposite to what we recommend. Therefore, the final tip is…
10: Don’t ignore your instincts!
Sometimes a name just feels right. Don’t bin an idea just because it doesn’t tick some boxes. Ask around and find out what other people think of it, you may just be onto something.
Mathew Aitken is Content Manager and Social Media Executive at The Made Simple Group.