What’s in a Name? 3 tips on Picking a Business Name

What would you say is the first step to starting a business? Perhaps conjuring up the perfect name? Seeing as you can’t really go forward without a name I’d say that’s step numero uno!

So, how do you come up with a name that:

  1. Describes what you do?

  2. Represents the feel you want to convey to your audience?

  3. Is catchy and memorable?

That's a lot of pressure for choosing a name! And I know you're wondering how the heck to convey all that in something that is short, memorable and representative. Keep reading for a few tips to choose a phenomenal business name.

1. Keep your audience in mind.

I have often seen people choosing names based on things that are personal to them (such as using an inside joke, family names, personal preferences) and while that is important for your story, I'm going to argue that it may not be the best for your business. You have to put yourself in your target audience's shoes.

Do you think they will know that you named your business after your favorite pet in high school and the number of times you drove a motorcycle (don't laugh I had a client with a business name like this)? Though this is a great persona touch (which you do want to keep in mind) it may not resonate with your audience.

Think about what they like, what they do, where they live, what kind of hobbies they have and use that as a starting point for choosing your name.

2. Keep it short and simple.

Often we want to explain everything with our name to be sure that the audience knows wha you are and what you do. But, that's not the point of a name. You want your name to be catchy and memorable - it is not your tagline or mission. Your name is a representative of your business so choose one that is short and will stick in people's minds.

On keeping it simple - you do not need to add a bunch of technical terms (LLC, Inc, corporation, etc) if it does not jive with your overall vision. You want to make it something familiar to your audience, people like familiar, it is more trustworthy. So, let's keep it simple and familiar.

3. But, do not make it plain.

There is a lot of competition out there. And, while I believe there is room for all of us to succeed, the truth is some will do better than others. Choosing a name that is unique to you and your audience will be elemental in helping you stand out from the crowd.

Think of making your name that is going to be memorable, avoid using terms like "general," "all-in-one," "[name of your job]," - because these will not stand out in the sea of people doing the same thing you are. You are unique, so, make your name represent that.

Once you do have an idea of where you want to go you can follow these steps to hammering out your name:

  • 1st: make a list of things that inspire you and resonate with you and you think your audience will like.

  • 2nd: think of how these words connect with your target audience. How will it make them feel? What do you want them to picture? What do you want them to know about you?

  • 3rd: make sure the URL is available! As soon as you've come up with something you like check he URL before falling in love with the name. If the .com is not available, check if it would make sense to have any other "." ending. If not, sorry but it's back to the drawing board.

  • 4th: when you've picked a name you like and found the available URL you're ready to start sharing it with the world. Start social media accounts with your business name and start gaining interest and momentum even before you actually start your business! This will pay off in the long run.

So, there you go. A few tips to help you narrow it down, focus, and pick a rockin' business name!

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