Naming a business is like naming your child. You must choose a name that will paint your products and services in a positive light. These steps can help you find the right one.
1. Get Ideas for Your Business Name
The first thing you need to do is to get ideas for your business name. Choosing one that reflects your products and services is a good place to start. One idea for finding potential names is to consult a Thesaurus and look up words that are similar to your business or products. Another place to get ideas is with a business name generator.
Brainstorming is the first step to choosing a good business name. It should reflect your unique place in the market, brand, or something that makes you stand out. You should first make a list of as many words and phrases as possible that describe aspects of your business. At this point, do not edit the list. You will do that later.
2. Narrow It Down
The next thing you need to do is carefully consider the various possibilities to find the right fit. In general, you should avoid names that are generic or cliché. People should have an idea of what you do from the name. The name should also be easy to remember. You also want something people can spell easily when they type it into a search bar.
Pick the best ones, and then it comes down to finding the one that appeals to you. Say it out loud and print it out to see how it sounds and looks. The name should be catchy but not awkward to say. The perfect name will be easy on the ears and easy on the eyes. Try to narrow the initial idea list down to three to five top picks.
3. Check Conflicts
The next thing you need to do is check for conflicts. With nearly 31.7 million businesses in the United States, finding something unique can be challenging. If you are going to have a website and social media channels, you will need to make sure that an appropriate domain name and social media handles are available.
You will also need to check state and federal databases to see if the name you have chosen is available. You need to check the US Trademark Electronic Search System to ensure the name is not used. Lastly, you should do a Google Search to find out if anyone is already using the name. These steps are a good way to make sure that no one will sue you for infringement in the future.
4. Think About Branding
By now, you might find that you have a list of two or three names that have made it this far in the selection process. Next, you want to think about branding. The name should indicate what your business does. Some companies have successfully branded nonsensical names, but this takes advertising capital and a lot of effort. The best advice is to keep it simple but also make it unique.
5. Generate Visuals
Generating preliminary ideas on the logo and visuals can help you narrow down your final choices. Try the names in different font sizes and with a few simple clip art sketches to see if one name “clicks” more than others. You want to think of your name as a key component of the branding and advertising package.
Things to Avoid
These five tips will help you generate business name ideas and narrow them down to find the one that is the right fit. There are also a few things you should avoid.
- Avoid misspelled words and “cute” spellings
- Do not limit yourself from future growth
- Think carefully about the limitations of geographic names
- Avoid names that are only slightly different from competitors
Now, you have a few ideas for how to generate potential business names and narrow them down. Before you make your final decision, it is a good idea to get feedback from others and try to make sure your name tells your brand story. Time spent choosing the right business name is well worth the time and effort in the long run.