One of the most important things you’ll do when starting your company is picking a name. It’s often the first thing that introduces you to clients and the world at large, so it’s worth spending time to figure out what you want it to be.
The right name will showcase what your company is all about and stick in customers’ minds. The wrong name could turn customers away from your business, but it could also land you in some hot water – legally and financially. Here’s how to get the right name.
1. Don’t Make it Too Narrow
None of us has a crystal ball, so we don’t know how your business will grow in the next few years or decades. Choosing a name that only relates to the specific thing you do at the moment, might mean that you are unable to adapt to market demands in the future.
Tesco began with Jack Cohen selling war-surplus groceries in 1919. Imagine if he’d made that the name of his store. It’s hard to imagine anyone buying their summer dress or child’s toys from there.
2. Keep it Short and Easy to Spell
If your business name is too long or has a unique spelling, customers might have a hard time finding you online and you’ll lose business because people will go to your competitor.
In addition, it will look awful on any sort of promotional merchandise, like promotional pens. There’s only so much text you can fit on a printed pen without it being impossible to read.
3. Use the Internet
When you’ve got a name in mind, do a deep dive online to find out if there are any reasons that you shouldn’t use that name, for instance:
- Does another company have that name?
- Is that name registered as a trademark?
- Has someone already got the social media handles or the domain name that you want?
- Does the name mean something unfortunate in another language, slang, or if read aloud?
4. Get Feedback
When you have a list of names that you like, run them by trusted friends and family, as well as members of your target audience. Ask if it sounds catchy, if they’d be happy to work for/buy that company, and if it gives them an idea of what the business does.
5. Register the Domain Name and Social Handles
As soon as you’ve established that you’re in the clear on the above questions, go ahead and grab the domain name and social media handles. Do this even if you’re not 100% sure about a name because domain names are relatively cheap and you don’t want someone else to pip you to the post. (Some people will sell their domain name to you but it might cost you.)
As the “.com” domain name is the most trusted corporate domain extension, that’s the one you should focus on. However, you can also get the domain for the country that you operate in, like “.co.uk”.
In conclusion, before you settle on the perfect name, do your research. If the name is trademarked, the domain name and social handles are taken, if it’s too long for people to comfortably remember, it’s not the right name for your company. A little work now will save a lot of headaches later.