Your business plan is flawless, your finances are in check, you’ve got your location set. The only thing that’s missing is your business name. Choosing a business name should be the fun part of starting a business, right? For the most part yes, but picking the perfect name can feel like a lot of pressure. Your business name should stand out and be an added building block that helps you grow a strong brand identity. If you’re drawing a blank while choosing a name for your business, here are a few tips.
Choosing a Name For Your Small Business
Some of the biggest business names are short and simple; Nike, Apple, Target, Amazon. You want to model names like these when you’re choosing a name for your small business. Names like these are the perfect combination of being simple unique at the same time. Ensuring the business name you choose is memorable, and easily spelled will do wonders for your business. Try and stay away from funky spelling, these will be hard for customers to remember and find. An art store named “ArtzNKraftz” is fun, but if someone types it up, the results won't be your business. A short and simple business name ensures no potential issues fitting it on a sign, logo or business card.
Arguably the most important step in choosing a name for your small business, is making sure it's available. If you're starting a corporation or LLC, states laws will restrict you from using a taken name in your state. You can do a quick search to confirm whether or not the name is available. It’s also important to not choose a name that's too similar to a competitor. This may cause trademark infringement issues or cause your business to be overlooked and hard to find. If you’re opening up a laundry mat and there's already a business named “Soap and Suds Laundry Mat”, stay away from naming yours anything having to do with “Soap and Suds”.
It's also important to do an internet search of your potential name to make sure the domain is available. A domain name is the internet address for a website. If the name you want to choose is already being used by someone else for their website, it will be incredibly difficult for potential customers to find you online. For instance, if you are wanting to name your business something like “Windy City Pizza”, you’ll see that it will be very hard finding a domain name that’s available. Even if you don’t plan on having a website right away, reserving domain names only cost $3.00-$20.00. Domain names get taken quickly, so it's smart to reserve them sooner rather than later.
If you plan on using social media for your business, you need to create a username that’s not already being used. While it's easier to change up a username for a social media account to something that’s not already being used, “@windycitypizza” looks a lot better than “@windy_citypizza1234”.
Testing Your Name
The last thing to check is making sure it won't get confused with something else commonly searched. For example, say you’re planning on opening a women's hat shop, and want to name it after your favorite animal a blue jay. When you look up “Blue Jay Hats”, the whole first page of google are pages to buy Toronto Blue Jay baseball hats. Your business will never stand a chance of being found, so it's important to test out variations of your potential business name.
Limiting Your Growth
When you’re first starting your small business, make sure you’re not making decisions that will limit the future growth. This is important to keep in mind, because you can unintentionally sabotage yourself. Geographical names like “Kansas City Carpet Cleaners” may be an issue if you plan on expanding or moving locations. Avoid using names that limit services or products you offer, a name like “Gary’s Grass Cutting Company” is pretty solid. Although, if the company decides to offer other services like tree removal or snow plowing, the name won't be ideal. Naming your business after a current trend is also something you should be conscious of. Naming a clothing store that opened in the year 2000, “Fashion Y2K” was great then, but it now sounds outdated.
Choosing the right name for your small business is important and shouldn’t be a last-minute decision. Make sure you’re doing proper research and thinking about potential issues that may arise while naming your business. You should feel confident and proud of the business name you choose. If you’re looking for more ways to get your small business started, head to getvms.com