How to choose a business name?
This is the first phase of any business inauguration that I love and yet makes me nervous at times. As a wide range of factors comes into play with the proper business selection, it’s always a daunting task to perfection.
What’s in a name that makes it one of the crucial steps of business? It is because the success of a business is proportionate to the right name. A surprising survey states that many entrepreneurs and business owners delay their ideas to get off the ground only because they are stuck on a name.
So the question that arises by leaps and bounds is how to choose a business name.
Having gone through the process over and over again, I have been able to craft a system that helps any business through this process.
So, let’s dive into it.
Time to be creative
No one understands your business more than you do. Think about every key element of your business. The characteristics that make it unique and easy to communicate with the audience. Try to come up with the name that your audience can relate to. If you are looking for a brandable name, avoid using any sort of SEO keywords inside it.
A hypothetical example is “Airport Taxi Minneapolis.” You should not use this sort of name as it is long and definitely doesn’t have any meaning at all.
There are certain points that you can have in your checklist to make a precise decision:
- Does your business name tell a short story?
- Can your audience connect with your name?
- Is it short and easy to remember?
- Does it stand out in the crowd?
- Is your name another cliché or SEO focused name?
You are under catastrophe
What if you are struck? There are times when business owners don’t care about branding. All they need is a domain name that offers commercial value in search engines. If that’s the case I recommend you spend some time on working with keyword research.
Just spend 1-2 hour of your time on effective research on Google keyword planner. This can hook you up with keywords that have SEO values. I don’t recommend using the exact match. And even if you want to use it, most of the times, the name will already be reserved.
So how do you do it? For instance, if your service is relating with plumbing in Sydney; search for “plumbers Sydney.” This will hook up few related terms that you can take inspiration for your business name.
Make sure you have the available domain name
This probably is the most determining factor of choosing a business name. There is no application of a name that you can’t use as a domain name. If you need to scale your business, you will surely need a website. And domain name is the starting point of your web presence.
Start with all the creative names that you have on the list. Search for the availability of the domain names. If you don’t find any available names that resonate with your brand, try altering few letters. For example, Tumblr removed “e” from Tumblr, and so did Flickr. You can try something like that to remove the pun as well as the “cliché” most businesses have in their domain name.
Register your business and name
If your company name and the trading name is same, you must be registered with ASIC for Australian business. However, if you want to trade under a different name, it’s must to register the trading name as the business name. Also, note that registration of a business or domain doesn’t give you proprietary rights. To protect your name from illegal usage, you need a trademark protection which ensures exclusive use of your name. To do that in Australia you need to register the business name as a trademark.
If you are looking for a domain for branding purposes, here are 3 common mistakes that you should strictly avoid:
Avoid Long Names
Unless your audience is full of Einstein’s brains, it will be hard for them to remember the brand name if it’s too long. Many memorable names have only one or two words like Apple, Amazon etc.
Any name with over 3 words will be less likely to stick in your client’s mind. Let me give you a real example of a domain name: East Los Angeles medical marijuana card doctor. Yes, trust me this is a domain name. I can see that it was created solely for SEO purposes, but at least the site owner should have a little decency. This is the sort of name that you should strictly elude.
Don’t be too geographically specific
Unless you want to limit your service to a certain location, you should evade using specific locations. It’s tempting to go for a town or suburbs at initial stages of business launch. And, yes it certainly gives a boost on local results. But, this can also backfire against you if your services have reached in the global market.
Remember this; your business will always expand ideally along the time. And there is no turning back after you choose a name. Yes, you can rebrand the name, but the hassle is not worth it.
Not doing enough tests
This is the biggest and common mistake that many small business owners do while choosing a name. You should always do enough tests before going for a name. Ask your friends and peers what they think about the name you have shortlisted. Do they find any meaning to it? Is it pronounceable?
If you need a data-backed answer, create few landing pages with different names and logos. Check which one does better with the ads. This sort of test is also called split testing. Make enough tests and work on it.
Working on a business name is always a hectic task. And if you are unaware of the methodology and consequences, it’s likely that you will end up on the wrong side of the road. So, before setting up your business, understand the above criteria and work on it.