Choosing a business name isn't a cakewalk. I've spent hours in bed, unable to sleep, running through different options for a business name. The name represents what you do and also the way your customers will perceive your business. You need to be careful about picking the right one. Further, you should also make sure that the name you choose for your business is unique to strengthen branding and to avoid any copy-write issues. While not life and death, the name you pick can give you an extra boost with how your small business will fare in the competitive market. As most customers associate a business name with its value, it will also help you immensely in your marketing and branding endeavors.
The following tips will help you pick the perfect name for your business.
Choose a business name that is easy to remember. A name that is easy to remember is usually one that is short and sweet. Joe Brady's Pizza and Salad Emporium is a mouthful and difficult to remember. However, Joe Brady's Pizza is a little easier.
The other piece you have to think about, especially in the digital age, is your domain name. The longer the domain name, the likelihood that someone is going to spell it wrong or not be able to remember it. The last thing you want to do is have someone trying to order your pizza without realizing they are on a website or someplace 2,000 miles away. Even if the domain name isn't available, I would advise using abbreviations rather misspelling the domain or changing it completely.
Speaking of misspellings, be extremely careful when thinking about misspelling a word in your business name. Flickr is an example of a smart way of dropping a letter while keeping the name understandable and memorable.
However, before you decide to name your business Small Bizzness Mentr, make sure the name is representing your brand and will be easy to remember. One easy way to do this is to imagine spelling it for someone over the phone. "Flicker without the "e" is a lot easier to say than, "Small Business Mentor but business is spelled with two Zs and mentor doesn't have an "o."
Keep it short, sweet, and memorable.
One strategy is to include a representation of what your business does in your name. For example, Joe Brady's Pizza is helpful because people know what you do just by looking at your name. However, businesses can get in trouble with this if they try to be too descriptive in their business's name. "Joe's Pizza, Salad, and Breadsticks" doesn't have the same ring to it and can make branding and marketing material difficult. However, if we say, "Joe Brady's Pizza - The best Pizza, Salad, and Breadsticks." Your branding stays intact, as well as being as descriptive as possible. At the same time, if your business ever decides to stop making breadsticks, you don't have to change your name entirely.
As of April 2020, Small Business Mentor's tagline is "Helping Small Businesses Grow." Our name and slogan work together to describe what we do while also being able to function independently. Our name is short and sweet, and our tagline gives a little more context into what we do. Could you imagine if we tried to combine our name and slogan? "Small Business Growth Mentor" is a mouthful. This title would also limit the platform to grow. What if a small business is happy with where they are at and wants help with providing health insurance to their employees? We hate being in a box, and you should hate it too.
Don't get caught up trying to create the perfect descriptive business name if what you do is a little too complicated because your tagline will always be able to pick up the slack. You can also choose to pick a business name that has nothing to do with what you do.
This strategy involves throwing away any description of what your business does in your name. Amazon, Google, Apple, and many others have elected to choose a more abstract name. Companies can do this for a couple of reasons.
One reason is that your business model and product/service is a little complicated. If you're a pizza place, you can pretty easily put "pizza" at the end of whatever name you decide. However, if you try to do something like that with a ridesharing service like Uber, it may be a little tricky.
A company could also go this route if they aren't 100% sure what they're going to grow to be. Let's say you are in the business of designing wedding dresses, but you may want to expand to more offerings in the future. It is in your best interest to pick a name that is consistent with your growth plans. If you choose a name like 'Jill's Wedding Dresses,' it will be challenging to get people to start thinking of you for more than just wedding dresses. Instead, you could choose something like 'Jill's Bridal', which encompasses your growth plans along with your current offerings.
It may be tempting to choose a similar name as that of your competitor to avoid all the brainstorming involved in picking a unique business name, but it won't be beneficial to you. Besides getting entangled in copyright issues, your customers will face a hard time distinguishing you from the competitor's brand.
For example, if your competitor has a fast food outlet with the name 'Hunger,' and you copy the idea to allot the name 'Hungry Minds,' to your business in the same niche, you can get involved in a copyright infringement action, leading to legal consequences. So stay as unique as possible with your small business name to help it grow into a successful brand.
Although tempting to use your full name for your business, it may not be in your best interest. What if Joe Brady wants to sell his business in the future? Does he want his name always attached to the company, even after he isn't involved?
If you have a good reputation and consistent revenue, it may still be challenging to sell the business or expand it to different locations if the company is attached to the owner's name. If you think you may sell the market in the future, keeping the name to just your first name or not putting your name in the company at all may be in your best interest.
When you have decided on a business name that sounds satisfactory to you, get some feedback on it. Ask your family members, your friends, and relatives how they feel about the name and take their suggestions or recommendations seriously. I've had friends tell me names that I thought were perfect until they started giving feedback.
Consider them as your future customers, whose recommendations are indeed crucial to your business growth and marketing endeavors. You may also want to tell them the name and see if they remember it the next day as a test.