Do you have an idea for starting a new business but aren’t sure how to go about choosing a winning business name? Here are six tips that can help you do just that.
1. Don’t put limits on your future
Giving your business a name that has a cutting edge to it could provide you with an immediate impact. However, in two years it might sound very outdated and worn out. When it comes to choosing your business name, you need to keep longevity in mind. Once your business is launched it will be a lot harder to change your brand. Also you should not choose a ‘sector’ sounding name which potentially can be limiting. In the future, you might want to diversify your business into other lines. It won’t be as easy to do this if the name of your company is tied too closely to a different sector of the market.
2. Don’t limit yourself to certain markets
Just as selecting a sector-specific name might be too restrictive for potential expansion plans in the future, choosing a name that doesn’t translate well might be limiting also. It’s a big world out there, but the internet makes it seem smaller. You might not be thinking about selling overseas right now. However, it could become a possibility in the future. Think about how your business name translates. There have been many businesses that have ended up with names that mean something quite different than the original intent when it gets translated into a different language.
3. Obey the law
When it comes to business names, there are certain regulations and rules that you must follow in terms of what can and cannot be used, particularly if you will be setting up a limited company. One big ‘No, No’ is attempting to sound very similar to an existing brand or business. This can get you into big trouble as can making claims you are unable to substantiate.
4. Think Brand
Keep in mind that your business name plays a big role and impact in everything you do, particularly online. You need to ensure that you have relevant assets available. Keep things simple. Have all domain names and social media handles share similar properties. Most likely you are going to want your .co.uk and .com etc. domain names to be identical, and potentially other country domain extensions as well. You will want to match also your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other presences.
5. Consider Spelling
Keep in mind that if it is easy to misspell your company name, it can also be easy to miss your business. Every once in a while a trend crops up where (for example) it becomes popular to use Z instead of S in a word, or trendy spellings for words start to become in vogue. This does make it easier to secure domain names, but it really isn’t a good practice to follow. Although many searchers online probably will be able to find your website if you practice good SEO, others will be going by word of mouth. If your business name has a similar sound to something else, it could result in missed opportunities and some people might not find you.
6. Keep Things Simple
It is unlikely that long-winded names will end up being bit hits. Think about Amazon, Google, Dell, Apple, etc. Simple, short and sweet wins every time. The more memorable, simpler to engage and easier to type or write, the better. In today’s world of sharing, it is much better to have something short and sweet. Keep in mind that on Twitter there is a 140 character limit, so a brand using up less than that will have a lot more room for getting their messages across which will be much more re-tweetable.
Before making a final decision on your domain name, there are many different things for you to consider. Legal considerations are some of the most important. Therefore, getting professional advice can also off. Choosing your business name is possibly the most critical decision you will make for your start-up. So take your time and don’t rush things.