When you’re trying to choose a name for your baby, you can find books containing hundreds of names and their meanings. You can find statistical information on the popularity of those names over the years.
When you’re naming your new business, though, the resources may not be as plentiful, and there are considerably more options available to you. Here are some tips for choosing a business name that will work for your business for years to come.
1. Think Big
You might have difficulty envisioning where your business will go over the next five to ten years. This is a great reason to think bigger and broader when choosing a company name. A company that starts off selling only candles might expand over time to include other decor items. Choose a name that is generic enough that it doesn’t make this expansion more difficult. It’s also wise to keep your location name out of your business name. If you start your business in one location and then move, your name will no longer make sense.
Of course, there is such a thing as going too generic. If you’re using a name that represents your business, it should be specific enough that people can tell that you’re a pizza restaurant, for example, and not a florist. Be creative to find a name that encompasses what your business is now and leaves it room for growth.
2. Consider the Internet
Even if your business has a brick-and-mortar location, it will also need a website. If nothing else, your website helps your potential clients find out that you exist and tells them where you’re located. Your website can also convey a sense of what services or products you offer, even if you don’t actually sell them online. When you’re brainstorming business names, check to see if they are available as domain names. If the name you want is already taken but not in use, you can use a domain buy service to help you purchase that name from the current owner.
Be sure also that your website is easy for people to say out loud and to spell. Avoid alternate spellings, such as using “quik” instead of “quick” to make it easier for people to find your business online. Your domain name should also be easy to remember. Make it as simple as possible for anyone looking for the products or services you offer to find you when they search online. People can’t use your services if they don’t know you exist.
3. Stand Out
When you first start brainstorming business names, your brain is likely to develop many ideas related to the services or products you offer. Before you settle on a name, be sure the terms you’re working with aren’t too similar to other businesses in your sector. Do some research online to find other businesses like yours, then choose a name that will set you apart from the crowd. You don’t want people confusing your restaurant, called Burger House, with the Burger Hut across town, for example.
Google AdWords offers a keyword research tool that you can use to look into businesses that aren’t necessarily local to you. Use this resource to search for various combinations of words that people might use to find your business, and you’ll find out if other, similar searches might compete with the ideas you’re using.
Keeping in mind the various ways that people might find the business that you’re starting can help you choose a name that will serve your business well. Make it easy for customers to choose you to serve their needs.