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Top tips on how to choose a name for your new business

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How to choose a name for your new business

When you’re in the process of starting your own business, it can feel like there are a million things to think about and organise.

Thinking of a business name can feel like an overwhelming task as once you’ve made the decision on a name, you’re pretty much stuck with it unless you want to go through a rebranding exercise which can itself takes a lot of time, money and effort.

While it might seem dramatic, choosing the “wrong” name for your business could have drastic consequences such as failing to resonate with your customers and in some extreme cases, potentially causing legal issues. Choosing the right business name, however, can be incredibly helpful when it comes to marketing your business and attracting new customers.

Thinking of a good business name doesn’t have to be complicated, as long as you’re aware of the dos and don’ts involved in choosing a name for your business, you’ll be on the right track to success.

Below you’ll find some top tips to consider when it comes to choosing a name for your business.

Brainstorm lots of ideas

The first thing you need to do when it comes to choosing a business name is to simply brainstorm a lot of ideas. Whether that’s by simply writing words down on a piece of paper and seeing how they look, or by using a random name generator website or app to find random names for things, it’s a good idea to start simple and just put together any names that sound good to you.

Try and be as descriptive as possible

Whenever you think of the name of an established business, you can probably tell if that name assists in marketing that business, and hopefully that it is representative of what that business sells or offers its customers.

This is a concept that you should apply as well when choosing a name for your business.  If your business name is descriptive and explains exactly what you sell or offer, it’s much more likely that customers will recognise it and resonate with it.

Keep it simple

Following on from the above point, while it’s important to be as descriptive as you can with your business name so that people know exactly what it is and what it means, it’s also a good idea to try and keep it relatively simple and not too long-winded. If your business name is ten words long, it’s going to be much harder to remember than if it’s only one or two words.

Try not to pick a name that doesn’t really mean anything

On occasions, new businesses try and be clever when choosing a name for their business and they’ll pick something really “out there”.  While it’s definitely important to try and be as original and unique as possible with your business name, you also need to make sure that it is meaningful and isn’t just a series of random letters or words.

If the name is a translation, thoroughly check that the translation is correct

We’ve all heard the story of Ariana Grande getting the words “barbecue grill” tattooed on her instead of her intended song title “seven rings”. Don’t make Ariana’s mistake by taking the first translation you hear of the word as gospel.

If you’re thinking of naming your business something in a different language, always check with multiple sources that you’ve got the English translation correct to avoid any embarrassment and a potentially expensive mistake to fix.

Carry out a trademark search on the name

Once you get to the stage where you’re starting to get serious about your choice of business name, you should carry out a quick search to see if you can get a trademark or service mark for the name so that you can put measures in place to ensure that no one else is able to use it.

Get used to saying the name frequently

One way to see if the name you’ve chosen really is right for you and your business is to get used to saying it frequently. The more that you say it out loud and hear how it will sound to other people, the quicker you’ll realise whether it’s right for your business.

Ask for other people’s advice

This is something that not many people think of doing, but asking other people what they think of your business name choice can help you to gauge how customers might react to it.

Start by asking your closest friends and family or business associates what they think of it and what the name makes them think of. If you’ve chosen a good name for your business they should hopefully be able to associate your products or services with the name you’ve chosen.

Do a thorough internet search to see if anyone else is using the same name

Once you’ve found a name that you like, carry out a Google search to see if any other company is using the same name and whether it will influence your decision to change it or not.

Check whether there is availability for a domain name and on social media

Having a solid online presence for almost any business these days is incredibly important, so it’s a good idea to check if the business name that you want is available for use as a domain name and on social media. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.


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