You have your business idea. You have your business model. Now what do you call it? What do you name this precious baby that you have spent all of your time nurturing and developing? Naming a business can be just as difficult as naming a baby. What do you need to consider? Do you want something funky and fresh? An attention grabber? Something trendy? Should it describe what you do? Who you are? Let’s take it step by step and look at what should really go into naming a business.
First off, is this business just for you? Or do plan on expanding? If your plan is to be a solopreneur, naming the company after yourself could be a viable option. If you’re ok with brand recognition being your face then this could work. If people already know you as the face of the company, this helps greatly, because there is built-in brand awareness. You get to be a walking billboard, in the best of ways. Keeping your company name-based also allows you room to change paths. If you decide to redirect the goals, niche, or product line, there is no need to rebrand. YOU are the brand, and YOU can sell whatever you want, no name change necessary.
“Darien Fleming is an in-demand consultant for law firms and high-powered professionals who can get people to operate from their strengths to incredible results. A former attorney, Darien, was looking to change her company name and her brand in a big way. Yet, people weren’t searching for a fancy new name, they were looking for HER, and her expertise. In her case, the best move to make was to mainstream, self-name, and create a beautiful inviting website all her own.”
While self-naming a company is a great option for many, it’s not a one size fits all. If you have unique expectations for the company you have begun, other factors come into play. If you plan on taking on partners or coworkers, self-branding may not be the perfect fit. You may want to find something a little more “we” and a little less “me”. Consider a broader idea, which can accommodate multiple members or even multiple departments. Consider a name that explains the purpose of the company, but still broad enough to expand upon. I.E. Joe’s Deck Building > J’s Decks > J Construction.
If you planning to grow your business to maturity and then selling it off, you should take into account ease of transition. Is your business name hard to spell or hard to remember? These can be turn offs for potential buyers. While we love the brand recognition that comes with the familiarity of national brand names, you don’t want to run into any copyright infringement issues. While “Abiba’s” shoes can sound catchy and familiar, it will inevitably come with brand confusion, legal issues, and a red flag for potential buyers. Try to be original, relatively simple and stay away from any possible legal issues if you want to sell your baby in the future.
So, you’ve decided on a name for your bundle of joy. What now? Before you run out and have a logo custom made, check the availability of the domain name and social media handles. Do some research and some light internet searching for other people using the same names. You can also use sites like namecheckr.com to see what domains and social media names are already in use. If your first choice is already in use, try making small changes until you find something suitable. It’s also a good idea to check these sites even if you are self-naming your site. If there is an underground indie singer with your name, your company’s web search results will never make it to the first page of search results.
If you are truly set on a name for your site, but the .com address is taken, should you consider a .net, .guru, or .org domain? Short answer. No. People automatically assume your website will end in .com. It’s hard enough to remember your company, or personal name, adding another factor will lead to missed opportunities. Potential customers will end up on the .com version of your domain, and congratulations you have given free traffic to someone else. My advice is to stick with a .com. Change the name, change the spacing, but keep it a .com. Trust me on this.
Simple is the name of the game with web name creation. Keep it simple, don’t steal ideas. Do yourself a favor and do plenty of research before you fall in love with something. Keep it easy to read, easy to spell, and easy to remember. Fancier isn’t always better. Let your amazing work and word of mouth help guide people to where YOU are.
Also, some business cards never hurt anyone.