Your name is one of the signature aspects of your business. You can’t just randomly choose a name without giving any real consideration to how it will impact your ability to market and draw in customers. Knowing how to choose a name for your small business will make it easier for you to compete more effectively.
Tell a Story
Have you ever heard the name of a business and wondered what the story is? This can be one of your best marketing tools. You need to consider how telling the story of how your business came to be will help you attract consumers and establish your brand.
As you tell your story, think about some of the most important aspects. What prompted you to go into business? What problem were you trying to solve? What was the breakthrough idea? Some of those ideas can be an important part of the naming process – and it can add to your unique value proposition.
Who are you? What do you have to offer? At some point, you’re going to need to establish keywords that will help your small business be located in the search engines. There’s no reason why you have to wait until after you’ve chosen a name and set up your business to consider search engine optimization. Think about the SEO keywords you’ll want to use when marketing yourself – many of these same keywords can go into the name of your business (and your domain name).
Don’t Limit Yourself
There are no rules when it comes to choosing a name. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box for naming ideas. No one said that you have to include the name of your city or even the name of your product. These are just basic ideas to get the wheels turning. Plenty of brands are big even though you get nothing out of the name. There’s a mattress company named Purple. There’s a ride-share company called Uber. Clearly, anything can work – but you have to be prepared to spend the money on marketing when you go a bit too far outside of the box.
Remember You Need a Website
Don’t forget that the name you choose for your small business should also match your website domain. Ideally, they’ll match – but you can always stray away a bit. To make marketing easier, be sure that they go hand in hand. If your business name and domain name are light years away from one another, it’ll be harder for you.
Forget about the .com extensions because they’re done and exhausted. You need to have an extension as unique as your brand – and it’s why .ONLINE is gaining such notoriety. The added benefit is that you’ll be more likely to find a domain that’s available and matches well with your business name.
Make It Easy for People to Remember
The reason that there are so many one-word businesses out there is that they’re easy to remember. Try for one to two words and no more than 10 characters. The easier it is to remember, the easier it will be for you to market your brand.
People are going to share your name in conversations. If they can’t remember it, though, you lose out on word of mouth marketing.
Write It Out Using Different Fonts
Font spacing and kerning can be a big problem with some words. Before you settle on a name, use a few fonts that interest you. If it’s hard to make out a letter, you’re not going to be the only one. There’s no use choosing a name that doesn’t look good spelled out. You might end up in a list of ‘worst business names’ because of a bad font space. If it’s not looking too good spelled out, it’ll be a literal marketing nightmare.
Cross-Reference Your Options
Just because you’re a small business now doesn’t mean you’re always going to be small. All it takes is one great idea to turn into a franchise – or for one post to go viral. Be sure that you cross-reference your idea for a business name against what’s already out there. If there’s another business with the same name, even if it’s on the other side of the country, it may be best to go back to the drawing board.
Bad press isn’t always good press. If a business of the same name goes viral for something bad, you don’t want to be associated with them. Their bad decisions shouldn’t count against you. And by choosing a completely original name, it’s easier to avoid such problems.
Learning how to choose a name for your small business doesn’t take money, it just takes effort. Once you have a list of 20 or 30 ideas, start narrowing them down by process of elimination. The last one standing will be the name you should go with confidently.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!