Choosing a great business name isn’t always as simple as using a business name generator tool. In fact, a lot of consideration needs to be put into your business name because it’ll serve as a cornerstone of your brand and is the first chance you get to make a good first impression among potential customers.
This article will discuss some tips when brainstorming business name ideas and what you can expect when you’ve found the right name for your small business.
Tips for naming your business
It might be tempting to play around with a free business name generator to create a list of names or combine a couple of words in another language to come up with a name for your new business. However, coming up with a successful business name that will be memorable and form a good first impression can take a bit more work.
Here are some tips to help you when naming your business.
1. See what’s already out there
Do a simple internet search to see what business names are already out there within your niche and use that to guide your brainstorming session. This can help prevent you from choosing a name that is already taken and serve as a guide to what type of names in your industry have been successful. This should be one of the first steps you take when coming up with a new business name.
2. Avoid hard-to-spell names: Keep it simple
Making use of unique spellings can be tempting for new business owners in search of a name for their business. Playing around with the spelling of a word can make it seem fun and out of the ordinary, but you run the risk of potential customers not being able to find you. Keep your business name simple to avoid constant misspellings and confusion.
Potential customers will most likely search for your business online, and if they’re having a hard time finding it or can’t remember the spelling, the last thing you want is for them to move on to your competitors. You want to be easily accessible.
3. Use acronyms and create mash-ups
Using an acronym to name your business can be challenging since most acronyms are not really memorable and can quickly lead to unpronounceable names. Creating a meaningful name using an acronym can also prove difficult and require a lot more time and marketing dollars to catch your target audience’s attention.
The same can be said for a company name containing abbreviations since it can be difficult for customers to remember. Creating a mash-up of different words to form a new company name should also be done with care to avoid coming up with a name that’s too similar to another company.
Even though using an acronym can be a risky route to take, it can be effective and unique if done right. GE (General Electric) is one example of an effective acronym that is memorable due to successful branding.
4. Use symbolism
The name of your company is the first piece of information potential customers will use to form an opinion about your business. Coming up with a good business name that has personality and meaning can be the difference between being memorable and gaining instant traction or staying stagnant.
For example, Twitter refers to the chirps of a bird, giving small pieces of information. The name has been so successful and memorable in building the brand that users came up with the word “tweet” themselves. This is a great example of how a brand can use symbolism and imagery to be memorable among users and customers and how a name can help reach success.
5. Research keywords
Your business name can be a goldmine of ranking potential and allow you to climb your way up the search engine results pages (SERPs). If your business name includes some of your target keywords, it could help you reach the top of the search results page faster and help you grow your organic traffic.
Research the keywords you want your business to rank for and ensure they resonate with your brand and personality and the products or services you’re offering.
6. Don’t limit it by a category or specific product
Avoid being too narrow or specific with your business name. You might be excluding customers if your name suggests you only sell one specific product or service. This could also limit potential growth in the future if you decide to expand your product or service selection. Amazon is a great example of a business that didn’t limit itself to a specific category even though it started out selling only books.
7. Exercise caution with geographical names
This can be just as limiting as the product category limitation. Once you specify a location in your business name, it can be hard to expand to other locations and can hamper growth. For example, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company changed its name to 3M once the company expanded and started doing business outside Minnesota.
It might sound like a great idea to show off your state or hometown in your business name, but not doing so can prevent a lot of potential headaches in the future and make it easier for you to expand to different locations. Avoiding geographical names is especially important for online businesses with a target audience in multiple locations. E-commerce businesses generally serve customers in multiple locations.
8. Tell a story
Your business name gives you the opportunity to tell a unique story that you want potential customers to know, whether it’s something about the origins of your business or values you prioritize. For example, “Grandma Beck’s Old-Fashioned Bakery” can create the visual image of fresh bread and warm baked goods made from scratch using a recipe that has been in the family for generations. Telling a story is a great way to ensure you have a unique business name.
9. Get feedback
Getting feedback is vital during many stages of your business, and the naming stage is no different. Your business name will be the first piece of information your customers will receive about your business, and first impressions are important.
Make sure your business name will create the desired first impression and is relevant to your type of business. Brand name testing is one form of market research that can help you choose the most effective brand name. Present multiple brand name options to your target audience and ask them to provide feedback on each name’s ease of pronunciation, appeal, and relevance. This can be done with a survey.
10. Carry out a trademark search
This is a very important step and can help prevent your business from running into issues or getting sued. You need to make sure that someone has not already trademarked your business name or idea. Fortunately, this can be done with a simple search using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
If a business name is already trademarked, then you can’t use it. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires that trademarks are identifying and unique, so you’ll have to head back to the drawing board if your business name is already trademarked. If your name is available, you can go ahead and start the trademark registration process.
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What comes next?
After choosing a good name for your business, there are still some other tasks left for you to take care of before you can start doing business. These tasks include buying a matching domain name, registering your limited liability company (LLC), working on your trademark, securing your business name on social media, and creating your brand logo.
Make sure to have a website matching domain available
It’s important to try and secure your domain name ending with “.com” since it’s the largest and oldest domain extension, as well as the most memorable. A .com domain extension is also considered better for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
However, since they are so popular, it might be hard to find your ideal domain name with a .com domain extension, and you’ll most likely have to pay a premium price. The cost of a domain name can vary widely depending on several factors, such as popularity, the domain extension, and the seller of the domain.
Checking on domain availability is an important step when choosing a business name. These sites can help you determine if your ideal domain name is available:
Register your LLC
Forming an LLC is helpful for numerous reasons, such as giving you the ability to open business bank accounts, obtain business permits and licenses, and enter into contracts. It also helps protect your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit. Forming an LLC is also important for tax purposes.
After choosing a name for your LLC, it’s time to file the Articles of Organization with your state’s corporate filing office. Some states use the term “certificate of formation” or “certificate of organization.” You’ll also need a registered agent located within the state before you file. The documents you need will vary based on the state your business is located in.
Start working on your trademark
Protect your brand name and logo by completing a trademark application. Before starting the process of registering a trademark, though, first determine whether the mark is indeed registerable. It’s also important to note that the USPTO isn’t responsible for enforcing the trademark. It’s your responsibility to enforce your rights and bring any legal action in the event that another party infringes on your mark.
Check for social media account names available
Ensure your new business name is available on various social media platforms so customers don’t struggle to find you on social media. Creating a social media account for your business is a great way to connect with customers, advertise your products or services, and build a loyal customer base.
Create your brand logo
After spending all this time to find your perfect business name, it’s important to have a brand logo that is just as memorable. Having a unique logo that stands out from the crowd and helps customers instantly recognize your company is vital for long-term success.
The incredible independent talent on Upwork can help you design a business logo that is unique and memorable. Whatever you’re looking for, Upwork makes it easy to connect with design professionals who can create a logo that makes you stand apart from the competition.
Generate your business name and get started
Entrepreneurs clearly face a lot of pressure when choosing a name for their startup. The naming process is supposed to be exciting, but it can quickly turn into a daunting task.
Upwork can help you hire a brand identity specialist so you can rest assured that you are in great hands. Starting a business is hard work; let the right talent make things easier.
This article is intended for educational purposes and should not be viewed as legal or tax advice. Please consult a professional to find the solution that best fits your situation. Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
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