At the core, there are three aspects of your business that should be regarded as equally important; business concept, revenue model, and business name. These three things are the foundation of your business and should be as close to perfect as possible. You could have an amazing idea and foolproof business plan, but if the title of your business is bland, overused, or just bad you could be in serious danger of never getting out of the gate to begin with. You should treat your business name as you might treat naming your first born child – as the cliche says, it is your ‘baby’. Give it something with a feeling of strength and remember that it should be permanent.
Take Get Busy Media, for an example. Born from a quote that our founder, Steve Murphy, lives his life by:
Andy Dufresne completely nails the essence of our business name and it’s obvious to see that Steve knows a thing or two about how to name a business himself. Here are 6 quick tips that should help you nail your business name:
1. Keep it simple – Naming a business seems to be the type of thing that is often over thought. At the end of the day, it is your livelihood and should have a name that you are truly in love with. Keep in mind, you want your business name to be something that when spoken about in passing can be remembered with ease. Keeping your name to one word can prove difficult, but if there is one word that fully embodies the essence of your business, go with it.
2. Make a List – Come up with a list of 5-10 names that you like, hopefully there are a couple in there that you love, but having a wider range in the decision process leaves you room for the next step and beyond.
3. Availability – Take that list of however many names you came up and Google (fun anecdote behind the naming of Google itself) them one by one. It’s not the end of the world if your business name is taken. If the name is used by a biz in completely different industry, you’re in the clear. However, if the name is used by someone in a similar industry, you should cross that one off the list. Use your good judgment on this one.
Next, check the names’ web presence. What type of search results appear on the first page when entering your proposed name? Would the name you hope to use be easily searchable for your target customer? This will narrow down what your business’ website could possibly be.
4. Feedback – There is nothing wrong with being extremely confident and in love with your business name, but gathering as much feedback from trusted friends, family, and colleagues before making a decision can’t hurt.
5. Be Unique – Make it memorable. Your name should pique people’s interest so much so that they want to pull out their smartphone and immediately Google your biz to see what it’s all about. Also, pick something that will look good aesthetically – on a business card, in print, on signage or t-shirts – wherever your business name will appear.
6. Lock It Up – You may realize this step when you are going through step number three, but purchasing a few domain names that you think could potentially be the home for your businesses’ website as early as possible will prove to be a veteran move. There are sites such as WHOIS where you can test out URL’s and see what is potentially available. Going through the whole process only to find there are no domains available to realistically portray your biz’s true identity would be a shame. However many times finding a domain that works is a malleable process and you will be able to find something that works.
In the end, you should be 100% in love with the name you have chosen. Even with all the feedback in the world, the decision is ultimately yours and your business name should reflect that.