Starting a small business website is stressful enough – you have to worry about a business plan, funding, suppliers, your market, marketing and all the rest. But unless you have a great name that fits what you are doing, it won’t matter how large your margins are.
Your business name is the core of your brand. Is it memorable? Does it have personality? Does it explain the service/product you are providing?
Entrepreneurs not only have to worry about having a catchy name, but its search engine optimizability, potential misspellings, and embarrassing alternate meanings. (You probably don’t want to make our list of the 50 Worst and Most Embarrassing Domain Names Ever Purchased!)
Here are five basic guiding principles as you start to figure out how to make this all-important decision:
1) Do a search for the name you have in mind – is it available or already being used? Can you legally use this name in your state/province?
2) Is it unique, short and/or easy to remember? Does it describe or indicate what your business does?
3) Is the domain name available? This could be number one for some people – if yourbusinessname.com and everything close to it is already snapped up, you might want to reconsider.
4) Does your name in any way limit the potential of your company in the future? For example, a geographical name such as “East River Plumbing” or a niche name such as “Light Fixtures Inc.” may put a ceiling on your business that hurts you down the road.
5) Does your name pique interest? Remember, descriptive and active words are your friend, such as: instant, organic, speedy, natural, and easy. (Can you guess which one we used?)
These experts share a few more tips on how to choose the right name for your business:
- 5 Rules for Choosing a Business Name from Susan Ward of About.com.
- Kate Lister of Wise Bread explains how a catchy title or name can come around to bite you in the rear end in her blogpost, How to Choose a Business Name.
- Kathy Koblinski com dives into Branding Your Business on Entrepreneur.com.
What’s the best (or worst) business name you’ve ever seen?