What's In A Name...Selecting the Right Business Name
by James Capobianco
all that's been written lately about the new 67 characters allowed
for domain names, I thought I would address the art of
selecting a name for your business. It's by no means an easy
task or one that should be taken lightly. So here we go.
Ask 500 people, already in
business, how they decided upon their business name and you will
get 500 different answers. Everyone has a story behind how they
chose their business name. Even if the business is named
after their own birth name, there's probably a reason why this
When you open a business,
in a sense, you are giving birth. This new birth was created from
an idea by you or your associates. It will have its own
bank account, it's own federal identification number, it's own
credit accounts, it's own income and it's own bills. On
paper, it is another individual! Just as if you were choosing
a name for an unborn child, you need to spend considerable time
in deciding upon your business name.
There are several reasons
why a good business name is vitally important to your business.
The first obvious reason is because it is the initial identification
to your customers. No one would want to do business with
someone if they didn't have a company name yet. This makes
you look like an amateur who is very unreliable. Even if
you call your company "Bill's Lawn Service", a company
name has been established and you are indeed a company.
People will therefore feel more comfortable dealing with you.
Secondly, a business name
normally is an indication as to the product or service you offer.
"Joan's Typing Service", "Karate Club for Men",
"Jim-Dandy Jack-of-all-Trades", "Main Street Laundry",
"Missy's Gift Boutique" and "Star Publishers" are
all examples of simple business names that immediately tell the
customer what product you offer.
However, most people will
choose the simple approach when naming their business. They
use their name, their spouse's name, their children's names or
a combination of these names when naming a business. The
national hamburger-restaurant chain "Wendy's" was named
after, owner, Dave's daughter. Actually, research has proven
that these "cutesy" names are not the best names to use
for a business. Many experts claim that it makes the business
look too "mom-and-pop-sie." But this depends on the
business. If you are selling something that demands this mood
or theme to appeal to your market, it's okay to use this approach.
Names like, "Sensible
Solutions", "Direct Defenders", "Moonlighters
Ink", "Printer's Friend", "Strictly Class",
"Collections and Treasures", and "Starlight on Twilight"
are all good examples of catchy names. These types of names
relate to your product or service but serve as a type of slogan
for your business. This is a big help when marketing.
When you name a child, you
may not decide upon a definite name until after they are born.
Hospital nurseries are loaded with "Boy" Smith and "Girl"
Jones name tags. You do this because a name is sometimes
associated with a type of personality. Somehow, I don't think Tarzan
and Jane got the message, "Boy"? (dah!). When
you name a business you may need to wait until you have a product
or service to sell and then decide upon a business name before
going into the business itself because your business name should
give some clue as to what product or service you are selling.
A business named "Joe's Collections" normally wouldn't
sell car parts and a business named "Charlie Horse" would
not sell knitting supplies.
To generate ideas - begin
looking at business signs everywhere you go. Notice which
ones catch your eye and stick in your mind. Try and figure out
"why" they stuck in your mind. Naturally, the business
"Dominos Pizza" sticks in your mind because it is nationally
known. These don't count! Look around and notice the smaller
businesses. Take your time. Within a few days you should
be able to come up with a few potential business names.
Then, when you finally find
a few names you really like - try reciting them to other people
and get their opinion. It won't be long until your business
will have the proper name that will carry it through it's life!
A final thought. Are they
kidding, 67 character domain names? VeryLongBusinessNamesThatAreHardToRemember.com
(and enter without a typo)? Well maybe it's just me; but
what happened to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)?
Oh! Why *Cap-Tech*?
I thought it was catchy and computerish. As for becoming
a household word...maybe??? :-)
James Capobianco has been self-employed for over 25 years, both on and offline. At his web site, Cap-Tech.com,
he shares his experience and expertise when it comes to owning your own business. Come pay a visit at:
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