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What's In A Name...Selecting the Right Business Name
by James Capobianco

With 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 was done.

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? (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,, he shares his experience and expertise when it comes to owning your own business. Come pay a visit at:

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