Naming a Business is one of the key elements of a business start-up model. Now that you have decided to start a business, one thing you should now be thinking of is what to name that business.
Your business name will in time become one of your most important business assets. So it is essential to create a good business name that is time resistant and will remain relevant for a long time to come. So the big question remains;
How do you come up with a name that is right for your business
One of the most common ways of naming a business is to use business associates, friends and family to brainstorm about possible suitable names for the business.
Your customers could also be invited to make suggestions of probable names for your organization. Consult your business advisors about coming up with the best name for your start-up.
Never underestimate the value of expert knowledge, even in simple things like naming a business. If you are already paying your consultants to help you with other aspects of your new business, you might as well get advice about naming that business as well.
Another thing you will need to do during the business naming process is to look at what sort of business you are involved in. The nature of your business will have a significant influence on the name that you give to that operation.
For example, a rugby team is likely to have a rather intimidating name in order to give the impression that they will destroy their opponents.
Therefore a name like Western Pirates might be more appropriate than, the Gentle Giants. On the other, a hospital may need a name that is more calm and reassuring to patients.
Also, another important factor that you will need to take into consideration when naming your business is your target customers. Who are they and what is likely to appeal to them.
For instance, if your target market is youthful, then you may want a name that is a bit, playful and wacky, which they can relate to as young people. Don’t they come up with a serious, rather boring, corporate name that is more suitable for the mature audience?
One other way to name your business is to use online business name generators. Findname.com, BrandArrows.com, Namemesh.com, Panabee.com, and Names.co.uk, are just a few examples of some of the businesses that offer name generator services.
These organizations may assist you if you are really struggling to come up with a suitable name for your business.
Please Note: This is not a recommendation to use any of the name generators I have mentioned here. I have only mentioned these examples of business generators in order to give you another option.
Finding the right website that offers the best service is entirely your own responsibility. You should, therefore, do your own thorough research of these organizations before you enter into any business transactions with them.
Characteristics of a good business name
Good business names generally have common qualities across the board. I am going to discuss with you some of the most common elements that you could use to arrive at an appropriate name for your business.
This list is off course not exhaustive, but it will get you thinking in a particular fashion, which will enable you to come up with the best name for your business. Remember, you will need to use a high level of creative thinking throughout the process of naming your business.
Short And Simple
Your business name has to be fairly simple and straight forward for people to read and understand. The last thing you want to do is to come up with a long business name that customers will struggle to read.
If they struggle to read it, chances are they will also find it difficult to remember. Look at most of the successful businesses out there and consider how simplicity has helped establish their business names.
Twitter, Facebook, Hi5, Tesco, FUBU, and SPANX, are just a few examples of the many businesses that have managed to establish their brands partly because their names are short and simple.
A good business name also has to be relevant to the activities of that operation. It helps customers to easily identify you and what you do just by looking at your business name.
This will give your business additional publicity through self-marketing. For example, if you have a business that sells potatoes and you name your business, Fresh Potatoes Ltd, it will be very easy for customers to know what you do and your business will easily be found by people looking to buy potatoes.
However, let me make another point here. It is not a must that you should name your business in line with your business activities.
Not doing so will not in any way hinder you from achieving business success. It all comes down to how you market your business, and how you let customers know your location and that you have what they want at the right price.
Some of the most successful businesses out there have names that are totally irrelevant to what they do. A lot of successful businesses are named based on sentiment rather than operational relevance.
Therefore if you want to name your business after your son or your wife, it is still not a problem as long as you market that business well. Similarly, if you relevantly, directly align your business name to your operations and yet not do suitable marketing activities, your business will struggle to be recognized.
Self-marketing can only go so far to help publicize your business, but on it`s on it is largely inadequate.
Your business name has to be one that is catchy so that it can very easily be remembered by your customers. It also has to be fashionable, trendy and be one that customers will be proud to be associated with.
That is particularly pertinent to the youthful generations. The culture these days is that most young people now want to be associated with shopping from certain trendy stores and businesses.
Hence if you pick on this and name your business in a way that is current and fashionable, then you can easily cash in on this culture.
Your business name should not be offensive to any groups in society. You must give your organization a name that is not racially or sexually offensive.
Similarly, as common sense should already tell you, you cannot use swear words in your business name. However, while you may get away with giving your business a name that has sexual connotations, like Fark.com, a name with racially offensive overtones could land you in serious legal and social problems.
That being said, if you are truly serious about starting and successfully running a legitimate business, then you will have to take your time and come up with an appropriate business name.
Business Name Trademarks and Current use
Once you have come up with a suitable potential business name, you need to check if that name is trademarked or already in use.
You cannot use a business name that is trademarked or being used by another business. You should check with the company registration office to see if the name is not in use.
However, some people try to be clever in order to beat the trademark laws by making slight variations to their business names.
For example, you cannot name your business COCCA COLA, in the hope of pulling the wool over registration authorities. Trust me, they will pick it up and you could find yourself in a spot of legal bother.
Companies can report and complain to the company registrar if they feel that your name is too similar to theirs.
Thus, once you decide on a good name and are given the green light to use the name by the authorities, then you are free to unlock your business knowledge and skills and turn that name into a real business.
Permissions to use some names
There some business names that you cannot just use without first seeking express permission from relevant authorities.
Your business will need special authority and permission to use names such as Bank, Assurance, Trust, Insurance, Health Centre, Association, University, or Academy, to describe your business activities.
Also, you cannot give your business a name that suggests that your business is related to government departments and organizations.
In the UK, your business will need to obtain special permission to register business names containing words such as British, English, European, National, Fund or Sheffield. More so, in many countries words like, Holding, International or Group will need special authorization.
A lot of people place too much attention on the wrong things. Yes, your business name is very important, but even more important is how you conduct yourself in that business.
Having the simplest, most relevant, catchy or trendy business name does not guarantee business success. That is why banks do not give business loans on the basis of a good business name.
Running a business successfully is more than just coming up with a great name. It`s about the customers, and how you serve and treat them. What value do you add to their lives through your business? That is the main issue and not your business name. Regardless of your great business name, if you give your customers shoddy deals, your business will undoubtedly fail.
True business value is in the quality of the service that you give to your customers. Good business is how you add value to and improve your customers` lives.
Therefore while I appreciate that a good business name is crucial, make sure you do not overemphasize its significance.