It might sound like the easiest part about creating a business, but more often than not, creating a catchy business name that can speak to others about what you do – is harder than you think.
We’ve broken it down for you in ten easy steps:
- Pick a style of business name
There are many types, but here are a few that will help you:
The Obvious One: Gives clarity of the function you do, and is simple and to the point. However, it may come off as boring and even common, someone may have already gotten a hold of it.
Your Name: Using your last name or a family name helps create and reflect the roots of your company. It’s a plus if it is unique or easily recognizable.
Something Trendy: It’s easy to name yourself after something that is popular and easily recognizable, but you have to consider if this particular style of name will work later down the line.
Acronyms and Abbreviations: AT&T, simple and elegant. You just need to make sure people know what those letters mean and what they convey.
- Create guidelines for your business name
Ask yourself these questions when creating your name
What feeling/emotion do I want my business name to evoke in my target audience?
What are my company’s priorities?
Do I want my business name to be unique or something easy to remember?
Will the length of the name really affect the company? If so, what works best?
- Brainstorm possible business names & use an online business name generator
This is pretty simple and the most fun part about creating your name
Make 3 lists, one for the potential names you have for yourself, the second should be your competitors that are currently in your market, and the third should be a list of keywords that resonate with your brand and your company.
- Take a break & think about the potential business names
Great art needs time to be inspired. Take a break and exercise or take a drive. Sometimes the best thoughts come about when you do everyday tasks. Don’t be too hard on yourself for creating a name.
- Revisit your list of names & see which ones stand out to you the most
Give yourself a night (or several) to think about which one you like or love, the most.
- Check availability for the business name online, for domains & social media, etc.
Another way to check if the name is available is by cross-checking it with the patent and trademark database that is relevant to your location. The United States has a Trademark Electronic Search System (Tess), that lets you check for business name availability.
- Test the name & get feedback from others
Use your social circle to gather information about your name. Maybe have dinner or a simple get together where all your friends can come by. They will most likely be the most upfront and honest about your name, and in the worst case, they will make fun of you.
- Define your budget for purchasing a business name domain
Depending on your choice of name, the price of your domain can range from $20 to a few thousand dollars. If your budget allows, it would be wise to keep aside a little more than the sum of money that you actually intend to spend on the domain. This gives you the leeway to purchase an expensive yet more favorable domain name if necessary.
- Register your business name domain
Even if you’re not 100% sure that it is THE domain name for your company, register it. In fact, it may even be smart to purchase a couple of domain names (if they are affordable and fit in your budget) while you’re at it as this gives you lots of options. If you end up purchasing more domains than you actually need, you can either sell them later or keep them for alternate linked landing pages for specific offers, products, etc.
Your personal contact information should be private, whomever wants to reach your business can contact you with your business phone number. If you are an independent contractor and feel that it is okay for you to put your personal phone number as your business contact, by all means go ahead.
For others, that might seem a little daunting to do. Luckily for us, Google has Google Voice, and automated message system that clears scam and robo-calls away from your business.
Here are the steps necessary to set up Google Voice:
- Sign up for Google Voice at voice.google.com
- Choose a Google Voice number
- Enter your city or zip code and selecter a phone number that is easy to remember.
- Confirm your Google Voice number
- Enter your active business phone number and press “Send Code”
- Enter the code to finish the setup