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STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
How to choose a business name – six things to consider
If you’re in the process of starting your own business, choosing a business name is tough. Your business will have it forever, so it has to be good.
It’s a pressure understood by most entrepreneurial spirits, especially those with multiple businesses under their belt. Here are six key things you should consider when choosing a name for your new business.
1. Make it easy to remember
Aim for memorable. This sounds obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. If it’s mentioned in passing, your audience should be able to easily recall your name at a later date – you want it to go viral. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but there are a few ways you can check your potential name before committing.
A good one is to casually mention it to a few friends individually, wait a few days and then ask if they remember it. If it comes to mind without hesitation, there’s a good chance you’re on the right track. If they’re struggling to recall it, head back to the drawing board.
2. Make it original
Don’t mimic your competitors. You want to stand out from everyone else, and your brand name is the first thing people will hear about you. The last thing you want is someone comparing you to another business because you sound alike.
You don’t want to be viewed as a knock-off, so be creative. Your business is unique and your name should be too. Customers are inundated with new brands every day, so give them something different to enjoy – a brand that acts and sounds different from all the others.
3. Make it relatable
Your brand name should feel instantly familiar without being clichéd. When customers can personally relate to a brand, they’re more likely to become loyal ambassadors. Making a brand name both original and relatable is tough because it can feel contradictory. But it is possible – being unique doesn’t mean you can’t appeal to a wide audience.
4. Make it easy to pronounce
Even if it looks great on paper, you shouldn’t assume your brand name sounds inspiring on the phone. Short names don’t necessarily sound better, either. Practice your name using different methods of communication before making a decision.
Evaluate how people react to it. If people are constantly asking you to repeat it, it’s probably wise to rethink your strategy. Strong brand names roll off the tongue. Don’t skip this step – you’d be surprised how many great businesses don’t flourish because of pronunciation problems.
5. Make sure it’s available
If you’re going to have a website (and honestly, who isn’t these days?), you’ll want your brand name in your website’s domain name.
This means you’ll need to check that your chosen domain name is available and then register it.
There are lots of domain registration sites that you can use for this, such as GoDaddy, name.com, Google Domains and 1&1 Ionos. If the name you want is available, buy it. If it’s already taken by somebody else, you have two options:
If the co.uk or .com are already taken, try .uk, .net or .co. In fact there are lots of options here if you’re wedded to the name.
You might be able to buy it from the current owner. You can find who that is online using WHOIS.com. But before you contact the owner, do some research to find out who they are and decide how much you’d be willing to pay for the domain – you’ll want to be ready to negotiate!
Don’t forget you’ll need to create social media accounts using your chosen name, too, so check if there are many brands out there with the same name on your social media channels of choice.
6. Make sure you look after it
It’s important to note that choosing a brand name is only the beginning of your journey. A brand is more than just a title – it’s an idea and the corporate culture you create around it.
Your employees and customers will ultimately define it, and with social media you are only one bad tweet away from ruining the foundation you worked so hard to create, no matter how great your business name is. Make sure yours is unforgettable for all the right reasons.
If you’ve finally chosen your business name and it’s available, it’s time to take your next steps towards starting your own business. With this personalised to do list, you won’t miss any essential steps in the process.