Naming your business is probably the single most challenging task in creating a business – and career – you love.
Despite an internet overflowing with business naming advice and a wealth of creative ability, most of us creative entrepreneurs (myself included – read my naming story here) struggle, fret, cry, lose sleep, and admit utter defeat before finally finding the perfect name…sometimes months or years later.
And for many of you, I know you’re still hunting for the perfect name that fits everything you hope your business will achieve.
So while you’re brainstorming your new business name, keep these three essential factors in mind:
Easy to say & spell
No matter how awesome and original your potential business name might be, if no one can spell it or remember your website address, you’re going to lose a ton of potential business.
And if you’re going international, it’s even more important to keep it short and simple. What might be a “normal” name or phrase in your language might be very unusual – or worse! profane – in another.
Pro Tip! Ask an 8 year-old and an 80 year-old to say your potential business name out loud. If they struggle with how you want it pronounced, keep working on it!
Something you absolutely love
Your business name (and logo) is something you’re going to sell every. single. day. To do that well, you have to be 100% invested in it.
You can’t get tired of it.
You can’t get bored with it.
Your business name will become synonymous with you, so it has to fit like the most comfortable piece of clothing you’ve ever owned and can’t bear to get rid of just yet.
And like that favorite piece of clothing, your new business name might take some time to wear in. When you’ve got a really solid business name idea, sleep on it and then sleep on it again.
If you still think “this is the one,” test it out:
- Write it on 5 sticky notes and put them in the most visible-to-you locations
- Pretend to answer the phone with it
- Say it 100 times over the course of 2 days
- Share the name with your closest confidantes
- Create a 15-second networking pitch
- Brainstorm initial logo ideas
Is it starting to feel like your second skin yet, or are you getting sick of it?
You’ll know you’ve nailed your business name when it brings a secret little smile to your face when you whisper it under your breath.
And when you subconsciously develop a solid defense for it.
And when it’s okay that someone you care about doesn’t like it because you know they just can’t see the big picture in your mind yet.
(Did you nail it already? Share your naming story with us!)
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Not already taken
I list this last, but it’s really one of the first things you should check…before you fall in love.
Check the URL availability using Bluehost‘s domain name checker below.
Chances are, your first names are already going to be taken; maybe even by other businesses in your industry.
That’s okay, though. Like in the design process, you have to get all the mediocre names out before you find the perfect fit.
Pro Tip! If you really love a business name that’s already taken, can you customize it to make it your own? Perhaps use a different spelling, scramble the word order, or use a thesaurus to brainstorm synonyms.
Without the above three elements, you’re setting yourself up for a rocky relationship with your business name at best and at worst, legal trouble for trademark infringement.
However, there are tons of other important aspects of a business name, including:
- how your primary audience will receive it (i.e. Cowboy Creative might be more successful in a rural setting)
- whether or not to it should explain what you do
- how expensive (or inexpensive) it sounds in relation to your pricing strategy
- if it needs to expand as you offer additional services
- whether it should include part or all of your own name
- if it will capitalize on a current fad or be a timeless classic
One thing’s for certain though: no one else can name your business for you. Others can help you brainstorm and inject new creativity, but no one will know the perfect name for your business except for you.
So get going! Your perfect name awaits.
PS – If you read my naming story, you’ll notice I promise to help you name your business, and that still rings true. Feel free to leave a comment here or there and I’ll do my best to get your creative juices flowing.
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