If you are about to embark on a new business, getting a business name is probably at the top of the to-do list since it’s the first of many other steps – logo, business stationery, website domain name etc.
Unless you have a generous marketing budget at your disposal, it would be wise to choose a name that is easy to recognise and has an identifiable connection to your business.
But before you even get to your business name, I strongly recommend starting your business plan. Define your business vision and purpose because this will help you fine-tune any name that you select. It will also help the next step of the process – designing your logo.
Beware the initials!
It may be meaningful to you but may mean nothing to your target audience. For example, if you saw the name “ABC Consulting” would you relate it to consulting services such as engineering, recruitment, business services, autism or alcohol licensing? This was what a Google Search threw up. Having a generic name such as this won’t do any damage but certainly won’t be doing your business any favours either.
Did you know IBM was first International Business Machine before
it became commonly known IBM
If you are going to use initials, you may need to invest a little more thinking to get the name right. Taking our googled examples, perhaps names such as ABC Recruitment Consultants or ABC Business Consulting? Although these names lack creativity, they at least tell you what sort of consulting the business offers.
Are you local?
If you are a local business, you may be thinking of using your locality as part of your name eg. Malvern Butchers, or Heidelberg Flowers. Perfectly reasonable choices as long as you have considered the longer term implications such as growth and expansion opportunities, possibility of relocation etc.
Business Name “Accidents”
Get clever, get creative but be careful!
This is one is actually poor signage rather than a poorly constructed business name, but the one below is cringe-worthy.
The moral of the story is, when choosing a business name or working through a short-list, test the name out. Test it with lots of people and be open to feedback. If there are trends in the feedback, pay particular attention. Being too close to the business or getting too precious about your choice of business name can sometimes mean you can’t see what’s obvious to everyone else.
Already in business and got the name wrong?
If you haven’t been fortunate enough to address some of the issues raised here, do not despair. Nothing is ever set in stone. While inconvenient and not without cost, the name can always be changed. If you head down that path, use it as a re-branding exercise or a re-launch and turn it into an opportunity to generate publicity and interest.