With all that's been written lately about the 67 characters
allowed for domain names, I thought I would address
the *art* of selecting a name for your business. It's
by no means an easy task or one that should be taken
lightly. So here we go.
Ask 500 people, already in business, how they decided upon their
business name and you will get 500 different answers. Everyone has
a story behind how they chose their business name. Even if the business
is named after their own birth name, there's probably a reason why
this was done.
When you open a business, in a sense, you are giving birth. This
new birth was created from an idea by you or your associates. It
will have its own bank account, it's own legal identification number,
it's own credit accounts, it's own income and it's own bills. On
paper, it is another individual! Just as if you were choosing a name
for an unborn child, you need to spend considerable time in deciding
upon your business name.
There are several reasons why a good business name is vitally important
to your business. The first obvious reason is because it is the initial
identification to your customers. No one would want to do business
with someone if they didn't have a company name yet. This makes you
look like an amateur who is very unreliable. Even if you call your
company "Bill's Lawn Service," a company name has been
established and you are indeed a company. People will therefore feel
more comfortable dealing with you.
Secondly, a business name normally is an indication as to the product
or service you offer. "Joan's Typing Service", "Karate
Club for Men", "Jim-Dandy, Jack-of-all-Trades", "Main
Street Laundry", "Misty's Gift Boutique" and "Star
Publishers" are all examples of simple business names that immediately
tell the customer what product you offer.
However, most people will choose the simple approach when naming
their business. They use their name, their spouse's name, their children's
names or a combination of these names when naming a business. The
american hamburger-restaurant chain "Wendy's" was named
after the founder's daughter. Although, research has proven that
these "cutesy" names are not the best names to use for
a business. Many experts claim that it makes the business look too "mom-and-dad-sie." But
this depends on the business. If you are selling something that demands
this mood or theme to appeal to your market, it's okay to use this
Names like, "Sensible Solutions," "Direct Defenders," "Moonlighters
Ink," "Printer's Friend," "Strictly Class," "Collections
and Treasures," and "Starlight on Twilight" are all
good examples of catchy names. These types of names relate to your
product or service but serve as a type of slogan for your business.
This is a big help when marketing.
When you name a child, you may not decide upon a definite name until
after they are born. The nursery is loaded with "Boy" Smith
and "Girl" Jones name tags. You do this because a name
is sometimes associated with a type of personality. Somehow, I don't
think Tarzan and Jane got the message, "Boy"? (dah!) When
you name a business you may need to wait until you have a product
or service to sell and then decide upon a business name before going
into the business itself because your business name should give some
clue as to what product or service you are selling. A business named "Joe's
Collections" normally wouldn't sell car parts and a business
named "Charlie Horse" would not sell knitting supplies.
To generate ideas - begin looking at business signs everywhere you
go. Notice which ones catch your eye and stick in your mind. Try
and figure out "why" they stuck in your mind. Naturally,
the business "Dominos Pizza" sticks in your mind because
it is nationally known. These don't count! Look around and notice
the smaller businesses. Take your time. Within a few days you should
be able to come up with a few potential business names.
Then, when you finally find a few names you really like - try reciting
them to other people and get their opinion. It won't be long until
your business will have the proper name that will carry it through
Article reprinted with the permission of James Capobianco