Choosing a name for your business can be daunting at times. However, with proper brainstorming, research, and feedback, I am sure that you can find the best business name. In this guide my goal is to help you find the best business name that will set you up for future growth as well. There are many things that come into play when choosing a business name. You have to make sure it is available, its the right name for your business, and much more. I list numerous things to avoid and to also consider and do during the name picking part of your business.
Ten Tips for Choosing a Business Name
Below I am going to go into detail on the different things to you should consider when choosing a business name. I am going to help you do your research, brainstorm, and make sure you pick a name that fits your business and sets you up for future growth. Let’s dive in!
1. Brainstorm Business Name Ideas
First off you want to start brainstorming business name ideas. Before you do, we need to have a business idea in mind. Let’s first ask ourselves a few questions.
- What services, products, or content do you want to offer your target audience?
- Where do you see your business 2, 5, or even 10 years from now?
- What are 3-5 businesses that a relatively similar or in the same niche as you?
- What names do they use and how can you use these as “inspiration” to come up with your own business name?
Using a Business Name Generator
A business name generator is a great tool to find inspiration and name ideas for your new business. They are fairly easy to use. Just put in what you want to do or plan to offer and see what results pop up. You can then take these ideas and try to create your own by adding a word in front or at the end of the phrases or names listed.
Some business name generators I recommend you use include:
Asses if the Name is Catchy
A catchy name is perfect for growth. You want something that is catchy and will stick in peoples minds when they think of what you offer. For instance, Forever21 will literally make every girl feel like their clothes will make them feel young and stylish because of their name. It’s catchy and goes perfect with what they offer.
Use Resources Available for Brainstorming Names
Take things a little old school and do some research on some relevant terms for your business. For instance, if you are opening a coffee shop, look up words that are relevant to it such as coffee, brew, espresso, mocha, java, etc.
Some tools that you can use for this include:
You can even play with a foreign language and search terms for that as well. Sticking with the coffee shop example, say I search the term coffee in Spanish then I can find terms like: cafe, tinto, or cortado. Just make sure that it’s relevant to your area where you are providing this service and also make sure you know the meaning of it. Some words can have more than one meaning and may be confusing depending on the word.
You can use Google search for this. Just use the words that you found in the thesaurus and search for the term in the language of your choosing.
Make Sure the Name Sounds Good When Said Aloud
Say the name aloud. Record yourself saying it and play it back to yourself. Make sure that it sounds good to you. Do you like how it sounds when you or someone else says it? Does it sound catchy, too long, too short, unclear? Make sure to ask yourself these questions and play with it. You can go through the list of names that you have came up with and do this for each one to see how each business name sounds.
Make Sure You Are Personally Happy With The Name
This is important. It’s your business and you have to feel happy with the name. This business doesn’t just represent your business but also you as an owner. This is your baby so make sure that the name you choose for your business is one that you are truly happy with.
Get Feedback on the Name
Pick your top 3, 5, or even 10 names and get feedback on it from friends, family, and your business team if you have one. Gather not just a quick, “That sounds good.” Make sure to get detailed information about their feedback. Tell them to tell you what they like best about it, if it was catchy, and why they didn’t like the other ones.
2. Pick a Name That’s Consistent With Your Brand
When brainstorming your name above I mentioned looking up relevant keywords. This will help you stay consistent with your brand. You want your name to tell about your business and what you do. Though being creative with your name can be fun, it can also mean hard work to stand out and also rank in the online world. Staying consistent all around in your brand makes it much easier to get a clear message out there to your target audience from the very start.
3. Avoid Picking a Business Name that Limits Business Growth
It is important to avoid picking a name that will limit your business down the road. Make sure it has a clear message so your business and what it offers is clear from the very start and will help with future growth.
4. Avoid Choosing a Name That’s Too General
Don’t just choose a general or common name. Let’s use photography for example. My name is Jessica and it is a very common name. It wouldn’t make much sense if I used Jessica’s Photography in my name. For one, because my name Jessica is very common, the chances of it even being available in the online world would be slim. I would have to choose something that can be a little more unique but still give a clear message as to what my business is about.
5. Choose a Name That People Can Spell and Pronounce
I’m all for using your name if you have a unique name. However, if you have a difficult name to pronounce or spell then it may not be such a good idea. Let’s take my last name for example. My last name is Tejera and most people that aren’t Hispanic will say it wrong. It’s not a common last name in the US so it can be a bit tricky.
Some keywords related to your business can be tricky too. Let’s go back to a photography business. One of the keywords related to this type of business is aperture (I even spelled aperature instead of aperture). This word is a word I struggle spelling and even saying so that would be something I would consider when naming a photography business. Using other keywords such as lens, capture, imaging, images, photography, will be much better options to use for your business name instead.
Why You Should Avoid Hard to Spell Names for Your Business
The reason why you should avoid hard to spell names for your business is because you want your target audience to find you. Whether they heard from you from a friend or relative or saw a quick ad somewhere, they want to go to Google or Facebook to find your business. If they have a hard time spelling your business name, then they may struggle trying to find you business in the first place which can lead to just giving up on their search and looking for another business instead.
6. Failing to Test the Name in Online Searches
This is very important. I’ve had clients pick a name and when I search for it, I’ve come to find out that it’s already taken or being used for a completely different business. I recommend that you always test your business name online. Don’t just use Google search. Check also on social media like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc. and make sure that it is available on all platforms.
7. Not Considering Domain Name Availability
Not everyone wants a website when they start their new business, and that’s okay but I always recommend to make sure that the domain for your business is available and to even purchase it. We live in an online world that is very competitive. When opening up a business you want to make sure that you claim your business name all throughout the web. You neve know if a few years down the road you want to create a website for your business. This will also prevent someone else from purchasing your domain and leading to issues down the road when you do decide to create an online presence.
Get the .com Domain Name for Your Business
I always recommend purchasing the .com version of your business name. Most people will search your business name .com to get a more direct route to your business online. Some companies may prefer to use a .info or .org but even if you choose to purchase these, I would still recommend purchasing the .com one as well. When you have your website up and running you can link both domains so that way you can always have traffic coming into your website.
8. Make Sure Your Name is Web-Friendly
It is very important then when you are testing your name on online searches (Number 6 above), that you are also making sure that it is web-friendly. You want to see how that name appears on the web when you search for it.
Say you want to name your coffee shop business “Hot Lava Java” (for an example). Search it online and see what results Google gives you. Before clicking enter, view the drop down menu and see what search suggestions pop up first. This will give you a quick visual of what Google identifies that name as or the keywords within that name.
After you hit search you will see a good variety of top related searches. Do some research on the top ranking sites and see if they are related to your niche.
Get a Web Design Perfect for Your Business
Are you needing a web design that works for your business? At Coffee, Pin, Design Studio I can create a branded website that will be functional and user-friendly for your business. With detailed consultation calls I will get to know the inside and out of your business helping me put a design and strategy in place that works for your business.
9. Do a Business Name Search in Your State and Federally
Now let’s make sure your business name is not taken anywhere else. Not everyone has an online presence and only have an in-person business. Just head to Google and search, “business name search in (your state)” and go to the website that pertains to your state and do a search there. This will help make sure that the LLC for that business name in your state is also available.
Planning to take your business further? Check the business name at a federal level. This is good for owners that want to trademark their business. You can go to this website here and search the database for the business name of your choosing.
10. Consider the Future of Your Business
Last but not least, let’s consider the future of your business. First you need to envision where you think your business will be at 5, 10 or even 20 years from now. Will this name still work for then? How can you make it work in your favor so your business can continue to grow and evolve as well with the world around us? Take all these things into consideration.
And if you ever need a brand refresh, new name, etc. that’s okay too. Sometimes it’s hard to envision life 5 or 10 years down the road. It’s okay to rebrand your brand and give it a facelift. People do this all the time too. But its still good to have a good foundation from the start just to be safe. Rebranding your business is a huge step to take as well.
Remember to Avoid these Common Business Naming Mistakes
A lot of things to consider with choosing a business name but let’s recap on the things to avoid when brainstorming.
- Avoid choosing a name that is hard to pronounce or spell.
- Avoid picking a name that may limit business growth.
- Avoid choosing a business name that’s too general or common.
Recap of How to Choose the Best Name for Your Business
Choosing the best name for your business can be daunting at times but with these helpful tips I hope to have made it a bit easier and clearer for you. My goal is to not just help you pick a name but also help you grow your business, set it up for success, and look at the future of your business.
While there are a few things to avoid when picking out a business name also remember to do these things:
- Do your research.
- Do proper brainstorming of your business, keywords, and possible business names.
- Pick a name that is consistent with your brand.
- Make sure the business name is available on social media platforms.
- Make sure that the domain for your business name is available especially in the .com version.
- Do a business name search for the state you live in as well as federal.
- Consider the future of your business.
Well I hope this was a helpful guide for you. I wish you nothing but the best on your business.