Get the knowledge and inspiration you need to build a profitable business - straight to your inbox.
You can’t have a business without a name, but the process of picking the perfect title can be at times overwhelming and exhausting. Often you can get so frustrated you standards start to slip and you could end up settling for something you never really liked in the first place.
A good business name could help you be more successful, while a bad one could spell disaster.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re brainstorming ideas:
If you’re really stuck you can search some keywords and see what everyone else is doing. If you search some keywords and incorporate them into your name you’ll also have the advantage of added SEO value built in to your name.
Remember to make sure you don’t pick a name solely based on keywords, because the most popular keywords are changing all the time, and it’s important to build longevity in to your business name.
If you have already chosen a name, or you have narrowed down the contenders to the best four or five, the next step is to make sure you can use it. Check with the ASIC website which has a registered Australian business name database – which will show you if anyone else is using the name or something similar.
You should also do a domain name check to make sure you can register your business name as a domain as well. Domain name can impact your online marketing campaign, so make sure you do this part carefully.
If your domain name has been taken there are a couple of options you can choose from. You can buy a parked domain if owner wishes to sell (can be expensive), you can think about incorporating trends like skipping a vowel (scribd tumblr flickr), you can spell your name a little differently (Google is actually a misspelled domain derived from the term googol) or add modifiers – say name is sleeptime and you sell pyjamas but sleeptime.com is taken, you can use sleeptimepyjamas.com, sleeptimeonline.com or something similar.
If you get the all clear from ASIC and your domain name check, it’s a good idea to then ask for feedback from friends, family and potential clients.
Even if something makes perfect sense to you, it may be confusing to others. Think about what makes your business unique, how you would like to be perceived, who you are competing with and if your name could be misunderstood.
Choosing a name can be one really big hurdle in actually getting your business off the ground. Try not to agonise for weeks over it and forget to contemplate the rest of your plans. Names definitely make the first impression but are not the be all and end all for your business’ success.