Choosing a name for your business is a difficult task – your company name has to be unique and accurately portray your brand, and once you’ve picked a name, you’re stuck with it. There’s a lot of pressure to make sure you pick the perfect name. But where do you even start? Here are our top five tips for choosing a great business name:
- Choose a memorable name that reflects your service and values
What are you offering to customers, and what do you want them to think of when they hear your name? Are you trustworthy, professional, innovative, caring, responsible, stylish? What do you want to convey? To get those creative juices flowing, write some words down and see where your pen and your imagination take you. What images do you see in your head when you think about your company? Doodle them. What words relate to this? Let yourself get carried away – your name should be memorable, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Later on when you’re reviewing your options, you can unleash your inner critic and decide what works and what doesn’t.
- Think about your target market
Is your product aimed at millennials, senior citizens, or somewhere in between? Men or women? What kind of name is going to appeal to the demographic of your customers? Where are you placing yourself in the market? If you’re targeting people looking for a bargain, your company name should reflect this, and if you’re offering something more high-end or luxury, this should be apparent to customers when they see or hear your name.
- Consider your geographical targeting
If you are only going to be operating locally, you might want to include your city or county in your business name. However, don’t just think about what you’re doing right now – you’ll need to futureproof your name. Where will you be operating in five or ten years’ time? If you want to expand your business to become a nationwide operation, your locally-based business name could eventually be confusing and deter customers who incorrectly think you don’t operate in their area.
- Keep it simple
That is, make sure your company name is easy to pronounce and spell, so no tongue-twisters or words that are spelled in an odd way for no reason. You’re going to be saying it and writing it down a lot, so it has to be something that you like to say. And just as importantly, customers need to be able to spell it when they are searching for it online, and they need to be able to pronounce it when they’re telling their friends how great your company is!
- Check it’s not in use
Once you’ve picked a business name you like, search the Companies House register to make sure it isn’t already taken. It’s also a good idea to Google it. If someone else is using a similar name, whether they’re offering a similar product or something completely different, you might want to think again about your chosen name to avoid confusion. For example, a quick Google search for ‘Glass Direct’ returns links to the website for Glasses Direct, so this might not be a great name for your double glazing company unless you don’t mind people contacting you looking for new spectacles rather than windows. There are also restrictions on how similar your company name can be to someone else’s.
Once you’ve settled on a name, you’ll want to protect it. Registering with Companies House means other people can’t register a company with the same name, but it doesn’t stop people from using the name in other ways. You can prevent people from trading under your business name by registering it as a trademark.
When you’re choosing your company name you’ll find it helpful to refer back to your business plan, if you have one. Things like your target market, your plans for expansion, your mission statement and goals, can all have some influence on helping you choose a name – and these are all things that should be included in your business plan. If you’re a little iffy on the details, you may want to iron these out before you settle on a name, and that’s where we come in. cbm can help you to write a business plan whatever stage you’re at – whether you have a name, a clear vision of your goals, or none of the above. Contact us to find out how we can help you get your start-up off the ground.