Stepping into StartUp Part 2: An Easy 5 Step Plan To Find Your Perfect Business Name.

Stepping into StartUp Part 2: An Easy 5 Step Plan To Find Your Perfect Business Name.

So you’ve done your research. Your kick-ass idea has legs. And you’re so excited you can’t sleep. But, what will you call it? How do you say it in a word or two? What will attract people to your venture? What if that name is taken?

It’s a tough job. Because it’s your own business you’re naming, you’re often too close to it and it’s tricky to see the wood for the trees. You keep looking down the same old well-trodden paths, when the ideal name might in fact be in a different forest.

These questions buzz around your head like moths to a cranial candle, as you flick on your laptop and open your ‘IdeaX’ spreadsheet. There they are again, staring back at you: two hundred possible monikers. A six-pack of Post-It notes later, and none of them jumps out at you. What do you do?

Follow this easy 5 step plan to find your perfect business name.

1. Make it memorable

A good name can have a lasting effect on your business. It’s your business identity and it needs to make you stand out from the crowd. Moreover, it’s the first impression you will make on the world.

Ideally your name needs to convey something about what your business does, so that customers can easily recall what services you offer.  Whilst there are many well-known businesses with names that don’t reflect their main business offering – Nike, Yahoo and Amazon for example –  it’s generally best to choose a name that reflects what you do.

Additional questions to ask yourself:

  • Does it set you apart from your competitors?
  • Can people easily work out what it is that you do?
  • Does it fit with your main business or service offering?

2. Keep it short and simple

If there’s one mantra to out-mantra all others, it’s this one – Keep it short.  Keep it simple. The longer the name, the harder it is to remember – whether one’s trying to sell it to someone, trying to recall hearing it; or trying to remember seeing it, so you can look it up.

‘Keep it short’ applies not just to the number of words in your name – one is best, two is okay, three is maximum and you better have a bloody good reason to have three – but to the length of each word too.

3. Check it’s not taken

Before you make the final decision on your business name and incur any costs like branding or logo design, make sure to check that it’s not already been taken by someone else. 

If your name is already in use, it’s back to the drawing board or to the next name on your shortlist.  

4. Find your online presence

Now that you’ve found your moniker, you need to consider how you are going to hang up your signs, that is, let people know what you’re called and that you’re open for business? 

There are three places online where you should “hang up your signs” ASAP. You need a domain name for your Website, Social Media handles and a LinkedIn presence(even though it’s technically ‘social’ too.)

  • Domain name
    Like your name, your domain name represents your online presence. All the same principles apply to choosing your name. Keep it simple, keep it short and easy to type. In addition, think about what key words could be used to describe what you do. Plus there’s a plethora of domain name extensions to choose from too. Choose one wisely, but remember .com is still the most recognised and most widely used.
  • Social Media Handles
    Most businesses have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. That’s because most of your customers do too. They’re all free. And they’re going to be useful tools for interacting with your fans or followers, or running the odd promotion. So think carefully about how you want to interact with your audience. Do your research. How do you want to be perceived? What emotions would you like to convey? Most importantly ensure that you can use your handles consistently across multiple platforms.
  • LinkedIn
    Also technically a social network, this business directory is essential for keeping you connected to your colleagues and peers, staying on top of trends, and making big announcements about your brand. LinkedIn’s ‘Basic Profile’ is still free.

5. Register your Name

You’ve checked your name is not taken and found your domain name and social media handles. You’re ready to go. Registration is the final and most critical stage of setting up your new venture. It protects your business and ensures that you do not fall foul of the law.

Help is at hand

Now that you’ve considered this easy 5 step plan to find your perfect business name, use Veromo to help you get up and running quickly. With our fast, easy to use name finding process, you simply type in your name and in one swoop, we’ll check to see if your ideal business name, matching domain name and social media accounts are available. Then, using our OnceForm, you can register your business name and your domain name in one single process. Before you know it you’ll be ready to open your doors.

Still needing some help and inspiration in finding your name?

If you’re battling to do it on your own, and you can afford it, then you could consider using the services of naming companies and design agencies, specifically set up to solve things like business names and logos. There are many around and it could even save you money in the long-run. However, if you don’t want to shell out for a naming team, the other option available is to use a Naming System. Even the experts have one, so if you’re going to stand a chance at doing this solo, you’d better arm yourself with a good one. The trouble is, which one? Here are three excellent examples of very different systems for generating relevant and interesting names.

  • The Startup Name Hacker
    These guys have scoured the internet – and cherry-picked the best bits from lots of other business naming systems to bring you a simple 5-step process. It’s available as a worksheet, which you can print out and try – absolutely free.
    Advantages: This system is easy to follow, and quickly leads to plenty of interesting and relevant variants. Recommended for the impatient.
  • Name Robot
    The most comprehensive brand name generator on the web, it doesn’t just spit out random names – it takes you through a process to develop a name based on your company’s attributes. There’s a free demo once you register, but it will cost A$40 for the Basic package.
    A thorough system that really makes you think about what your business stands for. Recommended for the meticulous.
  • Naming Force
    Tap into crowd-sourced naming competitions. You set the time-frame, and at least 400 namers compete to name your business. The website promises 1,000 unique and untrademarked business names as a result. The catch? At least US$250 for the prize and a further US$150 for the Contest Fee, which costs you US$400. But the beauty is, Naming Force crowdsources the appeal of your names too, ranking them from best to worst – which saves you a lot of hassle. And considering that a naming company or ID agency can costs you tens of thousands.
    Advantages: You don’t have to do any of the hard work – just describe your project, pay and wait. Recommended for the time-poor.

And there you have them. Three very different business naming systems. All equally valid. Each can help you with the tough task of distilling your essence.

In Part 3 of Stepping into Start up we will look at “How to set up your business” – the importance of choosing the right business structure for your start-up.