How to Pick a Name for Your Business
By Ryan Skidmore | November 2, 2018
Are you struggling with how to pick a business name? There are lots of different opinions and endless ideas when it comes to creating a name for your business. Should you give it an informative name or a made-up name that will build your brand? The right name, paired with an awesome marketing strategy, can really lift your business off the ground and get you started on the right foot. Here are some incredible tips on how to pick a name for your business that will get your creative juices flowing.
1. Get Expert Help
Sometimes the best way for how to pick a business name is to bring on an expert to help, especially if your business name is going to impact how successful your business might be. Having an expert name your company is also very useful because they can advise you on why a particular name would not be a good idea, are familiar with trademark laws, and have systems for creating names.
The main con of hiring an expert to show you how to pick a name for your business (or create one for you) is that they can be quite a large expense for a new brick-and-mortar business. Professional companies often charge up to $80,000 to do the naming, branding, and graphic design for a new company. There are cheaper naming services that run as low as $50, but if you’re looking for a professional early on and want good quality, spending more initially can help you in the long run.
2. Align Your Name with Your Brand
If hiring an expert is too much of an expense, don’t worry. Plenty of successful businesses didn’t get their names from an expert. When it comes to creating your own name for your business, you need to start with the basics. Think about what your company does, your business plan, mission statement, and how you want to convey your brick and mortar business to your customers.
Look at the names of your competition as well. Do you like their names? Make a note of what is good and not so good about their names and whether you want to convey yourself differently to the market. In the end, your name should align with how you plan to establish your brand identity.
Now that you’ve done some research on your business name, it’s time to get creative. Set aside time to brainstorm some business name ideas and don’t worry too much about how good your names are; not all of your ideas have to be winners. Just get your creative juices flowing by coming up with as many ideas as you can. You should also set aside time to brainstorm with someone else, like a colleague, who can provide additional ideas and give you someone to bounce ideas back and forth with.
Here are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind while you brainstorm how to pick a name for your business:
- Make it unique and memorable, but not strange.
- Make it easy to say so people don’t struggle to pronounce it.
- Give clues about what your business does through your name.
- Create a name that makes sense and isn’t gibberish.
- Keep it short so it’s easier to remember.
- Make it easy to spell so people can find you online.
- Give clues to what your business does through your name.
- Don’t confine yourself so that your business can’t expand if needed.
- Get feedback on your business name from potential customers.
Although these are great suggestions to keep in mind, don’t get so caught up in the guidelines that you aren’t allowing yourself to get creative. Instead, use the guidelines to help you choose a name and give you ideas of what to look for.
4. Sleep on It
Once you’ve jotted down all of your ideas, take some time to cross the ones off your list that you don’t like and that don’t fit your brainstorming criteria or requirements. If you can’t decide on a particular name, that’s perfectly fine. Leave it on your list and come back to it later. After you’ve cut down your list significantly, set it aside. Put it away and do something to take your mind off it—take a hike, go back to work, and sleep on it.
After a day or two, grab your list and go back over it. You will often find that it’s much easier to decide which names to keep and which ones to let go of. If you reach a point where you still don’t like any of the names on your list, it’s okay—go back to the drawing board and start from scratch on how to pick a business name.
5. Make Sure Your Name Is Available
Once you’ve found a name you like, part of learning how to pick a name for your business is making sure no one else has trademarked the same name. You can check to make sure your business name is available by searching the US Patent and Trademark Office website. You should also take a moment and do a quick Google search to see if there’s another company with the same name that may pose some competition.
Even if you run a brick and mortar store, you should check for your business name on Google because that’s where people will search for you. Likewise, if you decide to create a website for your business, you’ll want to keep the website name as close to your actual business name as possible.
6. Register Your Business Name
Once you know your business name is available, you need to register your business name with the state authorities. Registering your name with your county or state won’t keep others from using your name elsewhere. However, if you federally trademark your company name, no one else in the country can use your name for their business. Filing your business allows you to start running your company, make the profits that you need, and serve the customers in your community. The important thing to keep in mind is that there are different rules depending on the state you live in, so make sure to find out these details so you can follow the requirements. For example, some states have rules against using the same name as another business, and some require the nature of your business to be reflected in the name.
Although learning how to pick a business name takes some work, it’s important to take the time to find the right one because you will likely keep it for the duration of your business. When it comes time to open up shop, you’ll also want to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Pro-Vigil provides security systems for businesses to keep your property safe and secure. Call Pro-Vigil today to get started and learn more.
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