Teaching how to come up with a business name isn’t a topic that happens to be part of the elementary school curriculum where I teach part-time. But I have helped more than one friend create, test and decide on a good business name. When you consider that the name you come up with is going to be identified with the service or product your provide, it just makes sense to put some serious thought into what you will call your business. However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task, either.
The ‘How To Name Your Business’ Test
Here’s my simple system that I’m happy to share with you here. Get ready, as it won’t be nearly as difficult as you may think.
1. Take A Look At The Basics
Here’s where some business owners tend to get hung up. If you are in an irrigation system business, the last thing you want to do is call it something else. What I am saying is that the obvious part of your business should be included in the business name. For example, I teach at Little Folks Elementary School (not the real name as the School Board may not be all that pleased in me using it). The name tells you that it is a school and that it services elementary age students. Pretty simple, right? Well, in that example it is. But what if your business is a family-owned operation and you want to pay homage to that generational connection but your last name is difficult to spell as well as pronounce? That’s where you have to find another obvious thing about your business to use as the name.
2. Ask Around And Get Feedback
So let’s assume you have come up with a list of about ten reasonably good names. Now you need to put them to the test. First off, and this is the teacher in me talking, make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. Then bounce your names off of some people you know. Get family, friends, co-workers and random passersby involved. Ask them to pick the top two names they liked the most. Ask them why they liked the ones they picked and use all of this information to assist with your final selection. Don’t be too surprised if none of the names stand out as it can happen. Just don’t go to the internet and try to have a name generator do all the work. You may end up with something like “Howard’s GreenHY5$# Stoop Store” which makes about as much sense as no name at all.
3. Set It Aside For Awhile
On the offhand chance your list ends up with two actual gems and you decide on one of them, stop right there. Write the chosen business name down and put that piece of paper aside. Leave it alone for a few days to give your mind a chance to contemplate it. Do other things in the meantime like you know, your regular daily routine. If you have a job, go back to it. Then in a few days come back and look at the name you’ve written down. Does it still make sense as a good choice for your business? Does it still say what your business is? Does it make you all tingly inside to think you have your own business? If you said yes to all of these, then you may just have the perfect business name.
4. Play Around With It
Once you have what appears to be the perfect business name, you have to spend some time working with it. Is it easy to understand when you give your business name out in conversation or over a cell phone? What about the internet – does the name translate to an easy to remember domain name for a website? Charlie’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Cones may be an awesome name for a business but that makes for an awkward internet website domain.
Protecting And Using Your New Business Name
Assuming you’ve now answered the question ‘how to come up with a business name, and you’ve chosen one that fits, you now have to protect it. But before you do that, you need to ensure that it isn’t already being used by someone else. That would suck, but it is the reality of the business world. Once you determine that your business name is unique and one-of-a-kind, it is time to register it. Don’t forget to get signage for your vehicle, business cards and all the other stuff you’ll need to start promoting your new business. After that, you need to rely on your superior service and products to help spread the word about your awesome venture.