One of the single most important decisions you need to make about your business in the early days is the name. If you choose well, you could have that strong and clear name that does wonders for branding and marketing campaigns while connecting with your target audience. If you choose poorly, you could not only fail to light up the marketplace with your presence but face any number of legal and business issues.
To help you get it right, consider the following tips for choosing that potent and effective business name.
How Does It Sound Out Loud?
There can be some disconnect between how a name sounds in your head or how it looks on paper with how it actually sounds when said out loud. Therefore, as silly as it may sound, you need to test out business names by saying them out loud. If any sound a bit cringey or just don’t roll off the tongue easily, then you need to make revisions.
It’s also important that when said out loud, that there is no confusion about how it’s spelled.
You should always try out names on other people. As human beings, especially very driven human beings, we want to be cautious that we’re not overly positive about everything we do and arrogant enough to think we don’t need input from others. That’s why it’s good to take your favorite business name ideas and bounce them off others. Whether it’s relatives, friends, colleagues, or all of the above. A pool of your most trusted allies who you can rely on to give an honest opinion is a great way to quickly sift through a big list of names.
Can You Trademark it?
You will want to run a quick search through USPTO.gov to determine whether you will be able to get a service mark or trademark for your business. Both of which could be crucial for ensuring your business is taken note of and has extra levity and weight behind it.
Avoid Generics, Be Specific
Don’t pick a generic name. Remember, successful businesses stand out from the crowd. You need to be as specific as possible, giving some hint towards your business intent and direct benefits to your target customers.
Make Sure It Won’t be Mistaken for the Name of Another Business
Ideally, if you want to eventually structure your business as an LLC or other corporation, it’s important to run a search through the Secretary of State’s records to make sure your business name doesn’t sound like other businesses already registered. Not only could it cause avoidable, unnecessary confusion, but if it’s too similar to the name of an existing business, the Secretary of State may decide you can’t use the name and register it, meaning you would be back to the drawing board.
If applicable, a business lawyer could also help you make these kinds of searches.
Is It Catchy and Memorable?
Finally, as you want to firmly establish your business in the minds of your target market, you need to think about how catchy and memorable the name actually is. Although you don’t want it to be too crazy, you still want it to roll off the tongue easily and to stay at the forefront of your customer’s thoughts.