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Tips For Choosing A Business Name 

What you call your small business is one of the single most important decisions you will make regarding your company. And unlike your logo, your web design, or even your brand, when it comes to what you name your business, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room if you decide down the road that you want to change it. 

Even if you are 100% convinced that you have found the perfect name for your new business, sleep on it. Then, spend some more time brainstorming, test it with an audience, and put the name through even more tests. Don’t be afraid to take your time! Choosing the wrong name for your business can have big consequences — including financial ones. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing your business name.

Know Your Choices

So what’s wrong with trusting your gut, just picking the first thing and going with it? I’m not trying to crush your dreams, but although this may be a great strategy to employ in other areas, you absolutely don’t want to do this when deciding what to call your business.

Did you know that brand names can be categorized by styles? Without spending time to research, you may not be aware of your choices: classic, clever, emotional, modern, and pragmatic.

Before moving forward, list the pros and cons of the styles. Although each style has its benefits, be wise with choosing one that best aligns with your brand and mission. What works for a competitor may be a mismatch for your brand.

Once you pick a style, stick with this choice throughout the rest of your branding journey. From picking a typeface to choosing colors, your brand identity should be cohesive so it can be easily recognized by customers.One of the perks of having a set style is that it’s easy to say no to ideas that don’t represent your brand. 

Use a Business Name Generator

If trying to come up with a creative name for your business is giving you a serious case of writer’s block, try using one of the many business name generators out there, like this one or this one. Just give the bots a few keywords related to your business, and you’ll get dozens of business name ideas within seconds. Even if none of them end up being what you’re looking for, you’ll probably walk away with some inspiration and ideas. 

One especially good feature of a business name generator is that you are only given name ideas that have available domains, or they will check domain availability for you. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up with the perfect creative business name only to discover that you can’t get a domain for it.

Bring in Different Ideas

If you’re trying to find the perfect business name, you absolutely must be open to hearing suggestions from others. After all, it’s going to be other people who are using your business, not you, so what they think should be what matters most. If you’ve already made up your mind, you are missing an opportunity to hear valuable feedback. Set aside a brainstorming session — or two — to get the conversation started.

Diverse perspectives help the brainstorming session take the right twists and turns. Once you’ve settled on these starting ideas, just keep jotting down ideas. Create different versions of your ideas, and keep these names somewhere where you can access them later.

To avoid getting stuck, don’t focus on one or two words. Instead, think about the things that make your brand unique or help you best connect with your customers. These parts of your brand identity will help you stand out among competitors.

Ask Before you Advertise

Before you prepare for your grand opening or big reveal, see how your target audience feels about your business name. This means that you must be willing to make changes to your name if you get negative feedback. Trust the audience. They may have perceived something you missed early on in the naming process.

Consider using an online polling service to try out different name ideas. It’s a great way to crowdsource opinions from your target audience to help you make your final decision.

Don’t forget that you have a global audience. Ask people from different parts of the world about your brand name. Each person in your target audience brings their own experiences, so it’s important to listen. If you ignore them, you may be ignoring a larger part of your audience.

It may be a pain in the neck, but it’s way better to change your name before you’ve paid for marketing! On your launch day you can rest easy knowing that a well-researched name has tremendous value. Be the company that is trending for the right reasons. Don’t be the company that is trending because of an insensitive name or for a name that has a negative connotation in another country.

Put it to the Test

While your name may sound great when pitching it to your friends, how does it look in print? How would it sound when being announced in a stadium? Your business name should be functional. If it’s not, your customers can easily become frustrated and may move on to a competitor.

While deciding if your brand name is functional, remember that it should be easy to say after reading it, easy to spell after hearing it, and easy to repeat if overheard in a noisy space. You want people to be able to tell others about your brand. If they have a difficult time spelling it or pronouncing it, you’re at risk of having a brand name that is confusing with others.

Whether it’s on social media or word of mouth, you want to make it easy for your customers to tell others about your brand. They shouldn’t have to go to your website to double-check the spelling. It shouldn’t be a challenge to say your name to others.

If you want people to know your brand name, spend the extra time to choose well. It’s worth your time — and your money — to do your research and listen to feedback from others. Move forward with confidence as you introduce your brand to the world.

We’ve gone over some of the things to keep in mind when choosing a business name. The following is a list of things to avoid when naming your small business:

Difficult spelling or pronunciation – If you have to spell it after saying it, or if you have to say it when someone is trying to read it, it’s not the right name for you.

Lack of uniqueness or memorability – Your company name shouldn’t go in one ear and out the other.

Nonsense – There can be a fine line between unique and nonsensical. Don’t decide on a name that is so strange that people become dismissive of it. 

Cultural insensitivity – As good as your intentions may be, it’s important to keep the diversity of your audience in mind. Do your research and avoid making this mistake.

Choosing a name without an available domain -Again, using a business name generator can help you avoid this devastating mistake.

A name that doesn’t relate to your business – First and foremost, your business name should communicate something about what you offer. Make sure it is relevant so you don’t confuse people.

Inflexibility – Never say never. Keep your options open, and don’t be afraid to consider options that are outside the box. Always be willing to listen to feedback and make changes when necessary.

Coming up with a name for your business can be difficult and time-consuming, but with some creativity, determination and a LOT of feedback and testing, you really can find the perfect name for your small business that will stand the test of time.

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