What’s in a name?

Jennifer J

We spend countless hours trying to figure out the perfect name for our business. It is important. The right name can help you be the talk of the town. A bad name can fade away and lead to obscurity. So how do you pick the perfect name? Do you name the business after yourself? Do you pick a name that describes your service or product? Or, do you create catchy new words like ‘Google’ or ‘Zappos’?  Determining what to name your business comes down to three things:

–          The industry your business is in;

–          What is the vision you have for your business; and

–          Your long term plan for your business.

If you plan to be the main commodity of your business, e.g. an expert in a particular field, a coach or a speaker, than you should name the business after you. Should you go on to produce books, products and pod casts, the only thing that isn’t changing is you. Naming your business after yourself allows your customer and clients to identify your expertise. You also have the flexibility of creating different products whilst not having to be locked in to just one.

Should your long term plans include selling your business one day, you should consider a name that describes your product or service. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. There are many businesses where the owner became the brand and the business was subsequently sold.  However, remember that if you intend to sell your business, the name is likely trademarked which prevents you from using the name for future ventures. This includes your own name.

When considering the name of your business, it is important to determine what it is you are trying to communicate. This can be determined by using your mission statement as a guide. Once you have this clearly defined, it is important to consider the following when creating a name:

–          Pick something that appeals to your niche and that your niche will identify with;

–          Something that is not too long and confusing;

–          Don’t use plain language that won’t stand out in a crowd;

–          Avoid clichés;

–          Avoid unusual spelling; and

–          Try and adopt a name that gives some information about your business.

Once you have picked a few names make sure to check whether your names have already been trademarked or are in use. You want to ensure you are not infringing on anyone else’s rights.Failure to do this could lead to legal battles down the line and significant money spent when it could have been avoided.

You also want to check if the domain name you’d like to use is still available. There’s nothing worse than coming up with a brilliant name only to find someone else has already purchased the domain.

Happy naming!

Jennifer Jampala is a budding entrepreneur, traveller and yogi. She is passionate about building businesses, relationships and experiences. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferJampala

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