One of the most exciting – and sometimes hardest – parts of starting a new business is coming up with a name. Since your business name is often the first thing people will ever know about your business, it is in your best interest to choose a name that evokes a mental image of who you are, what you sell and/or what you do.

The Foundation of Your Business Identity

Your business name is the foundation of your business identity. It evokes an image. It conjures up a feeling. The name of your business will generate an entire concept in the mind of those who encounter it. Here are some tips that will go a long way toward getting your business off on the right foot.

  • The name that you choose for your business should be something that people remember. If it’s memorable enough and easy to spell, then people searching for your business online will have greater success finding it.
  • If the name of your business is easy to pronounce, it will make the possibility of growth through word-of-mouth more likely.
  • You can go with a name that clearly defines your business, product, or service. Or you can go with something that conjures up the overall image that you want your business to convey.
  • Do you have particular colors in mind, or a general design style that you feel would appropriately convey the vibe of your business? Try using those to help dictate what the name of your business should be.
  • Business names like “Someone & Someone” can often convey a traditional, solid feel. Take care, however, that it doesn’t make your business come across as stodgy.
  • One-word business names tend to come across as more energetic, hip and innovative.
  • You may want to go with an acronym of some sort. Just be sure that it makes sense for your business – both the acronym and the words that compose it.
  • If your business is trying to build up a local clientele, then you may want a name that has local flavor.
  • You don’t want the name of your business to inadvertently deter your target audience. For the most part, try to stick with names that lean toward the positive and inoffensive. Of course, this does depend on your target audience. If you’re going for a more melancholy or misanthropic audience, then a darker business name may be just what you want.
  • Put yourself in the place of the consumer that you’re hoping to reach, and think about what would attract them to your business.
  • You may also want to consider going with a business name that allows room for growth. What if your business sells gumdrops? It would be fine to have a name for your shop that indicates this, but you may not want to pigeonhole yourself by only focusing on gumdrops in the name. You may also start selling gummy bears and other gummy creatures. Maybe you’ll even decide to add jellybeans to the mix. So then you may want your business name to be a little broader and cover the fact that you carry chewy sweets.
  • A well-placed play on words can help your business name take root in the minds of potential clients. However, make sure that the name of your business doesn’t step on anyone’s toes. It may seem like a clever idea to capitalize on the fame of a well-recognized brand, but you may end up with a not-so-clever lawsuit slapped on you for infringement.

It’s a good idea to get feedback from friends, family and associates to see how others perceive your chosen business name. Listen to their thoughts, and don’t be easily offended if the feedback that you receive isn’t complementary. Not everyone is going to agree with the name that you choose, but it’s still good for you to get some outside perspective.

Ultimately, the choice of what to name your new business lies with you. You want it to be the right fit for you and your business, so take some time to let it gestate before making your final decision.

Excerpted from:

Starting A Business 1-2-3
The premier step-by-step interactive training system
for starting your business with confidence and clarity

Module 1: Research and Development