Helping you plan, start and grow your business
What’s in a Name?
What is important to consider in choosing a specific business name?
Let’s start by looking at possible Objectives for a new business name, such as:
o Meaningful to the target market; relevant; ties to the products or services sold.
o Easy to remember: simple, melodious, clever; not too long.
o Easy to understand: makes sense; fits local vernacular.
o Easy to find in an alphabetical listing: includes the phone book, an industry membership list, and other lists.
o Unique among competitors: not the same as any other vendor with similar products or services, or in the same industry.
o Unique: no other company has this name; possibly, a made-up word.
o Translates well: does not mean something unfortunate in another language.
o Stands the test of time: excludes slang or humor.
Several of these objectives are relevant for any business name, such as meaningful and easy to remember. Some may be irrelevant to your business. For instance, a made-up, unique name requires extensive legal research in many languages, and takes time and money to establish in the marketplace. Few small businesses are able, or would be willing, to make that kind of investment.
In addition, consider that:
o Adding “A” at the beginning of the name will put you towards the beginning of any alphabetical listing, which can be good for prospecting. However, its inclusion may be hard for customers to remember when they are looking for you. For instance, many people used to remember a local retail store, “A Southern Season,” incorrectly as “Southern Season.” Eventually, the name was changed to the more popular version.
o If your business is named after you, including an initial – or first name along with the surname – may cause complications if other family members join the team. Think carefully about whether or not the inclusion of initials or a first name will help or hinder your business.
What Objectives should your company name meet?
Which ones does it meet now?
Are there compelling reasons to change the name?
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend