One of the most important and potentially challenging steps of starting a business is choosing a business name. For some, choosing a business name is the first step tackled because it’s simple, quick and obvious to the business owner. For others, it’s a struggle to identify a business name that truly encompasses the business and everything it stands for.
While there are a number business rules for naming your business that can help you make the right decision, you are sure to choose the right name if you follow these simple tips.
Go Back to the Basics
There are many different moving parts to consider when you start a business, and you probably have a handful of different ideas floating around in your head. The best way to start the process of choosing a name for your business is by reviewing the foundation of your business. Consider your mission statement, your business plan and your unique selling proposition. And don’t forget to think about your target audience.
Create a list of written guidelines so you can refer to them during the process. Some questions that can guide you as you choose a name for your business include:
- What message do you want to portray through your business name?
- What are your biggest priorities for your business name? Do you want it to be easy to pronounce, different and unique, directly related to your products and services, etc.?
- What do you want people to think and feel when they see your business name?
- What is your business structure and will your business name use a related abbreviation, such as Inc. or LLC?
- What are the names of your competition? What do you like and dislike about those business names?
- Does the length of the name matter? If so, do you want a short name or a longer name?
Conduct a Brainstorming Session
Once you have outlined the guidelines for choosing your business name, it’s time to introduce some creativity. In fact, the more creative and free-thinking you can be during this stage, the more ideas you will generate, and the more possibilities you will have to choose from. You may want to conduct a series of brainstorming sessions, some with just you, some with a colleague or partner, to come up with as many business name ideas as possible.
During your brainstorming, you should keep your guidelines in mind, but allow yourself some unrestricted time to be creative. Some common ways to start a brainstorming session include brain dumping, list making, mind mapping and word association. If you’re new to brainstorming, review these brainstorming tips to get started.
Next week…3 more tips!