Among the many, many things over which you can lose sleep as a new business owner, your company name looms large.
Needless to say, you want to find the best possible name, but you cannot spend months mulling over it either: you have a company to register, a web site to create, and business cards to get printed. So you need to make a decision, and the sooner the better.
Whatâ€™s a non marketing expert to do?
As a small business owner, you cannot afford to hire a brand specialist like a Fortune 500 company would. I know itâ€™s a bit daunting to come up with a name on your own, but donâ€™t worry too much.
Unless youâ€™re selling a product (in which case weâ€™re really talking about your brand more than just your company name), the name you choose is not etched in stone. You can always change it after a few months if you donâ€™t love it.
If youâ€™re freelancing, consulting or selling other professional services, you could even start your business under your own name, then rename your company once you find a name you like.
How do you come up with a name?
All the usual creative thinking techniques apply:
- Brainstorming, alone or in a group
- Mind maps
- Free word association
As a starting point, you can use a keyword that encapsulates what your business is about, the type of results/benefits you bring your clients, or a word that you are particularly fond of and that represents who you are.
You can even take a look at your competitorsâ€™ names â€“ however, remember that you want a distinctive name, not one that will get you lumped together with the other guys. For instance, there would have been no point in naming my expat support company â€śExpat something or otherâ€ť or â€śGlobal this and thatâ€ť â€“ there are already too many names like that on the market, and itâ€™s getting difficult to tell them apart.
Once you have a shortlist of possible names, itâ€™s time to proceed by elimination. In the next post, I will give you tips to help you decide on the best name for your business.
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