Remember the stories of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg? They all started small in garages, dorm rooms, or other unlikely locations. Each of them had something in common: an idea.
Oh, they had other things as well. Business savvy, drive, a willingness to fail and get back up again…and a good business name. Before you embark on any business venture, consider the name. How many businesses (and their websites) have failed because of their name alone? Probably more than you would think.
Here are some things to consider when picking out your business and website name:
Is Your Business Name Simple?
Your business name should be simple to spell, type, and say. Someone should be able to tell someone the name of your business verbally and that person should be able to write it down or type it into their computer or mobile device without misspelling it or the need for special characters or unusual punctuation.
Why? For your business name to be memorable, it does not have to be complex. Think of Apple or Amazon. The names are not complex, nor do they have obscure meanings or spellings. It’s not that you can’t have clever spellings that are simple. Deep Klean for instance has a simple letter substitution that makes it different, yet not complex. A statement like “clean with a k” clears up the spelling and makes them simple to find.
Is Your Business Name Available as a Website?
You need an online presence, and while it can be tempting in many cases to make your name the name of your business or website, that may not be the best way to make it memorable.
Of course, if your name is common, the website associated with it might be taken. Or variations of your name like your initials or adding certifications or what you do for a living might be the best option to distinguish it from the rest. So how do you know if your name is available?
First, use an online domain name search tool. This will not only tell you if the name you want is available, but how much it will cost to purchase it as well. Using this tool allows you to plug in variations so you can view other options if your first choice is not available.
Speaking of variations, this is the second step. Use Google or another search engine to look at the meaning of your chosen website name. Make sure that when run together, it still looks professional and the initials do not result in any unfortunate meanings either. (For instance, the Iowa Department on Aging decided to change their website name when they realized seniors typing in DOA.org did not encourage the traffic they wanted.)
Is Your Business Name Unique?
Simplicity does not mean that your business name cannot be unique. This is sometimes tough in popular industries, but you can still come up with a creative and unique name.
The primary things to be concerned about can be overcome by asking a few simple questions:
- Does my business name resemble that of one of my competitors?
- Is my business name close enough to another one that a common typo could result in lost traffic?
- Will my business name be hard to rank for in Google? (Are there many other similar names?)
- Is my business name relevant? (Does your business name state who you are or what you do?)
- Is there any other reason my business name might be confusing?
- Can I do better with some help?
Your business name, including the name of your website and how easy you are to find on Google may be the first impression you give a future customer. Having a unique name makes you memorable and helps you stand out from other businesses in your niche.
What’s in a name? Your name is the first thing that sets you apart from the crowd. Keeping it simple, yet unique, along with making sure it is not already taken, will set you up to offer a memorable first impression to your future customers. You only get one chance at that.