Naming your business can be a stressful process. You want to choose a name that will last as well as embodying both your values and your company's characteristics. You also want to have a creative name that no one else has so you can trademark it later on without any difficulties. However, with so many companies and startups in the world, this process is starting to get more difficult. Here are some ways to make the process easier.
Enlist Expert Help to Start
Coming up with a good business name can be a complicated process. You might consider consulting an expert, especially if you are in a field in which your company name may influence the success of your business, which are most industries. There are companies where their only job is to create new names and they know trademark laws really well. They can advise you against lousy name choices. The downside is cost. Naming services can charge as much as thousands of dollars. But sometimes, spending a reasonable amount of money early for quality expert advice can save you money in the long run.
Brainstorm a List of Names
Start with a few keywords you have in mind. If you don't, think about what your company offers as well as your target customers. Think about what your target customers will put into Google and use keyword planner to come up with a list of words you could use for your company name. Think about it a bit more, and you will be sure to come up with a great name with the list of words.
What's in a Name?
Start by deciding what you want your name to communicate. It should reinforce the essential elements of your business. Your work in developing a niche and a mission statement will help you pinpoint the features you want to emphasize in your name.
The more your name communicates to consumers about your business, the less effort you will need to exert in explaining it later. According to naming experts, entrepreneurs should give priority to real words or combination of words over fabricated words. People prefer words they can relate to and understand. That's why professional namers universally condemn strings of numbers of initials.
Test Your Name
After you've narrowed the field to four or give names that are memorable and expressive, you are ready to do a trademark search. Not every business name needs to be trademarked as long as your state government gives you the go-ahead and you aren't infringing on anyone else's trade name. But you should consider hiring a trademark attorney or at least a trademark search firm beforehand to make sure your new name doesn't infringe on another business's trademark.
Most entrepreneurs arrive at a final decision by going with their guts or by doing consumer research or testing with focus groups to see how the names are perceived. You can doodle an idea of what each name will look like on a sign or business stationery. Read each name aloud, paying attention to the way it sounds if you foresee radio advertising or telemarketing in your future.
Keep in mind that professional naming firms devote anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to the naming process. You probably won't have that much time, but plan to spend at least a few weeks on selecting a name. Once your decision is made, start building your enthusiasm for the new name immediately. Your name is your first step toward creating a healthy company identity, one that should last as long as you are in business.
Related: 5 Ways to Get Entrepreneurship Funding
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