There are so many decisions to make when starting a new business that the actual business name can often be given insufficient thought. This is a huge mistake that many start-ups make and come to regret further down the line. Of all the things that you can change about your business once it’s started, the name is one element that is extremely difficult to change so you need to give it proper thought.
In this article, we’ll show you the key elements you need to consider when giving your new venture a name. We’ll assume at this point that you have at least a few ideas on your potential new name so you can check it against the areas we cover below. If you haven’t got a name in mind yet, the advice below will save you from wasting countless hours considering unsuitable names.
Any business that doesn’t have a website in this day and age is committing commercial suicide. It’s not a marketing option; it’s a marketing necessity so you need to ensure first and foremost that whatever name you choose, the respective domain is available.
To instantly check the availability of a domain name, you can use this free domain name tool by clicking HERE (opens in new window/tab). This tool checks the availability of a domain in a split second as you type into its search box so it saves you having to wait for individual searches to return a result as you go through your business name options.
There are a few basic things you need to consider when researching a suitable domain:
- In an ideal world, having both the .com and .co.uk domain names is ideal as the .com is almost essential for brand building. However, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to find available .co.uk domains than the .com and if you only intend to trade in the UK then it’s a reasonable compromise. However, if you find a suitable name where only the .co.uk is available, always check to see if there is a website on the .com domain and what they do. This can avoid any potential trademark issues or accidentally naming your new business after a popular brand of Turkish condoms (or worse)!
- Ideally you don’t want to use hyphens in the domain name as hyphenated domain names have less brand value as non-hyphenated ones and can be pain whenever you have to spell out your website or email address to anyone.
- Whatever you do, do not try and use some funky variant of common English words like ‘Ezy’, ‘Krazy’ or ‘Gr8’ – you’ll have to spell your email and website address to everyone you talk to forever more.
- Don’t use numbers because again, whenever you have to verbally convey your website or email address; you’ll have to tell people whether the domain uses numbers or characters, for example; www.9HoleGolf.co.uk and www.NineHoleGolf.co.uk.
Build a Brand to Build Trust
Have you ever wondered why people buy Nurofen or Anadin pain-killers when you can buy un-branded tablets that contain the same ingredients for about 70% less? It’s because these brands have created a sense of value in the mind of the consumer.
Is Everest any better at installing double glazed windows than the Independent Glaziers down the road who’ve been trading for decades? Probably not, but you can guess who commands the higher price for their products.
Consumers buy the brand first, then the product or service. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Florist, a Caterer, a Dentist or a Gardener; the name of your business has but a split-second to portray the right image to your customers.
Let’s imagine you run a building company who specialise in fitting expensive block driveways. You have two options for your new business name:
Smith & Co Builders or Etondale
Which do you think gives the best impression of quality and high standards, something that you’d want to obviously portray to your potential customers?
If I were looking to spend £3,000 on a new driveway, I know which company name I’d be more drawn to.
Creating a name that portrays the perfect impression of your business is not easy but it’s worth spending the time looking at as many options as possible. Try brainstorming ideas with friends and family – sometimes getting ideas and input from people outside of your new business can open-up new avenues you may not have even considered.
Don’t Let Your Name Limit Your Business
Be careful about adding your business or product sector to your business name, for example; ‘Surrey Security Services’ or ‘Browns Windows’.
Whilst this might initially seem a great idea in helping your potential customers to immediately identify what you do, it also severely restricts how your business can develop in terms or your geographical area or product range.
What if ‘Surrey Security Services’ wanted to expand and start trading in to Kent? The ‘Surrey’ part of their name which may have attracted Surrey customers would have the opposite effect for their target customers in Kent.
And what if, ‘Browns Windows’ wanted to branch out into installing conservatories? Their business name tells everyone that they’re a window company so a misconception might arise that installing conservatories is not their speciality.
If you’ve got plans to develop your business then don’t let your business name restrict your potential to expand.
Final Words – Take Your Time and Take Advice
If you adhere to the steps above, you won’t go far wrong in creating a great name for your new business but there are always exceptions to these rules. When you consider that people spend months, even years deciding upon names for their children, it’s probably not amiss to spend at least a week deciding upon your new business name.
Finally, don’t be too personal about the choice of name. If somebody suggests a business name that you’re not that keen on but everyone else loves, you’ve got to be able to accept that the majority is almost certainly right. Names are always going to be subjective but your new name needs to appeal to the broadest audience possible. Vanity has been the behind many a terrible business name.
We hope you found this article of use but do bear in mind that branding is a much more complex subject than we can cover in a few dozen paragraphs so if you’d like further advice or guidance, please feel free to call us on 01252 416 222, email us via our contact page.