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All in the Name: Optimally Naming Your Business

Naming your business is one of the most important decisions a new business owner can make. Too often, new owners do not put much thought into a name, but they should. A business name actually has the power to make or break a company. If it isn't catchy, doesn't relate closely enough to the nature of the business, or is confusing, that can be incredibly damaging.

What's in a Name

Across the board, business consultants agree that naming your business is an important task. However, they do not all necessarily agree on how to choose a name.

As an entrepreneur, you should start by making a conscious decision to name your company. Don't let your company get its name by default. The company's name is the way that customers, competitors and vendors will identify your business. A great name can help you grow faster, and a poor name can slow your growth or even hurt your business.

Steps You Can Take to Search for a Name

There are two schools of thought when it comes to naming your business. The first is to use words that relate to or describe what you do. The second is to choose a short, easy-to-pronounce name that can be easily branded. This second philosophy allows you more creativity in naming your business and controlling the perception through marketing and media.

Whichever option you choose, there are certain steps to take:

  • Think about how the name sounds when said out loud.
  • Make sure it is easy to spell.
  • Search the Internet for similar names, and avoid any that are too close.
  • Consider whether you may incorporate your business as you grow.
  • Consider whether the name is transferable if you choose to sell your business.

Naming Pitfalls

One of the key steps when you start a business in 2013 is choosing a name. Naming a business can have some pitfalls, and sometimes there are costs involved. If you believe your business will grow large enough to incorporate or trademark, it's critical that you not select a name someone else already has registered. Do a thorough search for similar names.

Naming your business does not have to be a solitary task, but it can be problematic if you ask family members or a large group of people to help. While that might seem like a natural option, it can make things too complicated. Hire a consultant to help you or only ask for ideas from a few select people. Having too many helpers can stir up resentment and stress.

Everyone who starts a new business in 2013 will have to give extensive consideration to the company's name. Look for a marketable name that is easy to say and hard to forget. Naming your business is a critical job, so take your time and do it right. You want customers to remember your business positively and spread the name around to their friends.

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