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What's in a name.... Selecting the right business name
by James Capobianco
With all that's been written lately about the new 67 characters allowed for domain names, I thought I would address
the *art* of selecting a name for your business. It's by no means an easy task or one that should be taken lightly.
So here we go.
Ask 500 people, already in business, how they decided upon their business name and you will get 500 different answers.
Everyone has a story behind how they chose their business name. Even if the business is named after their own birth
name, there's probably a reason why this was done.
When you open a business, in a sense, you are giving birth. This new birth was created from an idea by you or your
associates. It will have its own bank account, it's own federal identification number, it's own credit accounts,
it's own income and it's own bills. On paper, it is another individual! Just as if you were choosing a name for
an unborn child, you need to spend considerable time in deciding upon your business name.
There are several reasons why a good business name is vitally important to your business. The first obvious reason
is because it is the initial identification to your customers. No one would want to do business with someone if
they didn't have a company name yet. This makes you look like an amateur who is very unreliable. Even if you call
your company "Bill's Lawn Service," a company name has been established and you are indeed a company.
People will therefore feel more comfortable dealing with you.
Secondly, a business name normally is an indication as to the product or service you offer. "Joan's Typing
Service", "Karate Club for Men", "Jim-Dandy Jack-of-all-Trades", "Main Street Laundry",
"Misty's Gift Boutique" and "Star Publishers" are all examples of simple business names that
immediately tell the customer what product you offer.
However, most people will choose the simple approach when naming their business. They use their name, their spouse's
name, their children's names or a combination of these names when naming a business. The national hamburger-restaurant
chain "Wendy's" was named after the founder's daughter. Although, research has proven that these "cutesy"
names are not the best names to use for a business. Many experts claim that it makes the business look too "mom-and-pop-sie."
But this depends on the business. If you are selling something that demands this mood or theme to appeal to your
market, it's okay to use this approach.
Names like, "Sensible Solutions," "Direct Defenders," "Moonlighters Ink," "Printer's
Friend," "Strictly Class," "Collections and Treasures," and "Starlight on Twilight"
are all good examples of catchy names. These types of names relate to your product or service but serve as a type
of slogan for your business. This is a big help when marketing.
When you name a child, you may not decide upon a definite name until after they are born. The nursery is loaded
with "Boy" Smith and "Girl" Jones name tags. You do this because a name is sometimes associated
with a type of personality. Somehow, I don't think Tarzan and Jane got the message,"Boy"? (dah!) When
you name a business you may need to wait until you have a product or service to sell and then decide upon a business
name before going into the business itself because your business name should give some clue as to what product
or service you are selling. A business named "Joe's Collections" normally wouldn't sell car parts and
a business named "Charlie Horse" would not sell knitting supplies.
To generate ideas - begin looking at business signs everywhere you go. Notice which ones catch your eye and stick
in your mind. Try and figure out "why" they stuck in your mind. Naturally, the business "Dominos
Pizza" sticks in your mind because it is nationally known. These don't count! Look around and notice the smaller
businesses. Take your time. Within a few days you should be able to come up with a few potential business names.
Then, when you finally find a few names you really like - try reciting them to other people and get their opinion.
It won't be long until your business will have the proper name that will carry it through its life!
A final thought. Are they kidding, 67 character domain names? VeryLongBusinessNamesThatAreHardToRemember.com (and
enter without a typo)?, well maybe it's just me; but what happened to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)?
Oh! Why *Cap-Tech*? I thought it was catchy :-) As for becoming a household word...Maybe???
About the author:
James Capobianco has been self employed for over 25 years, both on and offline. At his web site, Cap-Tech.com,
he shares his experience and expertise when it comes to owning your own business. Come pay a visit at http://www.cap-tech.com
Tags: Start and Run a Business