Choosing the right business name can be so difficult because you want to hit the perfect combination of unique and memorable. Looking for business name ideas when so much seems to ride on this one decision, can be kind of nerve-wracking.
How do you stand out from the crowd, instantly stick in someone’s mind, explain succinctly exactly what you do, and don’t sound like anybody else?
Not that easy, huh?
The perfect business name search. How to find THE ONE. The entire future success of your business rests on this name. No pressure.
I had a friend who had started their own business and thought up what I thought was a catchy name. I asked him how he came up with it. He said, like finding your soulmate, when you think of the right business name, you’ll just know it is the one.
Ok, so that was really helpful… Not.
Because the truth is, sometimes we do know when we hit it and sometimes we don’t.
It can go either way.
My advice is, if it has been holding you up from taking that next step and getting your business moving for over a good few months, you need to just pick the one that you like the best and get started even if you aren’t sure you love it.
Ideally though, you want to be looking for that ‘feeling’.[click_to_tweet tweet=”Everything in your head will just click into place and you will be instantly excited about the business you are about to build.” quote=”Everything in your head will just click into place and you will be instantly excited about the business you are about to build.”]
But that just tells you how to know WHEN you’ve found the right one, not how to actually FIND the right one.
So, I thought I’d help a bit with that, with some old school brainstorming.
One fantastic place to start your thinking is to go for RAM. This is a great rule of thumb that means look for something that is:
Go through the questions listed below. Make notes and write down names that inspire you or stand out.
Write down words that you like or that describe what you do. It is often this playing around with business name ideas, as well as saying them aloud, that will help you get to the right one.
Hint: when you write it, write it without spaces as it would look in a domain or hashtag – just make sure it still makes sense and doesn’t look like something else this way!
Here are some good questions to ask yourself to come up with the business name that is THE ONE.
How would you explain what you do?
Choose a domain name that is easy to brand and that explains what you do without people having to guess.
As an example, KidsDirectory.com might seem like a great option; it is clear and even includes keywords, but will people remember it? A name this generic can almost seem soulless; it lacks emotion and connection.
We came up with Twinfo for our beautiful Business Jump Family member, Naomi, as a better example, is much more brandable, relatable and memorable. And still pretty relevant and clear.
“One year on, I still love my business name! It’s perfect. I’ve had so many people comment on it…” says Naomi about her business name.
Another good example of clarity is our past client Darwin Family Life. One read, and you know exactly what this business does, yet it is personal and easy to connect with for this business’ audience. Amy says ‘I love my business name, I brainstormed for a while and checked in with the Business Jump team and my project coordinator and they all agreed that it was a great name which gave me the confidence to then move onto all the other aspects of developing my business.’
What are you hoping to give your customers, or help them to do?
Ask yourself how you would define, in as few words as possible, what you bring to your clients.
This is another awesome starting point for your business name search. For example, Janine Allis, the Melbourne-based, award-winning founder of Boost Juice, wanted people to have healthy, fast food choices. She selected a fantastic business name; something original, emotive, simple, memorable and easily explaining what she provided.
Another great example is our past client The Gut Healing Community. This name will stick in your mind, tells you instantly what it does, and makes you feel positive about what it offers. The word ‘community’ adds a warm and welcoming touch.
Meagan from The Gut Healing Community says this about her business name: “I love my business name because it gives a pretty clear indication about what my business is all about – Gut health/healing with a supportive community feel. I also thought it may be useful for SEO.”
I also particularly love the names of our clients Caroline from Aussie Allergy Mum and Whole-Hearted Family Health. A few words which make a big impact on the right audience; this is the essence of what the perfect business name should do.
Caroline from Aussie Allergy Mum had a spark of brilliance in the middle of the night when it came to her business name: [click_to_tweet tweet=”“My biz name came to me in the middle of the night, whilst I was in the trenches, holding a sick child.”” quote=”“My biz name came to me in the middle of the night, whilst I was in the trenches, holding a sick child.””]
Andrea from Whole-Hearted Family Health has some great advice when it comes to choosing a business name. She says: “It wasn’t an easy process but thinking about my target audience and my overall branding really helped.”
Who is your audience?
Speak directly to your audience in your business name.
Is it mums? How old are their kids? Do they work? What terms and language do they identify with? (For example; mum, mummy, mama, mother?) Broker Melanie Smith of Queensland, named her successful business Mortgage Broker Mummy because she understands mothers’ financial needs. She’s a mum rocking a niche she loves because she understands mums.
How do you want people to feel when they hear your business name?
Consider the feelings and emotions you want to bring out in your customers. Do you want them to feel happy, inspired, motivated, content, connected, at peace, excited? Do you want to engage, persuade, shock, heal, help or bring people joy?
Will you want to sell your business in the future?
This requires you to think long-term, and also to imagine the worst possible outcome as well. If you may want to, or need to, sell your business down the track, then choose a name that will easily transfer.
Generally, avoid using your own name unless you are a coach or consultant, as these businesses are less easily transferred. Any buyers may think that all the goodwill stays with you.
When you are thinking long-term you should also think about your name’s global reach and understanding.
Choose a name that’s scalable; don’t pigeonhole yourself into just one product, service or region. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into only face to face services when you can add online down the track, and don’t restrict yourself to direct service provision if you would like to move into digital products.
More Great Tips on How to Come Up with a Business Name:
- Be descriptive but not too general or vague so that only you know what it means
- Keep it simple and not too long, no more than two or three words
- Add a tagline that is descriptive
- Make sure it isn’t too close to any other competitors or similar businesses
- Nothing too sickly cute or sweetie pie (unless you literally sell sweetie pies!)
- Nothing offensive or that has cultural significance as you don’t want to be appropriating or offending another culture’s identity.
- Try to avoid numbers at the end
- Try to avoid using words or characters that will date, such as # or @. Be careful with misspellings; just because it works for Krispy Kreme doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Before you buy any domains or make any big announcements, use these tools to check that your chosen name is available: