There can be a lot of pressure to come up with the perfect business name, I mean, it is what your business is going to be known for right? How do you go about picking the name that gives the right impression and tells your potential clients exactly what they need to know? Here are my tips to nail the decision…
Find Your Perfect Business Name
The Practical Considerations
There are a few practical aspects to take into account when you are selecting your name. There is no point landing on the perfect name, only to find out that 3 other businesses are already called the same thing.
So, before you get your heart set on something, check these things…
Check with the Companies Office that there isn’t already another company that exists with the same name. This one does have a workaround as you can register anything as your company name, but trade as something different.
Your website is one of your most important assets, so you want to make sure an appropriate domain name is available. If you are working with international clients then .com is the preferable handle, however if most of your clients are New Zealand based the a .co.nz or a .nz will avoid any confusion for your clients.
If someone has the .com extension and you purchase the .nz equivalent, you run the risk that there could be confusion between the two businesses. So be aware of that fact when you make your decision. If they are all available, you may choose to purchase all 3 extensions to prevent someone else having your domain name. Check out the availability of your domain here.
Copyright and Intellectual Property
This one is probably the most important consideration and one that I should have worked harder on when I selected my first brand name ‘Infinity’. This is where your brand protection comes in, where you own your name. Engage with an intellectual property lawyer and check IPONZ for any registered trademarks.
You don’t want to invest months, or even years, building your brand to find that someone else had done it before you. Imagine how horrible it would be to be slapped with a Cease and Desist order, preventing your ability to trade. Or, that you are doing all this hard work to build your brand and someone else’s business gets the benefit!
By protecting your intellectual property, you also have a legal leg to stand on if someone else tries to use your business name or copy your services.
K.I.S.S. No, I don’t want you to lay a smackeroo on me. I want you to Keep It Simple Sunshine (substitute in any S word you feel for that last letter, I am just being PC!)
Don’t try and use fancy spelling, or weird and wonderful versions of normal words. You will forever be explaining how to spell it and why you chose it when people ask. Unless there is a really good reason for it, spell words as they should be spelled.
You want to choose something that your ideal client can identify with, that immediately makes them understand what your business does and how it can help them. You want them to be able to see your business as the one that they need in their lives, so make your name relatable. Make sure your name represents your business and resonates with the correct market or niche that you are targeting.
Try to pick a name that explains what your business does. If you are too cryptic, it might put people off as opposed to drawing them in like you want to. Don’t be too clever with your name, it isn’t wise to call yourself The Guitar Factory if you actually sell drums.
If what you do is too complicated to fit into a business title, then even a hint about what you do is helpful. Sometimes an analogy or a metaphor can be helpful. Or try adding a tagline to help explain it.
Choose something that holds meaning for you. Something that you can speak passionately about and something that lights a fire inside you. Every business needs a good story, let your story start with your name.
You are your business so you need to pick a name that resonates with you. Something that you can be proud of and that embodies all the things about your business that you want it to.
Stay tuned to find out all about why I chose my new business name, it’s a good story I promise! And don’t miss next week’s blog when we will discuss whether you should revisit your business plan when you are rebranding.