How To Pick A Name For Your Startup

How To Pick A Name For Your Startup

It’s less than ironic when entrepreneurs go through all the complexities of starting a business, and find themselves still stuck for a name. A basic requirement for a title might be to pick something that will reflect your intention or inspiration behind your business. One thing is certain; you need a name you love.

Your title should be catchy and memorable, yet symbolic of what you do. Something too ambiguous will leave people confused. A dose of mystery can be an excellent marketing strategy to create intrigue, but when trying to attract your first customers, you’ll have better success if your messaging is self-explanatory. No matter how cool, a vague title will be extra challenging to brand. If your name represents what your company does, you already have a foundation to build your voice around, without having to define a fundamental identity. The goal is to connect with potential clients, not make them guess, because chances are they won’t. You also want to consider SEO, and traffic brought in from searches of the type of product or service you provide.

A name tells who you are, but be careful that it’s not so specific it gives no room to grow. In case your business expands its menu of offerings, be mindful, so that you won’t need to change your name later.

You want an original title. Run thorough web searches for your choices. Check for available domain names, trying to secure a .com if you can. If the domain you prefer is taken, there’s a chance the owner is willing to sell. 

See who else using the name you want. If your business is entirely different from other companies, than there should be no interference or conflict. If you plan to register as a corporation or LLC, check with the Secretary of State that there’s no one else with a name so similar that you may not be able to register. To determine if you can trademark it, search USPTO.gov.

If you really are suffering a block and cannot seem to come up with a name that sings to you, try a site to help brainstorm. VisualThesaurus.com let’s you visually play with keywords. Naminum.com produces theme-based titles. Shopify Business Name Generator also lets you check for domain availability.

Once you have a handful of options, say them aloud to make sure they still sound good. Then ask friends and family on how the names translate to them. They may have insights and perspectives unseen to you. There may be negative cultural or linguistic implications you may not know, or you may find that your message doesn’t hit as clearly as you expected. They may also see potential in something you’re overlooking or downplaying.

Sometimes just stepping away and coming back to an idea with a clean slate and fresh eyes is all that is needed. Inspired moments tend to occur just at the right time, and it’s better to skip contenders that don’t quite fit. Your business is your baby; it’s what you produce in the world. The name you choose should be iconic of the mark you leave and worn with confidence.

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