When you began brainstorming the creation of your very own micro business, how did you decide on a company name? Did you find the process fun, or was it a tedious task of the business start-up process? Creating a business name may come easy for some (it may be the first business decision you make), but it can be natural to struggle with creating an original company name that helps you standout. In some cases, a poorly thought out business name can derail a well-built business plan.
So how do you go about creating a company name that not only helps identify your micro business, but also helps set-it apart. When getting started with the naming process, you’ll want to review the groundwork of your business which includes your mission statement, business plan and your selling proposition. If you’re going into business with others, a brainstorming session may be helpful so you can have several suggestions to choose from. Even if you’re creating a sole proprietorship, don’t be afraid to collaborate with friends and families.
A few tips you’ll want to keep in mind are keeping your business name short, simple, and easy for your customers to write and remember. A few things you’ll want to avoid are using “plain words” that can make it difficult to distinguish your company from a competitor. The use of plain words can also pigeonhole you in the eyes of your customers. For example if you name your company “Johnny’s Graphic Designs” but you provide a wider variety of services, your business name could hurt you.
Another important note is to not get too caught up with creativity via misspelled words. While it may work for some companies, often times it can cripple some of your marketing efforts. A good rule of thumb holds that unless you have a business with a store front where customers can see your creative spelling, you’re better off with a more traditional approach.
Before you officially make a decision on your business name, you’ll want to run these background checks to insure your business name is feasible both legally and logistically:
- Trademark – Search the federal database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Electronic Search System.
- Existing Website – Given the importance of having an online presence via a company website, you should perform a search for a domain name (GoDaddy.com is a simple search tool). If your business name is not available as a domain, you may need to use an abbreviation, hyphens, or an alternate domain (such as .net or .biz). Another option is to move down your list of possibilities to the next business name you had brainstormed.
- Search Engines – Run a variety of searches with Google and other popular search engines with your chosen business name to insure there isn’t another company already using your name.
While it’s not uncommon for businesses to change their name (Google was originally named “BackRub”), you’ll want to make sure you are satisfied with your company name and not say “if I’m not happy with it in six months, I’ll just change it.” Building brand awareness, both on and offline, takes time and effort and sticking with your company name can help get you achieve your goals quicker.
We’d love to hear your micro business company names and how you arrived at it. What thought process did you put into it, if any?