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How To Choose A Name For Your Company

Aug 17, 2007
One of the very first, and very important, decisions you will make when starting a new business is to choose a company name. Why? Well, first of all, your name will be the very first thing that almost all of your customers will see and a good name will be one that identifies your product or service while at the same time being memorable.

1. Top 5 Mistakes In Choosing A Company Name

- Naming your company A1 Supplies just because you want to be listed first in the phone book
- Naming your company ACME Supplies or anything generic that no one will remember easily
- Giving your company a horrendously long name that no one will remember
- Typosquatting another well known company's name. For example, don't call yourself Appley computer or Starbuccs Teas or you could end up in legal trouble
- Picking a futuristic company name that isn't at all related to what your company does

2. Go With The Professional Name

If you are a business to business model, you are going to need to keep your business name professional. A good formula to use is to use your surname followed by what you do, for example, smithfield tailoring or watson engineering. You might also want to add the name of the town where you live, for example, watson engineering anytown. Small adjustments to this formula can make a big difference, for example, Watson & Associates Engineering sounds good. As a general rule, never use your first name.

3. Or Leave Out Your Name

You may wish to leave your name out altogether, and simply become Anytown Engineers. This makes you sound like the first choice locally. On the other hand, this will make you sound a lot more generic of a company.

4. Going Corporate?

The dry corporate names are long gone. Todays corporations are embracing hip, futuristic company names. A good trick is to think of a word that describes your business and then look up how it is said in latin. Then, add a random suffix that sounds cool.

5. Futuristic Is A Solid Choice

This is true especially if your product or service is going to be aimed at a younger or more technologically savvy market. Names of this form should be kept to one word, and preferably written in lowercase, URL-style. Another common trick is to make .com part of the name. Notice the difference between Fun House and funhouse.com - the Fun House doesn't sound all that much fun, does it? In fact, you might want to take this to the next level - make your website and business name registration at the same time. You don't want to be known as funhouse.com but not actually own the domain name funhouse.com, do you?

6. Playful Names

Naming your buiness after a cute animal is sometimes the catch for many businesses. This is a good way to get quick brand identity because everyone will be able to associate with your company name. It also leaves the door wide open for promotional tie-ins. If, for example, you call yourself the cheetah cab company, you might want to have your cabs painted with poka dots and use a cheetah as your company mascot.

7. The Shortened Name

More often than not, you come up with a good name but it's too long. Microsoft, for example, is short for Microcomputer Software, and Fedex is short for Federal Express. If all else fails, a great way to make up a name is to just string together sounds that you like until you come up with a made-up word. Chances are, the word will be memorable and unique.

8. Whatever You Do, Make It Easy

Make sure your name is easy to pronounce and spell. Come up with something easier or youll lose out on an enormous amount of word-of-mouth business. You will also want to check for competitors names to make sure no one else is already using them.
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