Choosing a catchy, marketable name for your startup is one of the most difficult aspects of creating a new business. Start up names must be unique, they must be evocative of your business type and they must also clear all legal hurdles. For obvious reasons, many business owners tend to stall when faced with naming their startups. After all, this is the name that is going to represent them and their businesses for the foreseeable future, perhaps forever. No one wants to tag their business with a name only to regret it after having invested millions of dollars. However, many people become discouraged when they discover that the perfect name has either been taken or is too elusive. While everyone wants to find the perfect business name, startup owners too often allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. As the owner of a brand new startup there are lots of important tasks you need to attend to. You have to talk to clients and investors, you have to fine tune your operations. So how do you as a start up owner cross that hurdle allowing you to move on to more important concerns? Here are some tips that may help you find that name when next that time comes.
The first step in finding a great business name is brainstorming. Set aside some time in which you can come up with as many names as is humanly possible. Write down every word that you can think of that is connected with your business even if that association is tangential. Record every single name that comes to your mind despite how wacky it may seem. Sometimes a wacky name may be a stepping stone towards finding that perfect one. At the end of your brainstorming session, review your list by tweaking and combining the names on your list. Add parts together and reverse them to come up with a name that works for you. Add prefixes and suffixes, find synonyms. You may be surprised at how many decent-sounding names you can come up with.
2. Keep it Brief
Although brainstorming is a good place to start, keep in mind that your startup name should be, short, snappy and memorable. If possible, you should limit your startup's name to two syllables. A shorter name rolls off the tongue more easily and is easier to remember. For example, Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter have all done exceedingly well with their two syllable names. Names that reside too far off the beaten path can be unnecessarily confusing and off-putting. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but when in doubt, keep it snappy.
3. Domain Name Availability
When trying to decide which startup name is right, it is a good idea to also check whether the domain name is available. Registering a complementary domain name for your business goes a long way towards availability, branding and establishing a web presence. You will also want to register the same domain with different TLDs such as .net and .org since doing so helps to protect your brand from those who seek to encroach on it. Unfortunately, great domain names are becoming hard to find or expensive to purchase. It is important, however, to keep in mind that the name of the business is far more important than the domain availability. If the domain name has already been snagged, startup owners can still keep the chosen name while opting for a tweaked version of that name for the domain.
4. Check Name Associations
After you've shortlisted a number of domain names, you will want to make sure that there are no double meanings, unfortunate associations or past failed businesses linked to your name of choice. Using a search engine, you will want to perform as thorough a search as possible for your chosen name in order to discover all possible associations or connotations. You will also want to make sure that there is no business already registered with that name.
5. Get Feedback
If you are still unsure about which of your names suits your business best, make sure that you get feedback from those around you. Chances are that at this point you have become wary with business name overload or you may be too involved in the process to take an impartial look. The next best step is to elicit opinions from your friends and family on the suitability of your choices. An even better idea would be to elicit feedback from those are be your target audience. People who are more inclined to use your product will have a clearer idea of what is most evocative to them.
6. Opt for Timelessness
Many times, the idea is to choose a business name that seems trendy and up-to-date rather than a name that will remain timeless. Far too many times, business owners are left holding business names that while once seemed fashionable, are now seen as trying too hard or outdated. Do not date your business by hitching it to soon-to-be outmoded names and expressions. Don't risk becoming embarrassed by your business's name five years from now. Always opt for a name that can stand the test of time and remain relevant to its users and customers.
While it's not the most difficult decision you will face as a new business owner, coming up with a name that you will be proud of and one that will stand the test of time is no easy feat. Businesses names are becoming increasingly harder to get right. Additionally good domain names are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire. However this does not mean that you have to resort to crazy, complex names in order to find your place in the world. In addition to this it doesn't mean that the search for that perfect domain name should occupy months of your time. On the contrary, keep it short, keep it simple, but make it unique and you will find yourself being one step closer to that branding you desire.