When you open a
business, in a sense, you are causing a new birth to begin. This new birth was created
from an idea by you or your associates. It will have its own bank account, it's own
federal identification number, it's own credit accounts, it's own income and it's own
bills. On paper, it is another individual! Just as if you were choosing a name for your
own unborn child, you need to spend considerable time in deciding upon your business name.
There are several reasons why a good business name is vitally important
to your business. The first obvious reason is because it is the initial identification to
your customers. No one would want to do business with someone without a company name. This
makes you look like an amateur who is very unreliable. Even if you call your company
"Kevin's Lawn Service," a company name has been established and you are indeed a
company. Customers will feel more secure in dealing with you.
Secondly, a business name normally is an indication as to the product
or service you offer. "Mary's Typing Service," "Karate Club for Men,"
"Jim Dandy Jack-of-all-Trades," "Laurie and Steve's Laundry,"
"Misty's Gift Boutique," and "Star 1 Publishers" are all examples of
simple business names that immediately tell the customer what product or service you
Most people will choose the simple approach when naming their business.
They use their name, their spouse's name, their children's names or a combination of these
names when naming a business. The national hamburger restaurant chain "Wendy's"
was named after the owner's daughter. However, research has proven that these
"cutesy" names are not the best names to use for a business. Many
experts claim that it makes the business look too "mom-and-popsie." Of course,
this depends on the business. If you are selling something that demands this theme to
appeal to your market, then use this approach. Example: a neighborhood restaurant offering
home cooking may benefit with a "mom and pop" name. A neighborhood printing
service would not.
I completely believe the initial success of Yahoo! and Google had a lot
to do with their names, but the best approach to naming a business is a combination name,
containing both a "catchy" element, and a "descriptive" name. Catchy
names that stick in people's minds after the initial contact, such as "Sound
Solutions," "Direct Defenders," and "Strictly Class," are all
good examples of catchy names, but tell you nothing about what they do or sell.
Some of the best business names I've seen are "Rent-A-Wreck"
and "Two Men Will Move You." These types of names relate to your product or
service and also serve as a slogan for your business. This is a big help when marketing. A
similar approach is a name like "Domino's Pizza." This is catchy, and tells you
exactly what it is.
When you name a child, you may not decide upon a definite name until
after they are born. You do this because a name is sometimes associated with a type of
personality. If you are planning on starting your own business, but haven't yet nailed
down exactly what you will be doing or selling, you may need to wait until you have made
that decision, since your business name should give some clue as to what product or
service you are selling. If you think you can just name it the Smith Company, to cover
anything you might do, you will probably regret it later.
To generate ideas, begin looking at business signs everywhere you go. Notice which ones
catch your eye and stick in your mind. Try and figure out "why" they stuck in
your mind. Naturally, "Dominos Pizza" sticks in your mind because it is already
nationally known. These don't count! Look around and notice the smaller businesses. Take
your time. Within a few days you should be able to come up with a few potential business