How to Choose the Right Business Name

Some new business owners find that creating the business is the easy part, primarily because they are really looking forward to what they’re about to do. It’s the naming of their company that keeps them up at night as, once this in place, it is often difficult (and costly) to change.

If this is where you’re at, rest assured that there are a few things you can do to help increase the odds that the business name you choose is the best name for you. Here are three options to consider.

Think Beyond Your Current Products and Services

When someone mentions the company 3M, where does your mind instantly go? If you’re like most consumers, it wanders to Post-it notes or Scotch tape as these are probably the top two products that this company is known for. However, did you know that 3M also serves the automotive, construction, energy, and health care industries, just to name a few?

Though this is good for 3M, it could have been a huge issue if they had named their company 3M Office Products. That’s why you want to think beyond your current products and services and come up with a name that would apply even if you decide to expand into other areas. This eliminates the need to potentially change your company name in the future if you wind up going in another direction.

Ask for Feedback

Have you ever seen a business’s name and thought, “OMG! I cannot believe they named their company that? What a huge mistake…”? It happens more often than business owners would like. They come up with a name that they think will take them to stardom, only to instantly discover that people don’t like it, which means that they don’t do business with them.

To keep this from happening to you, take the time to ask for feedback on the business name that you’ve chosen before you decide to go with it. Set up a focus group and ask how your proposed name makes them feel. Does it deliver the impact that you’re looking for? If not, a new name may be in order. Preferably, one that elicits the response you want.

Check Domain Availability

One of the most heartbreaking things that can happen to a new business owner is to choose a name that you absolutely love, only to find that you can’t buy the domain because someone else has already purchased it. This can easily send you back to the drawing board, forcing you to go through the entire, grueling process again.

However, all is not lost if the domain associated with your desired business name is taken as you still have some options. One is to reach out to the person or business who currently has it and see if they’re willing to sell or give it to you, after looking up the owner on a Whois lookup site. You might get lucky and find that they’re okay with letting it go, whether for free or a price. If not, consider how you could alter the business name so it could match an available domain.

And if you do your research and find that the one you want is available, buy the domain name instantly…even if you don’t plan to set up your website right away. This will ensure that you won’t face this type of situation down the road, removing one more obstacle to creating your new business.

Naming a business isn’t always easy. However, as long as you think beyond your current products and services, ask for feedback before making your final decision, and check domain availability, you’ll be well on your way to coming up with a name that suits your company both now and well into the future.