Coming up with a name for your business is an exciting and frustrating process. You may have already spent hours, days, or weeks trying to come up with the perfect name – one that contains all the right keywords, accurately depicts what your business does, and appeals to your audience. Many business owners end up settling on a name they like but don’t love just for the sake of saving time.
Don’t let that be you. Business owners that don’t like the original name often go on to change it within 2 years, and with name changes come a laundry list of obstacles, paperwork, and challenges.
If you’re serious about coming up with a name for your business that will be a good fit now and in 10 years, follow the steps outlined below.
Coming Up With a Name For Your Business
Compile a list of related keywords.
Keywords that relate to your company are a good first step to take when coming up with a name for your business. Think of names of companies that you like or admire – do they seem to have something in common? Do the names you like tend to be one word names (Buffer), blended words (HubSpot), or practical business names (Los Angeles Bakery)?
With your list of compiled keywords that relate to your company, start categorizing and ranking them. A clever trick to try if you feel stuck after creating your list of keywords is to check out a thesaurus for synonyms and similar-sounding words to use. Our list of keywords might look something like this:
- Call answering
- Customer service
- Small business
From here, we could rank the words that might sound good in a business name – for example, the word “online” probably wouldn’t be a good choice in a business name because it’s such a common word.
We can narrow the list down further by taking off keywords like “appointments” and “remote” – they don’t really describe or detail what we’re doing – and further trim the list by removing words that might carry a negative connotation, like “outsourcing.”
Try online generators to find good word combinations.
Now that you’ve got a nice, trimmed list of applicable keywords that you may want in the name for your business, you can enlist the help of online name generators to come up with ways to combine those words into a name.
Sites like Wordoid.com will generate made-up blended words from keywords you enter, expanding your name options a bit. You can crowdsource your business name by taking to NamerForce.com or forums like Reddit, but we don’t recommend leaving your business name up to anyone but yourself.
Decide how much you’ll spend on the matching domain name.
One problem with fantastic business names? They’re usually high-dollar, premium domain names. This is one reason we recommend looking for word combinations or made-up words when coming up with a name for your business.
Those domain names are less likely to be taken or considered premium for pricing purposes. Domains can range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars (although the right high-dollar domain name may be worth it in the long run). Once you decide the dollar amount you’re willing to spend, you can more easily make a name decision based on the price of the domain that matches.
Settle on the name and make it official.
Now that you’ve confirmed the domain name for your business name is available and within your price range, it’s time to settle on the name and make it official. Purchase the domain, hire a developer to get your website running, and handle the business registration process your state requires. Create a logo with your new name, print some business cards, create social network profiles for your business, start writing some content for your site, and reach out to potential clients. You’re now ready to start doing business under your new business name – congratulations!