When you’re starting out in business one of the most important decisions you’ll make is naming your business. Correctly chosen and your name will be talked about for miles around, chosen poorly and your business is doomed to obscurity and potential failure. This is the third part of the 10 days to starting a business series. In case you missed the earlier articles in the series you can catch up here. Some people believe a name should be informative so customers know immediately what your business does. ie Jones Plumbers. Other people believe that the name should be abstract so that customers can paint their own image of your brand ie. Apple.  Some people think that made up names are more memorable, others think that these are forgettable. The truth is, that any name can be effective if backed up by the right marketing strategy. In this article we look at how to come up with an effective name for your business.

1. Start with brainstorming names for your business.

Get a blank sheet of paper and draw a circle with the words “business name” in the centre. Then think of as many ideas as you can and link them off the central idea. Then go through all the ideas that you’ve come up with and see if anything links to that idea or inspires another idea and link to the original idea. The important thing is don’t dismiss any idea until you’ve finished the process. The review the ideas and decide which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to reject. Something to think about is a how a name sounds as sometimes a name looks fine written down but when you tell it to someone else it’s difficult to interpret. A good example of this is any names which have numbers in the name for example if the business name was Three, people will always be wondering is it three or 3?

2. Check the Web domain

Once you’ve got your shortlist together, check that the domain name is available as nowadays it’s very rare that a business doesn’t have a web presence even just for marketing purposes.

3. Test it Out

Test the shortlisted names on your ideal target customers as well as friends and family. What names do they like/dislike and why?   Eliminate the names that people don’t like or people are neutral towards. Then you should be left with a handful of choices or maybe it’s immediately obvious which your business name should be.

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