So you’ve decided to start a business and you’ve decided what service or product you’re offering. The next thing to do is choose your business name!
Your business name is so important because that’s the first impression you give the people you’re going to deal with…your customers, your suppliers…everyone!
Your business name should tell a short story about your business, what it does, who it serves and where it is. Choosing a business name can be difficult, just like naming your child!
Often we can fall back on what our forefathers have always done and just name it after ourselves. There’s positives and negatives to doing something like this. The positive of course, being the quick name recognition, if people already know you they’re going to go find you easy. But there are a couple of negatives as well. One of the biggest negatives is what impression does it give of your business? Does it sound like a small operation? If it’s Joe Blogs Plumbing, does it sound like Joe on his own, when you’re actually at a 10 man team? And also, there’s the side effect that if in the future, you decide to sell your business, somebody takes that name and then the other person actually OWNS your name! So it’s a cautionary tale, before you name your business after yourself, just think about that!
So what do you name your business?
This blog was generated from the Sofra Partners Business Start-up Video Series. This 10 video series is designed to help you get your start-up off on the right foot! If you would like to access all the videos and templates in the series, just click here.
It should reflect what you do.
It’s very important that somehow it tells a bit of a story about what you do, without limiting it. You don’t want to be very specific like, ‘Joe’s Air-conditioners’, when in fact, in two years time, not only do you do air conditioners, you do lighting and offer similar services. You might end up limiting your scope.
Just the same, if you’re talking about your business location, say ‘Joe’s Electrician Shepparton’, then people might think you just serve Shepparton, but when you grow and serve a wider market, that business name won’t reflect it. So if you’re going to do something like that, you might want to go for something like, ‘Bright Spark Electricians’ and that way when you expand, add retail products, or even franchise, your not restricted by the name.
Once you’ve got your business name, there’s a few checks you want to do. Firstly, you need to see if the web addresses available? In the past, people were concerned about Yellow Pages and everybody wanted AAA Plumbing or AAA Landscaping because they wanted to be at the front of Yellow Pages. Now we’re all concerned about Google rankings and search-ability.
Secondly, can you actually register it as a business name? You need to check on ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) and see if that name is actually available. Believe it or not, ‘Bright Spark Electrical’, there’s a hundred of them! So you should try to be unique and find something a little different which also meets the criteria above.
Often times in order to meet these criteria, we see what’s known as a ‘coined’ name! These are names which are effectively made up, they are words where the vowels been removed or two words blended together and people are creating these names to find something which is unique!
Then the last check, it is a bit of a funny one! Check to make sure your new business name doesn’t say something wrong or inappropriate! Do the initials actually spell something? Or is it offensive in another language? There is a famous case of Mitsubishi with their ‘Pajero’ and they actually had to change the name in South America, because ‘pajero’ in Spanish is actually quite an offensive word! So always check your name for this too!
So when your choosing a business name, look for something which reflects what you do and tells a good story! Is it going to get people talking about your business? Check that it can be registered and is also appropriate! Now it’s over to you to go forth, find your business name and have some fun with it!