Choosing a business name? Read this first

Choosing a business name is often a daunting task for many individuals. Everyone wants that perfect name which will brand their organisation for years. This is not a task that should be taken lightly. Choosing the wrong name could ruin your business before it has even started.

A perfect name must always and almost instantly communicate what your intended clients should expect from you; if the name you have chosen does not do this, you may need to rethink your decision.

1. Research

The most essential step to choosing a name is research. You may have to brainstorm a tall list of names before arriving at the ‘chosen one’.  Even though this can be frustrating, it’s important that picking a company name isn’t something done on a whim. A lot of brain racking, praying and research must go into finding that perfect name. Be sure to choose something you’ll be proud of; after all you are going to be stuck with it for a long time. Consider important factors like: how your name will look on the web, or as part of a logo and on various social media sites. Pick a name that is not common and hasn’t already been registered. Check for the availability of that domain name before making a deisicion. It is very important to pick a name that is easy to pronounce and memorable. Simplicity is a major key.

If you pick a name that is not a regular word, always check for international implications. Be sure to research enough about your intended name before putting it out there. You don’t want to go to all this trouble only to realise it means something derogatory in another language.

2. As much as possible, do not restrict yourself

This simply means, as much as you can, avoid adding geographic locations or specific product categories to your business name unless you are absolutely sure that your business will do just that. Do not pick a name that does not allow you to recreate yourself. Try to craft a name that tells a little about what your business intends to do; this makes the process of pitching your business much easier.

3. Test your choices

Lastly, narrow your tall list of names down to a few (maybe 10), then test it amongst potential clients. This is where a lot of business owners often get it wrong. They pick a few names and ask friends and families to pick out the ones which sound ‘cool’ enough and then settle on that. Your business name is not about what sounds cool and quirky, you will need to be able to communicate to your clients with your name. Conduct an A/B testing or survey with your potential clients and hear what they have to say. Amongst the names they select, find out which best communicates what your business is about and then further narrow it down to the ‘chosen one’. All the best.


This post was written by Edith Schandorf, Founder, Blooming Africa; a crowdfunding platform for social projects