How to choose a business name

Alli McAuley

Hi, I'm Alli.

I help passionate entrepreneurs, like you, create a strategic brand and website that stands out to your dream clients so you can run a successful business online.

My ultimate goal is to empower you with the tools you need to live your best life by doing the work your love.

Choosing a business name can be HARD! Follow these do's and dont's for how to choose a business name that you love for your new business.

Choosing a name for your business is very much like choosing a name for your baby…

You want the name to fit the personality.

You want it to be easy to pronounce, but not overused or trendy.

You don’t want people to make fun of it.

And, for the love of cupcakes, you don’t want to accidentally choose a name that rhymes with a body part!

Let’s go over some do’s and don’t when it comes to naming your business baby.

Choosing a business name can be HARD!

So what are you to do? Well, first, stay calm and let me tell you that Google was originally named BackRub.

(I’m just gonna pause and let that sink in for a minute!)

The lesson here is, that while it would be fantastic if the name you choose sticks with you for the long haul, it can be changed down the line if need be.

So, before you start brainstorming names for your business, there are a few things to get clear on first.

What does the future look like?

Thinking about where you want your business to ultimately go. You wouldn’t want to include a specific service in the name if you think your offerings may change in the future. For example, if you only sell jewelry right now, but may add scarves as well one day, you may want to steer away from a name that includes the word jewelry for example.

Are you the face of your brand?

If you plan to write books, do speaking engagements, provide one-on-one services like coaching or training, or if you’re a solopreneur and don’t plan on hiring a team, it makes sense to use your given name for your business name.

However, if you plan to grow your business to the point of selling it one day, using your given name may not make the most sense.

Can you be specific?

It helps to be as specific as possible so your dream clients can know what you do immediately.

Take my business name, for example, Do Well Websites. It is clear immediately how I can help you without the need of an additional tagline.

When I started out though, my business was called ‘Creative Exurbia.’ And while it sounded intriguing, people weren’t clear on how I could help them exactly. It was apparent that I did something artistic, but was I an interior designer, an illustrator or did I make birdhouses? The answer was, none of the above!

There were other problems with this name as well.

This leads me to a few Dont’s when choosing a business name —

Don’t use words that make people think too hard

When someone has to stop and think about the name of your business that means that they’ve also stopped listening to you. Instead, they are caught up in having to process what you said and you’ve totally lost their attention.

Don’t make your business name difficult to pronounce

If your dream clients can’t pronounce your name, they’ll have a hard time remembering it. And one of the main things you should go for when choosing a business name is to make it memorable.

Don’t make your business name difficult to spell

You want your business name to be easy enough for a potential client to type in the URL of your website or search for you on google and be able to locate you. Words like ‘exurbia,’ in my personal experience, are NOT easy for people to spell.

Now let’s talk about some Do’s when brainstorming names for your business:

Do your research

You want to stand out amongst others in your niche, so be sure to jot down names your competitors are using. Then as you start brainstorming your name, nix any that are too similar.

Do know your brand’s personality

A brand’s personality stems from the key adjectives that best describe your business as if it were a person. It’s the human characteristics and emotions that your brand embodies and how it shows up and acts in front of your clients.

So make a list of 3 to 4 adjectives to describe how you want your brand to make your dream client feel. If one of your adjectives is “whimsical,” for example, you wouldn’t want to name your business something super serious.

In a nutshell…

When all’s said and done, you need to choose a business name and start taking action, so be sure not to get stuck on this. It’s important, yes, but ultimately not as important as maintaining the momentum to get your business up and running.

And if you are ready to get your business off the ground, go check out my free training “The Simple Way to Create a Standout Brand and Website When You’re on a Tight Budget.”

Are you more of a visual learner?

Here’s a video version of this post.

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