Why your business name is important
Naming your business isn’t a job you should take lightly. This is a name that you’ll be stuck with for years to come as you build your business. With the right research and thought up front, you’ll be able to find that perfect name for your business.
1. Understand the names of your competition
Fire up Google and do some research. What are names of companies who offer the same service or product in your area? What about your region or state? If your target audience is spread out over multiple areas you’ll need to do extensive research on your competitors’ names. You don’t want to make the mistake of choosing a name for your restaurant only to find out later that there is another restaurant an hour away with the same name.
2. Brainstorm names
Brainstorm: Think about how you want your future customers to feel about your business? Do you want them to be happy? Do you want them to trust you? Jot down words that make you feel like that. Now isn’t the time to censor your ideas. Write down anything that comes to your mind.
Remember, you’ll need something unique and something that fits your business well. We’ve all seen the businesses that choose a name that is purposely misspelled. This can work if it’s the right type of business but you’d never trust your money with someplace called Soooper Saver’s Bank.You can’t take them seriously with a name like that.
3. Top 3 name selection
Select the top 3 names. Look through all of your brainstorming notes. What has the most promise? What stands out to you? Trust your gut.
4. Google domain name search
Is the domain available? The greatest name in the world doesn’t mean much if you can’t brand it with a matching URL and social media accounts (that’s the next step). Go to www.domains.google.com and search to see if your name is available. If it is, move on to step 5 but remember to come back and purchase the domain after the final name is chosen. If it isn’t go back to step 2. Repeat if necessary.
5. Social Media accounts
Check all of the social media accounts. All of them. Seriously. You don’t have to decide now what accounts you want to maintain but we highly recommend checking ALL of the social media accounts for each domain name. For example, the Sitewise domain is www.sitewisedigital.com and our Facebook page is /sitewisedigital. Our Twitter handle is @sitewisedigital. Everything matches for a cohesive brand experience. Remember to go back and secure all the accounts once the final name is chosen!
6. Does anyone already own your name
Is it trademarked? Search online for “Trademark Electronic Search System” then check to be sure your name isn’t already trademarked.
7. Is the name already incorporated
If you intend to incorporate you’ll need to check with your Secretary of State’s office to make sure your name isn’t already being used.
8. The final name is…
Select your winner! So now you have a fantastic name, a domain/URL, and social media accounts. The next step is registering your name with your state. Search to find out what the requirements are in your state. Get professional help with an attorney if needed. Your local chamber of commerce can probably point you towards some resources to help you.
9. Protect your name
Apply for a trademark. Your name is a valuable asset. Protect it for years to come by trademarking it. Search “how to trademark business name” online and follow the steps.
10. Naming a business can take time
Be patient with the process. It may take some time. Keep in mind that the time spent now, on the front end, will save you a lot in headaches and money down the road. Happy naming!