Choosing your business name is a fundamental moment in the life of any new business. The “business name generator” can help you find a great name for your company.
Choosing a business name may seem like an easy task, but it requires careful analysis and consideration. A new study from the University of Florida reveals that most businesses fail in their first year due to poor naming choices., which is why selecting a names can be difficult.
It’s all about the company name. You don’t get a second chance to do it, at least not without a lot of grief and suffering.
Most businesses use the first name they come up with for the rest of their lives. Practical legal ownership, convenience of use, ease of marketing and branding, and simplicity, to mention a few, are all factors that contribute to the success of your business name. The domain name will be added later.
Is there a rose by any other name that smells as good?
In my opinion, individuals place much too much emphasis on the name, and this frequently has little economic effect.
Palo Alto Software began as Infoplan, Inc., and then changed its name to Palo Alto Software, Inc. a year later, which caused some confusion. But we didn’t mind since the new name was so much nicer than the previous one.
When we relocated from Palo Alto, California, to Eugene, Oregon, though, we didn’t contemplate altering our name again—not even for a second.
As a result, I’d want to revisit the process of naming a new company:
1. Make sure you don’t cross paths with anybody else’s name.
Who wants to get sued? You don’t want to have a particular name that clashes with an existing company if you’re just starting out. First, do a comprehensive Internet search and, if you can afford it, consult with an attorney. Get a cost estimate before giving the attorney a blank check.
2. Don’t get too caught up in obtaining the precise domain name you want.
To start a company, you don’t need your precise preferred website domain name. If it helps, compare Amazon’s (massive) traffic to that of books.com (tiny). Alternatively, there’s flickr.com (which is massive) and photos.com (tiny).
The smaller the font, the better, but try to prevent misspellings (silent letters, fone instead of phone, phreak instead of freak, for example). W
We can’t get away from paloalto.com for Palo Alto Software, but that one is often misspelled, and we lose customers looking for the misspelling “business plan” rather than business plan. We ultimately purchased “bplan.com” since our current bplans.com was losing traffic to it.
3. Choose a name that you can use.
An example from the real world: I changed the name of Infoplan to Palo Alto Software in 1988. According to a study conducted by a PR buddy, there are 26,000 companies in the United States whose names begin with the letter “info.” So here are some things to think about:
- Is it simple to recall? What is there to say? How do you spell it? Consider the names you use in your daily life—your favorite restaurants, shops, and services. What has proven to be effective for you? Why? I’ve never been able to pronounce Iraila, a local restaurant named for the owner’s mother, and I’ve never visited it.
- Is it perplexing? Is it possible that it’s anything else?
- Is it adorable, or is it a little too cute? Depending on the company and the target audience, cute names may perform effectively or badly. Rhymes, puns, and other forms of humor may be entertaining or irritating. Rhythm and Blooms, a local floral shop, is one of my favorites. FCUK, a British apparel retailer, is not one of my favorites.
If you follow the first three suggestions, you won’t have to worry about the others. A poor name may be devastating, yet the gap between an okay and a really great name is far less than you would imagine.
What matters is the meaning you provide to the name over time as a result of successful commercial dealings. When you’re starting off, I believe that focusing on the business name initially is the best approach.
Domain names and startup names
It’s difficult enough to come up with a name for your startup—much it’s more difficult when you obsess over the domain name and allow it to stifle your creativity.
Thank glad we didn’t consider the domain name problem when we changed Infoplan Inc. to Palo Alto Software, Inc. in 1988. Instead, after deciding that Infoplan was too difficult to market and discovering that Palo Alto Software was not in use as a business name in California, we chose to call it that. We resided in Palo Alto and had offices there, so it said Silicon Valley and Stanford University.
We didn’t get on board with the internet until late 1994. We couldn’t get paloalto.com at the time (we purchased it afterwards, so it’s now ours), so we settled with pasware.com, bplans.com, bizplans.com, and a few more. I’m happy I registered timberry.com at the same time, and I’m also glad I registered some of my children’s names.
This comes up because I’m seeing more companies these days, and I see people wringing their hands over how to make the company name and the domain name work together, both being exclusive and coordinated. That is very difficult. Then there’s the matter of product and service names, which makes things much more difficult.
Ownership, of course, and a different sort of ease of use (is it simple to write and hard to misspell, for example), as well as a different kind of marketability, are all factors that make a domain name work (easy to remember, easy to defend).
I’ve been in naming sessions when we forgot some of the fundamentals. Amazon isn’t the same as books.com, and Yahoo! and Google were nothing when they first launched. They were, however, brief, simple to remember, and, most importantly, easy to sell.
Check out these Bplans sites for additional information on naming your company:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is important when choosing a business name?
A: The business name should represent what your company does. It should also be unique so you can distinguish it from other similar businesses in the area. Finally, finding a good industry trademark is important because people might not know about your product or service yet and this will avoid confusion with anyone else before you get popular enough to need one yourself.
Why is it important to have your own business name in the business plan?
A: You want to be able to trademark your business name and not have the competition use it.
What are the rules when naming a business?
A: The rules are very simple. All you need to do is make sure the name of your business does not contain any trademarks or brand names that have been registered by someone else, and that it isnt obscene. There are some other restrictions on what words can be used in a companys title, but if it follows these two guidelines then there shouldnt be an issue with using whatever word you want for your businesss name.
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