Why is naming your business so damn hard?
You can think of an awesome business idea, you can think of your favourite colour scheme for the branding, but you just can’t for the life of you think of a kick-ass name.
We have created countless businesses here at Business Jump and have helped name the majority of those businesses. I have to tell you, it is one of the hardest aspects of the whole process and can be one of the most time consuming.
So, why is this so?
After all, it’s just a business, it’s not like you are naming your first born child (we all know how hard that can be!)
Surely if you can name your baby, you can find a name for your business!
When you’re naming your child, only you really have to love it. Sure, it is hard because they are going to have to go through life with that name, but in the end, if you love it and it works, then that’s it. We don’t really consider what Grandma and Grandpa or Auntie Sue think of the name because they had their turn, now it is ours. So what if no one likes it.
When it comes to your business however, the pressure is on. After all, it’s only the name that you are going to be plastering all over social media and beyond for the rest of your working days! And there is it is folks, the nail on the head. It is going to be out there for the whole wide world to see and judge.
But, apart from the analysis paralysis, there are actually genuine reasons why it is so hard to name a business.
Consider this. What if you could only name your child a name that no one else has used before?
Like the name Sarah?
Sorry, you can’t have that name, it was first used 2000 years ago!
Sounds completely crazy yeah. Well that is one of the struggles that faces a business owner when they are deciding on a business name. When only one person can own a domain name, it makes it even more challenging to pick one that no one else has thought of, especially as the online world grows.
Buzz words, common names and even uncommon names have all been snapped up by legitimate, fully operational businesses, cover businesses or just because someone thinks that domain name will be worth a lot one day.
Yep, domain names are like real estate gold. Secure yourself a good one, sit on it and watch the value rise as all the others around it disappear. You see, people will pay a premium for a keyword filled domain name that is short and easy to remember or even location specific. How much would you pay to have the domain name Melbourne Hotels for example if your business is a Melbourne only focused hotel directory?
To do this is actually quite easy. Pretty much anyone can purchase a .com domain extension. You don’t need to have an ABN (like you would for .com.au extensions) or registration number to purchase one. So, when you are doing your domain availability search for your business name, you will find a lot of the .com extensions of that name are taken but very rarely in use.
They are parked for a rainy day.
The owner is sitting back waiting for you to contact him to make him an offer he can’t refuse.
So, how do we get around it?
We think outside the box of course.
Here are our tips for helping you to select a good business name:
1. KEYWORDS: Try and use at least one buzz keyword in your business name. This will help potential customers know what your business is straight away and even help with SEO.
2. LENGTH: Try not to choose a name that is too long. This can make it hard for people to remember it. Think short, sweet and punchy if you can. If your business name can’t be anything else, then try variations for your domain name. For example, one of our new businesses South West Sydney Mums is actually under the domain name swsydneymums.com. This is because most people know what SW refers to in reference to a location.
3. DOMAIN AVAILABILITY: It is best to make sure you can get both the .com and .com.au versions of your business name so you can hold both, making it harder for someone to use your exact business name. Obviously you can’t stop someone purchasing a variation like adding a prefix on the start e.g. “The”, “My” etc. unless you want to be the proud owner of every possibility and variation of your business name. Another way around this is by trademarking your business name (via www.ipaustralia.gov.au) which will prevent anyone from using that name within your selected field. Register your business name as a matter of course as this will also help prevent others from using your name.
4. DOES IT WORK: You have an awesome name picked out, but does it actually work? Well if you have a business that is a Melbourne Hotel Directory, you probably don’t want to be calling it Jones’ Hotels after great Grandpa Jones. Think of a name that will suit your business now, but also still be suitable if you have plans to scale up and out later on.
5. PERSONALISE YOUR NAME: Don’t be scared to try and use something relating to you, your children or a favourite family member. Sometimes personalising your business gives your audience a feeling of “knowing” you or relating to you. We recently had a client who named her new children’s gift directory after her sister who had passed away. The business has a strong focus on the Aunty’s in kids lives and the name was very fitting and tells a story.
6. SEARCH GOOGLE: Finally, make sure you do a Google search and social media search to make sure no one else is using that name or a name that is very similar. The last thing you want is someone confusing you with another business.
So, there you have it folks, the real reason it is so hard naming your business and finding that kick-ass name that you are proud to plaster around the world.
But once you have a name or 2 as potentials, make sure you validate them with your target market or like minded business people just to make sure. You don’t want to be stuck with a name that you like but no one else does! Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can see something you may have missed.