Whatsisname? The importance of naming your business…

thinkingThere was a fascinating article on the Guardian Small Business Network site recently and it struck a chord. Isn’t deciding on a name for your business one of the hardest things to do? Isn’t it time-consuming and fraught with insecurities about your choice? Can’t it waste loads of time – both your own and that of your friends and family, asked endlessly to come up with ‘something original’?

Well, the article had some very useful hints and tips, and one of the most interesting was that you shouldn’t fear a longer name. Many think that a business name needs to be short and to the point, but apparently, longer names are more memorable. Obviously, they mustn’t be too long, but two three words will be fine. Think ‘Cornerstone Business Mentoring’!! Or rather, a name like ‘Comme des Garcons’, which stays in the mind despite being in a language many British people can’t speak.

It is also suggested that you avoid ‘made-up’ names. It is so tempting to take two words and make one- like ‘Brexit’ – but despite that word becoming synonymous with chaos and indecision, most ‘new’ words are harder to remember and won’t come up in search engines unless your website is very clever or your potential customers already know your name.  They won’t be able to guess it, even if it seems the most original and exciting word you have ever thought of…

Other hints include; don’t name your business after yourself (in case you make millions and want to sell it on!), ensure your business name is different (a good way is to Google your ideas to see what comes up, and it will ensure you don’t accidentally infringe a trademark, or worse still, find out it means something rude), and making sure your name describes your product and brand – you never know it might turn into a word like ‘Hoover’ ‘Biro’ or ‘Google’, trade names that have become the go to word for vacuums, pens and search engines.

Mind you, those are all short…

Anyway, it is something you have to work hard at, and it is unlikely to be something that occurs to you in a lightbulb moment. Do your homework, the article suggests, and you have taken the first steps to ensuring your business makes its mark.

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