05 Apr Why It Can Be Tricky to Find a Catchy Name for Your Web Business
Starting a new web business can be exciting, but it also comes with challenges and decisions. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing a name for your web business.
Your name is the first impression people will have of your company, so it needs to be memorable. But choosing a business name is not always as easy as it sounds.
If starting a company is something completely new for you, I recommend that you read more about starting a business.
Why It’s a Challenge
When you think about how big the internet is and how many web businesses exist, how can you come up with something unique on earth?
There are millions of businesses, so millions of names are already taken. You don’t want to choose a name that’s even similar to that of another business – it can confuse and hinder your brand-building efforts.
Choosing a Business Name
Your name will reflect your brand, and there are many ways to generate brand name ideas. Your business name needs to communicate your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. Take some time to write down exactly what those things are for your company. This may spark some ideas.
Take any names you’ve come up with and talk to people about them. Ask your colleagues, friends, family, or other people what they think of your potential names and see if they have any suggestions.
Ask them to think like a customer – what would communicate to them exactly what value you provide? What would they remember? What would get their attention?
You might be surprised what people with an outside perspective can come up with. You could even try getting a group of people together to share ideas.
Show them the objectives, services, and mission that you wrote down. If you have one, put everything on a whiteboard and add their name suggestions to it. Then everyone can discuss which they like best.
Here are some tips for making a final decision:
- Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out. Think Google – it’s a household word now.
- Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better. Again, think Google.
- The name should be relevant to your product or service offerings. This seems obvious, but when you’re just starting, your name needs to say what you do. Zen Flowchart, for instance, has picked their name to be a literal description of the flowchart maker product they offer.
- Including keywords that people might be searching for online when they want what you have to offer boosts SEO.
- Your name should allow for expansion. For example, “Jim’s Shoes” over “Jim’s Sandals.” Eventually, you may want to add products or services, so don’t pigeonhole your business with the name.
Make Sure the Name Is Available
Once you have it narrowed down to a few names, you need to ensure they’re not already taken. Check your secretary of state’s website to confirm they are available to register. You should also confirm that the name you want to register conforms to your state’s regulations on business names.
It’s also a good idea to check for nationally trademarked names and check the availability of related domain names at a site such as GoDaddy. You should also do a good old-fashioned Google search.
You may find a company using your name in another state or even internationally. You don’t want to be confused with another company, even online.
Then, once you decide, you can reserve the name with your secretary of state. You can usually do so online, and sometimes a small fee is involved. You should also go ahead and purchase the domain name. After forming your business entity, you might also consider trademarking the name to protect it throughout the United States.
Choosing a business name is an important step in starting your business. It can be tricky, but it can be done with a little creativity. Maybe your name will one day be a household word like Google! Choose wisely, and then build a great web brand around it.