Elon Musk is going to take people to Mars. He has designed a rocket that can go into space and land exactly where it is supposed to, the same way a commercial planes does.
The landing pad for a rocket is called a ‘drone ship’ and the Spacex drone ships are called ‘Just Read the Instructions‘ and ‘Of Course I Still Love You‘ after the two sentient planet-sized interstellar starships which first appear in Iain M Banks’ book “The Player of Games“. I just love this! What do you think?
Names are so important in all aspects of life. And one of the key considerations when starting out is: What will you call your business?
Here in Australia if you opt to be a sole trader, or a sole proprietor in the US, you can operate under your own personal name. You can also choose to register an actual business trading name.
If you operate as a company you will have a company name, which can be the same as your business name or you might have a company name trading as the business name.
When choosing a name for your business, here are some key questions to consider:
1. How does the name sound when someone says it out loud?
Someone named Richard, known to everyone as Dick, started a cleaning business called Dick Cleaners and Carpet Services. He added the Carpet Services so that it sounded better. I’m not sure how successful that was??
2. Does it always sound the same?
Is it one of those words or names where people wonder, “How do you pronounce that?” or “How do you spell that?” A new cake shop has opened near us called ‘Saga‘, after the lead character in “The Bridge” a TV series produced in 2013.
I’ve heard people refer to it as ‘that new cake shop, the one with the name you don’t know how to pronounce’. Another example is Fiverr, the online business where you can find people to do a one-off job for US$5. Amazon was originally named ‘Cadabra‘ (abracadabra) and was changed when Jeff Bezos was talking to a lawyer on the phone and he thought he said “cadaver” (which means corpse).
For some businesses, a strange name might be their point of difference, but I find it’s generally better to go with something everyone knows how to say.
3. What does the name look like when it’s written down?
How does it look on paper, on your website? How will it look as part of a logo? Usually, something with not too many words works best for a logo. The same goes for too many syllables. 2 – 3 syllables roll off the tongue, more than that tends to be a mouthful.
4. What does it say about you and your business? Does it describe what you do?
I was recently talking to a marketing expert and he said, “If it says tomato soup on the can, you want tomato soup in the can.”
One of my favourite examples of a business with a name that says exactly what it does is my local tailor named Take up Pants. We all know what he does. Twitter is also a great example. Those short tweets are like the ‘twittering’ of birds.
5. What connotations does it evoke for your clients?
For your potential clients? For your team? Is it the sort of name that everyone will feel represents their relationship with your business?
6. Does it represent your niche?
Does the name reflect the outcome your clients want to achieve? I work with a lot of health and wellness businesses and recently I came across a Pilates studio named Free Movement Pilates. That pretty much describes the outcome that the clients will experience.
7. Can you obtain the URL for this business name?
You need the URL for your website. What about all the other social media channels? It is becoming more and more difficult to come up with a name that both meets the necessary aspects of the business AND is available online.
Check for the URL. It may be necessary to look at a .net or .biz for the website address. Check if the name is available across various social media channels and even if you are not planning to use a particular social media channel at the start, grab the name so that it’s yours. Most important to check the main ones you are likely to use on Facebook, Instagram etc.
8. Is it legally available?
When you have your business name you need to check the ASIC site in Australia, to see if it is available and if it is go through the registering and purchasing process online. In the US, I suggest you go to Google and type in your State and “business name registration” and that will give you the local county website so you can check availability. In most instances if the name is available you need to pay to register in your locality.
It can be fun brainstorming for a business name. It is however a serious matter especially once you start trading in earnest. A significant amount of resources go into building your brand and if you need to change the name, what will it take to reposition yourself in the market?
Did you know that Google was once called BackRub? Auction Web became eBay. Clearly these changes happened early enough in the business for us to know the new business names.
In any case, what does your business name say about your business? How did you choose it? I’d love to hear from you, please let me know.
Thanks for reading this –
My guess is that you are here because you are curious about what it might be like to start a business?
Perhaps you’ve been wondering if you have what it takes? If your idea will work or even how much it actually costs to build a successful business?
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Do you need help starting and growing your business? Please give me a call on 0450 212 882 or email me at email@example.com