How to find the right name for your business

A name can be the biggest and most prominent identifier of a business. Not only will people refer to your business by name, but it’s what they’ll look out for to identify you in advertising, on a shopfront, online and in search engine results. So, when choosing a name for your next venture, it’s important you get it right the first time.

Start with a word dump

Let your brain run wild. Write down all the words that come to mind when you think of your future business: every single word, no matter how silly or irrelevant it may seem. Do as many dumps as you need on butcher paper, sticky notes, or anything you can write freely on.

Use these questions to help jog your creativity:

  • How do you want customers to feel about your product?
  • What problem is your business going to solve?
  • What does your product do?
  • Who is your typical customer? What interests do they have?
  • What colours are associated with your product or service? What does it look like?
  • What are some synonyms of these words?

Test out different spelling

Once you have a list of favourite words that you could use, think of creative ways to spell them. Sometimes something as simple as removing a letter can give you a unique and memorable business name. If you do opt for alternate spelling, make sure it’s readable and not too hard to pronounce!

Before using unique spelling, be sure to consider that people might try and search for your company, spell it wrong and end up elsewhere.

Play with foreign languages

If you’ve found your perfect name but perhaps another business is registered with the name or the domain is unavailable, that name in another language may just solve your problems.

If you do decide to use a foreign name, make sure it’s relatively easy for people to pronounce. Also be sure to check in with someone who speaks the language, to double check the word doesn’t have any double-meanings: the last thing you want is to find out it has a negative slang meaning down the track!

Make it visual

Consider how your business name looks visually by testing it out as a logo. Your business name ideas will look different on a page, so test them out in different fonts and sizes so you can gauge what looks best.

Consider domain name availability

Having a website can give your small business exposure to a world of new customers and help you to build stronger relationships with your existing customers, because it’s where consumers are increasingly spending much of their time.

According to GoDaddy research, 70 per cent of small businesses with a website feel they have a competitive advantage over those without. So when naming your business, check website domain name availability to align it closely with what you’ve chosen to call your business, and make your business as easy to find online as possible.

And finally, start naming!

Business naming should be a positive experience, so try not to get stressed if you can’t come up with something after one or two brainstorming sessions. Relax, have some fun with it and take on the feedback of friends and family, because something will click eventually. Once you decide on a name, be sure to buy the corresponding domain name straight away so your business can come to life online.

Tara Commerford, Vice President and Managing Director Australia & New Zealand, GoDaddy

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