Small Business Startup – Business Name Ideas, Tips on Domains and More
Congratulations on your decision to start your own business. Whether you want to develop a startup or an independent business we wanted to share important information BEFORE you register your company name.
We’ve seen a lot challenges with small business owners that have already registered their company’s name then they come in wanting to have a brand and logo developed that usually includes printed material like a business card, a domain and a website.
Here are some of the challenges;
- Someone else already registered the domain name for .com.
- The company name is using a word that is commonly used in content writing diluting your own brand online and making it difficult to find in search engines.
- Someone else in a different state or province has the exact same company name.
- The company name is difficult to spell.
- The company name is not descriptive of the services or products you sell.
Now for some, they may just say, no big deal I’ll just get a .net, .ca, .us or what have you. This does not typically work well and the reason is whether we like it or not we live in a .com world. We’ve seen this 100’s of times, we’ll ask someone to type a domain that is not a .com, and more than 35% subconsciously typed .com and went to another competing website.
The following sections of this Blog include help on choosing a company name and the next step verifying it’s the right name that does not conflict with other business owners.
Make a mistake on this and it can cost you your business, don’t let this happen!
Creating a Business Name
If you live in the United States or Canada the business registration offices want you to register a company name that reflects what you do. We realize of course you can create a numbered company, however this is not the type of business we are talking about.
First let’s begin with how we created the name Webacom Media Corporation.
- If you understand a little about domains it can be beneficial to have the product or service in the same name. This helps for both search rankings and identifying exactly what you do when someone hears your company name. We thought carefully about this prior to naming the business.
- We sat down and discussed exactly what we provide. We developed websites, however we did much more than that.
- What we reasoned was we created websites for communication purposes that helped business owner’s communicate with their prospective customers. Then we realized we don’t deal with just one Media we deal with many.
- We also wanted something easy to remember and a name no one else used.
- The main task we performed was web and communications with multiple Medias. Webacom Media was then born as an abbreviation.
This exact same method can be used for your own business name too. In many case it’s obvious like an excavator, drywall, electrical, plumber etc. types of businesses. In that case there is no need to combine words, it’s what memorable word(s) comes before it.
If this is the case start thinking about words that describe how you want to be remembered. We’ve used the dictionary many times to find unique words for company names and that’s a good start as there are millions of different words.
Some use the city they are living in, if your target area is that city only this is not a bad idea as it’s good for search engines and relevant to your community. Be careful though, if too many businesses are using the city your name could get diluted.
Another idea is your own name, we see this many times sometimes a single word and sometimes a combination of two or more people’s names. This is not a bad idea either, however depending how easy it is to spell your name be careful. Another consideration is when developing a company using your family name when you decide to sell may be a challenge. That is if customers expect people operating the company to be family members, now you sell out and those people don’t exist. This can make it difficult to sell if the family members are crucial to the success of the company. Of course there are all kinds of successful single name companies like McDonalds but they have millions of dollars to create brand awareness.
Another approach is finding a name that describes the result of your services or what you expect. We have been working on a side business called Flatter Yourself. It’s immediately apparent it’s about vanity and it is, it’s relevant to fashion and luxury brands.
Come up with several names if you can then proceed to the next step.
How to Research Your Company Name Before You Register
Now that you have a few business name ideas here are the next steps;
- Google the name and see what websites come up. Look very carefully, are there similar competitive companies using the same descriptive word. If you’re planning on being in multiple states or provinces use your service or products and add the area you want to target and once again make sure there is no competitive conflict.
- Now go to a Domain Registrar and check to see if your domain is available in the .com. If it’s not use your other business names. Once you know you can get the .com you now have to check on other important domains relevant to your business. There are now 100’s of new extensions from .guru, .contractor, .tattoo even .sexy. If you are a contractor and you can get a domain that matches you may want to register that domain too as the new domains can be very descriptive now. If you live in Canada get the .ca and .com. This is yet another Blog but cyber squatters will purchase your companies domains and try to sell them back for thousands, we’ve seen this many times and customers have paid upwards of $ 3,500.00 for one domain.
- Don’t register your domains yet, you now need to check any online social network you feel you will use like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more and make sure your name is available. Even if you feel you won’t use them claim them anyway to protect your brand.
- Again, do not register you have one more step, go to the business registration office and make sure you can get your business name approved.
- Immediately after confirmation that you can use your company name now go and purchase your domains and claim your social media channels. Do this immediately, do not wait.
We know it looks like a lot of work but we standby that by spending the time to perform proper research can help your business succeed.
If you need business consulting for your business, explanations on what types of websites that truly perform please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation.