Naming your Business

If there is one thing that drags a new business owner into the ‘time vortex’ it’s naming the business!

Hopefully I’ve convinced you by now to spend more of your time on researching and understanding your market, and less on ‘sexy’ stuff like logos. That said, you do need to spend time making sure your business name is effective.

There are countless books that talk about business names and you can spend hours reading them if you wish. Below is my five point checklist for assessing a business name in today’s business environment which is more and more reliant on and integrated with technology and the internet.

If you are a big multi-national company with squillions to spend on branding and still think that TV, Outdoor and Radio are the way to go then this advice is not for you. But if you are a small or medium-sized business that doesn’t have a large marketing budget then there are some simple things you can do to ensure your business name makes your positioning and selling easier, not harder.

  1. Does your business name clearly communicate the market you are in? – ‘Peter the Quick Printer Repairer’ flags the market. ‘Peter’s Quick Repair Service’ does not.
  2. Is it easy to hear, comprehend and spell? – If you are verbally communicating the name of your business, is it easy for potential customers to find in a directory or online later when they search for it?
  3. Is the URL available? .com.au or .com? – Is the URL available for the name that you want? If yes – buy the domain and park it immediately before somebody else grabs it. You can then build your site later after you have registered your business name.
  4. Does your business name contain the keywords that you market uses to search for your product or service? – What keywords do your customers use to find businesses in your market? An exact match of your URL and business name to highly searched Google keywords can improve your ranking potential.
  5. Is it legally available to use? You need to check trademarks. – Of course, you must check for trademarks and other business name registrations (see the next page on how to do this in Australia). Search here: IP Australia Trademarks Search and ATMOSS – Australian Trade Mark Online Search System.