Don't Over Think It: Advice For Choosing A Business Name
Choosing a business name can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to. Let me first start off by saying that your business name matters, but it doesn’t matter *that much*.
What I mean by that is customers are going to hire you because of how you make them feel. They’re going to refer you because you did an awesome job. They’re going to remember your business name because it means something to them.
That being said, there are a few things to consider when choosing your business name.
#1 Using Your Name Vs. A Company Name
If you’re going to be running the business as a sole propriotor or single person LLC, it doesn’t matter. Let me say it again for the people in the back… IT DOESN’T MATTER.
I’ve seen entrepreneurs bang their heads against the wall for months trying to figure out what to name their business, mean while they could have been building their business and serving clients the entire time. At that point, it’s nothing more than a distraction holding you back.
The fact is, you can name yourself say “Rayna Nicole Design” and then if your business grows, you can change it to “Rayna Nicole Design Co.” or “Rayna Nicole & Co”. Or you can start out as Firefly Web Studio from the beginning. Either way, just keep it professional and you are gold.
A few reasons you may want to use a company name instead of your real name…
- You have a very common name, therefor it will be hard to google you or get a url that matches your name.
- You are a very private person, and don’t want people knowing who you really are.
- You have a past you’re not proud of (no shame, we all have skeletons in our closet, some are just more public than others).
A few reasons you may want to use your name instead of a company name…
- Your business is all about personal branding
- You are branding yourself as a one-one-one personal experience
- You have a very unique name that’s easy to remember
#2 HOW POPULAR IS IT
When I first moved to Colorado and started my photography business, wayyyy back in 2010, I thought I was being creative by naming it Rocky Mountain Portraits. I lived in Colorado… in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Sure, my business name let people know that I was a photographer in the Rocky Mountain region, but try finding me in a Google Search. The terms were so popular, I didn’t even show up in my own search results half the time. Prior to picking a name, really consider if anyone else has that name and also, if you’ll be able to find a quality URL and social media accounts. This goes for business names and personal names.
#3 HOW EASY IT IS TO REMEMBER AND SPELL
Another big mistake people make when naming their business is using really unique spellings for common words, or very complicated names. It’s okay to use common abreviations, for instance mpix.com using the appreviation “pix” instead of pictures, however had they choosen “mpicts.com” most people wouldn’t remember how to get to their site. I also recommend avoiding very long or commonly misspelled words.
#4 How Long Of A URL Are We Talking?
There are a few reasons to avoid a super long business name and a long URL is definitely one of them. A long URL is hard to remember, hard to read (www.thisistheurlthatneverendsyesitgoesoneandonemyfriends.com), it’s easy to misspell, and emails with long urls are often marked as spam.
#5 A Few Things I Always Recommend Avoiding
- Intentional misspellings
- Offensive Language (unless it’s on point with your brand, then go for it)
- Crowd sourcing to an audeince that isn’t your ideal client. What Mom and Aunt Sally think is perfect may not speak to your ideal clients.
#6 Things To Check Before Settling On A Name
- Does anyone else own the copywrites to that particular name
- Is there a URL available that meets your needs
- Can you get the social media accounts you want
- How does the name make you feel? All else being equal, I always recommend going with your gut.