The perfect name is out there — here’s how to find it

You might be one of those people who’ve had a name in their heads from day one. Sometimes it just clicks — the perfect name. Or, like many, you might be struggling with how to best represent what you do in a catchy, concise way.

Choosing the perfect name is a process and one that requires some forethought (even if you already think that “Blurp Inc.” is a winner). We’ve got you covered, so let’s walk through this process together.

Business Name Checklist

Even if you already have a name, you’ll need to consider it from all angles. The name you choose will be seen in many places. Can you picture it on signs and billboards? Stationery and email signatures? How about name tags for trade shows or conferences? You’ll want to make sure that your name represents your business in the best way possible and works from a visual perspective when displayed.

Here’s a quick checklist to help direct your focus:

Is it unique?

Unique business names have a tendency to stick in your head and aren’t easy to forget. Names like “IKEA”, “Starbucks” and “Facebook” all have originality assigned to them that make them stand out.

Is it easy to pronounce?

“Versierte Unternehmer LLC” might sound good to you, but can the average person say it without twisting their tongue into a knot?

Is it short and sweet?

Your business name should make a bold statement so that it stands out in your industry. One-word names are great for creating an impact and are super easy to remember. Think about the length of your website URL, too. The shorter the better.

Does it make sense?

You‘d probably be surprised if Vance Refrigeration was the name of a company that sold popsicles. Make sure that the name you choose accurately represents what your business is all about. This will make it easy for the right people to find you.

Does it serve your audience?

It’s okay to tailor your name to a specific niche. A name like “ClickFunnels” might not mean anything to some, but it’s extremely clear to those who work in digital marketing and advertising. Remember who you want to serve and choose a name that means something to them.

Keep Your Options Open

When thinking about your business name, an important point to consider is that you’ll need to make sure that there is room to grow as your company evolves to meet the needs of your customers. You may have found the perfect name for right now, but will it make sense in the future if you offer additional products or services?

As an example, let’s say that you’re a graphic designer who creates assets such as logos, postcards, flyers, etc. A great name might be “Thompson Designs LLC”. But as your company grows and you advance your skills — maybe you hire a few other designers — you might want to start offering website design, media buying/advertising, and other marketing services. Planning for future growth allows you to consider names from a different angle. Instead of “Thompson Designs LLC” you might go with “Thompson Media LLC” instead because it allows you to add those additional services under the umbrella of your original business name.

In the construction trade, many business owners will choose these types of “umbrella” names for that reason. Construction workers are often capable of completing various types of projects, so they typically use words like “construction” or “contracting” in their names.

Acronyms FTW (For the Win)

If you’re planning to use a longer name, or feel that snappy, one-word business names are too constricting, going with an acronym can be an excellent solution. There are numerous examples of companies that have used acronyms for their business name because when used correctly they can be quite memorable.

You’ve probably heard of JBL, a popular speaker manufacturer. When spelled out, JBL stands for James Bullough Lansing, the founder of the company. Now, “James Bullough Lansing” might not be a memorable household name, but JBL certainly is.

If you’re planning to use your own name or even a combination of two or more names in the case of a partnership, choosing an acronym might be a smart move — especially if you’re having trouble agreeing on a name with those involved. There’s almost a sense of importance with an acronym...an allure, perhaps. Be careful, though, “Sam Howard Information Technologies” might be best left alone.

Put It to a Poll

If you have a few ideas, share them with people you know to get some feedback. Your friends, family and business connections may be able to give you some helpful information, such as positive or negative associations that didn’t cross your mind. If you think that your name accurately represents what your business does, ask them what first comes to mind when you tell them the name. You can then use their responses to determine which names might work best, and which would be more recognizable or memorable to your potential customers. This is a great way to trim down your list and maybe even decide on that perfect name.

Your Homework

Now’s the time to put some of these tools into action by coming up with five business name ideas that you think would label your brand as a strong, trustworthy entity. Decide on five, and run them through the checklist above. Do they work? If so, you’re that much closer to starting your own business.