Tuesday, March 13, 2007

How to Choose a Business Name
A 4-Part Series


Eek, one day into the schedule and I'm already a day behind. 'It's good to be so busy,' is the mantra I've been repeating to myself.

At any rate, here's the first part of a 4 part series about how to choose a business name. There are, I feel, 4 key objectives to keep in mind when choosing a business name:

• Today: Know Your Industry
• 3/19: Know Your Customers
• 3/26: Know Your Message/Personality
• 4/2: Know if the Name is Available

How to Choose a Business Name:
Part One – Know Your Industry

Regardless of your industry or specialty, it's key to know your industry inside & out, at least as much as humanely possible. Customers come to you AND buy from you because they've decided that you're an expert in your field. It's up to you to ensure that you truly are.

Knowing your industry also allows you to make a more informed decision about the name or type of name you should be considering. Let's look at some examples to provide some insight:

• Industry: Clothing, specifically a name for a Clothing Line
o Are you selling sports apparel? Swim wear? Evening wear? The type of clothing you're creating and selling will determine the name. Let's say you have a sports apparel line…calling it Lucky Tux is only going to confuse customers.

• Industry: Web Design Services
o What are you offering? HTML? Flash? CSS? Animation? And what about hosting? Or search engine submission? The type of services is going to determine the
name.


As you can see by the very simplistic examples above, the type of name is going to be largely determined by your plans for the business. If you've got a particular niche in your industry, keep that in mind. If you know you want to expand, keep that in mind.

Now, how do you get to know your industry? A few suggestions:

• Who's your competition?
o Look at your direct competitors, of course, but also pay attention to the big players in your industry.
o What do you like about their name? What do you not like?

• Associations
o Industry specific associations are a treasure trove of information & should be researched.
o Because of the work I do on Yahoo! Answers, I've got listings upon listings of associations for all types of industries. Let me know if you'd like further information on any industry's association.

• Books:
o There are books upon books for any number of subjects, whether it be about starting a business or information specific to your industry.
o Because of the work I do on Yahoo! Answers, I've got listings upon listings of books for all types of industries. Let me know if you'd like further information on any book titles.

The Importance of Creative Naming
Trademark Information

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1 comment:

Jamie Shellman said...

Hehe. It's okay. Keeping yourself busy sometimes is fun, right? Choosing a catchy business name is best for a starting business. "Customers come to you AND buy from you because they've decided that you're an expert in your field." -precisely! And make sure you meet their expectations. :)