I have a confession to make. In my last business I made a fundamental mistake; not an uncommon mistake, but one that is easy to make even if you are experienced. Let me explain.
What does the word “crecer” mean to you? Probably not much unless you speak Spanish, where it means to grow. That was the name of my small business consultancy and my mistake. When I chose that name, I was looking for something original, a name with a background story and a name that I could get the ‘.com.au’. A student of spanish, I thought it fit beautifully with my business objectives - to grow small business.
Instead of the name being an amplifier of my brand, I spent the next 7 years explaining the name and correcting the pronunciation for absolutely everyone. The word is meaningless in the Australian market, did not say what the business offered and was not keyword friendly.
The chance to name a business is a big opportunity that can be the difference between survival and flourishing. Choosing a name that optimises your chances of success needs lots of time, research and discussion. If you need help with this please get it, as it can impact your business for the rest of it’s life. It’s like getting a tattoo - once it’s on it is very hard to get off, so you have to make the right choice.
Your best potential clients may only ever be in contact with your business in the moment they read your business name. Make those few seconds count - if they don’t connect in that time the opportunity is lost.
Funkyds was a business that I advised in it’s early days. Do you have any idea what they sold? After they changed their name to The Wall Sticker Company their world opened up - their offering is clear even just reading the name. Once the name was changed, their organic Google rankings soared and web traffic exploded. Say no more.
When you are considering your business name, here are some the things to think about before you get permanently inked:
Keywords and concepts. In small business, there is usually small (or no) budget to spend on building a brand. Turning obscure words like Nike, Samsung, Qantas, Toyota or Crecer into brands that customers have concepts of and affiliation for takes time and money. Choosing names that easily identify your offering and value will bring in more business sooner and are much more Google friendly (like The Wall Sticker Company).
Availability. So many new businesses spend hours perfecting the perfect name, only to find it’s already taken! Once you have a shortlist of names, check the business names registry, trade mark registry and research domain names. One of my old clients had a website created, vans signed and cards printed before they were sent a trademark infringement notice. Just checking the database would have saved them thousands.
Meaning. If you can choose a name that also tells your brand values, that is even better. Arrive on Time Appliance Repairs says what they offer and that their value proposition is promptness. Pole Divas says pole dancing that is glamourous and feminine. Geeks Inc. tell you where to go for technology developments with a sense of fun, nerdy pride.
Visuals. Having a name that lends well to a catching logo helps, like Fisher Lane Mobility.
Buzzwords. Avoid these as much as you can. They are not original and become meaningless and dated. Everyone is offering “quality”, “success” or “solutions”.
It goes without saying that you will get better results from a short, punchy word - and one that is easy to pronounce! Already my new name The Business Plan Company is on the front page of Google.
Dr Warren Harmer
This article was originally published on Flying Solo.