As a business owner, especially if your business is a new one, you will be eager and excited at the opportunities for growth, growth, growth – of course, everybody dreams of that. But before trying to decipher the pathways to success for your business, you need to first ask: who are you?
Your business' identity may actually rely on its very own best assets – good food, quality service, affordability for example – and all the positive adjectives found in the English language. But does the public really know you? Or worse, do they even remember who you are?
That's where a suitable business name becomes critical.
A good advertisement with a beautiful commercial model on the side may attract potential customers, but the name you give to your business will imply trust or distrust from your target market. A business logo may be changed from time to time to give the public a "fresh" perspective of you, but a business name usually remains for a very long time. So it is worth it to think about it carefully, just like a parent spending time thinking of a name before their baby is born.
Are there any rules in crafting a business name? Practically speaking there are none but you should be very careful.
Some people, like some parents naming their children, get the names of their businesses by combining their own names. This could be appropriate especially if your name carries a good reputation, but be cautious – it may in still wrong ideas in your customers on what your business is all about. If you establish a restaurant and you and your business partner's surnames are Rusty and Spoon, and you decide to combine them, the public might be scared to get tetanus and avoid coming in! Lost sales – and that hurts. Or if your surnames start with the letters S, C, A, and M, and you plan to combine them to name your insurance company… ah! Don't even consider it. Or if your surname is Schuzinderbalwoek and you plan to use it for a convenience store – don't. It will not be very convenient for the customer.
Another pitfall for some business owners is the idea of copying existing entities' names to ride on their popularity and sound catchy. Again don't. You might be selling cameras and name your business Koduck (with a matching duck logo carrying a DSLR camera). Or sell soft drinks and name your business Poke. Or establish a convenience store and name it Haven Eleven. Or… or… or… Please, just don't do it. Many business owners have already tried, and most times all it brings them is a bad reputation with a court summons as a bonus.
You do need to be creative – but not so much that the name sounds ridiculous or Harry Potter-y. It is better if your business name reflects what you really offer your customers. But don't make it so long to be worth forgetting. Don't rush, don't copy, don't overdo. Give your business a character through your business name. Make sure that it accurately describes what you do and/or what you want to become. Always remember that your name will imply trust or distrust from your target market so make sure it is worth remembering and strong enough to get the public stepping through your business' doors.