Are you thinking about starting your own business? Do you have an incredible skill set or product that you must share with the world? Has your mind been spinning from analyzing a marketplace, researching every last detail, and finalizing the perfect business plan? What’s holding you back from taking that final plunge? Have you thought about a good business name?
I’ve had dozens of businesses throughout my life. Some have been more elaborate than others, but like my cars, each one has had a fun and catchy name.
For me, a business wasn’t a business without a killer name. How exactly do you find a good business name for your new startup?
Well, search no further. I am here to outline how to find the perfect name for your new money maker!
Start with Your Own Name
Many Fortune 500 companies are just names of their founders, such as JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Walt Disney, Philip Morris, etc. There’s nothing wrong with branding a company with your own name.
However, you may want to think about your exit strategy for your company. Is your plan to build the business and immediately sell it or are you planning on holding to it for a while?
If your goal is to sell, you may consider using a name other than your own since once you sell you will have no say in the reputation of the company which holds your very own name.
Make up Words
Ever wonder how they came up with good business names like Google, Comcast, or Aflac? These names seem so obscure and made up, yet so common at the same time.
Don’t be afraid to completely make up a name for your business. Google is a made up name. Sure, it’s a play on googol which is a really, really, REALLY big number, but Google was made up.
My favorite Canadian joke: Do you know how they came up with the name “Canada?” They drew letters out of a hat: “C,” ay. “N,” ay. “D,” ay. You may draw letters out of a hat and just happen to like how they look on a logo. You’d be surprised what will speak to you.
Think about what it is your company does. Are you a store (mart)? Is your name Walton? Put it together and Walmart is born.
Do you aim to sell the maximum number of cars? Try “CarMax.” Take whatever it is you do and hyphenate it with something else.
Even AutoZone is a hyphenated word that has since become a household name.
Where are you located? Think about naming your business after something local. A good business name could include the name of the area you do business.
This may help not only build your business, but connect you with your local community!
Southwest Airlines, Norfolk Southern, and Bank of America are all companies that took advantage of geographic names after the regions in which they do business.
Find the Best Business Name
Try to pick a name using each method. Get a list of 5-6 good business names and write them down. I find even staring at the name on a sheet of paper will sometimes inspire me.
Either way, once you have a condensed list, sit on it for a day or so. Fresh eyes may make one stand out. In the end, names are important but not as important as all the money you’re about to make!