What's in a name?

Right now, I am helping a client/friend name her new business. Truly, this is one of the most important steps in starting a new business. I have never had the pleasure of naming a child (or really even my dogs---they both came with names). But, the thought process of choosing a business name has many similarities. Obviously, you want your business to have a unique name that no one else has. (Similar to how most parents don't want 5 Katie's in the classroom). You want to have a name that is meaningful to you and your business. However, the business name cannot be so generic that when your business expands and grows that this name does not make sense. (Remember before Panera it was St. Louis Bread Company? See it did not really work so well outside of St. Louis...)

Other things to consider when choosing a name is the length, how long your domain name will be, strange spellings that might be confusing when giving your name verbally to clients (think any name that is plural but ends in "z") and if your name can sustain your business growth. For example, the previously mentioned friend is going to be creating an absolutely adorable line of items for pre-school aged children and organizational items for mom's. When thinking of the name, I don't want to put her in one particular niche where it looks like her business only serves small children OR mom's. The name is crucial in setting the tone for your business.

When meeting with my clients and helping them with their names and logos, I like to discuss their interests, favorite colors, things they enjoy and their target market. With this I am able to come up with many options. While it might be a process that takes hours or days, once the perfect name is chosen it is like falling in love all over again and renewing that passion you have for your new endeavor! For more information on naming your business, check out this article from Entrpreneur Magazine.


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