One of the first steps to setting up your business is choosing a name for your business. This seemingly simple task can turn dreadful, real quick. Now, I don’t have children, but I’d think it’d be okay to compare naming your business to naming your children. It can very well seem like a ‘forever decision’, which makes it that much harder to do. So let’s get to it and help you choose a name your business.
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Now, you essentially have 2-3 business type names you can choose from.
1. Your own name (first/last)
2. A random or made up word/phrase
3. A name that’s straightforward + clearly states what your business is.
Before we dive in to what pros + cons lie behind each of these choices, I wanted to briefly tell you my naming story. Honestly, I’ve gone through 5 different names (at least) + had a few side projects with my brother that also required choosing a name. Half the time, my choices were based on what others were doing and what I thougth I ‘should’ name my business, the other half was based on what I wanted to do and where I felt my business could go and be seen. Although, it’s still hard for me to not feel like I’m being judged for the name I chose for my business, I love it. Highly recommend, choosing a name that feels best for you!
So let’s dive into your 3 options!
1. Your own name.
Typical examples include: Calvin Klein, Oprah, Ellen, Disney,Marie Forleo + Kate Spade.
Really, you’re simply using your own name as the brand of the business.
Pros: Perfect for personal brands, connecting more authentically with audiences, sharing your personal story + creating a business around you.
Now, this doesn’t mean that it has to be ALL about you, or that you will forever have to keep the business.
Cons: The business will forever be tied to your name, you may not feel confident about being the face of the company or you may feel like ‘perfection’ gets in the way because your name is behind it.
2. A random name/phrase
A few examples include: Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Zappos, Pepsi, Dubsado, Adobe + Google.
Non of these names have a real connection or clearly states what the business does. Even my business (dragonflyave.com) doesn’t state in it’s name what exactly my business does.
Pros: Allows for growth, changes + isn’t tied to a particular industry or product. You can essentially create the brand behind the name and take it in whichever direction you’d like.
Cons: Can make it difficult to clearly define what your business does, which may make it difficult for people to ‘get it’.
3. A name that clearly states what your business does.
Examples include: Burger King, Ellevest, iHOP, Pizza Hut, Elegant Themes, Party City.
These names will have in their business name something that connects them to a particular industry. ___ designs, ___ photography, ____ interiors.
Pros: Clearly defines and states what you do + what type of work to expect for your customers.
Cons: May not allow you to evolve or add new product categories, without confusion.
So now you have the 3 category types of naming your business.
Now, I’d like to take a moment and get real with you for a moment. I completely understand the overwhelm, the fear, the weight of a decision like naming your business. It can suck, honestly. But you can’t let this decision keep you from moving forward.
The truth is, whatever the name you choose CAN change. You have the right, you have ability and you have the chance to CHANGE, EVOLVE or CHOOSE a different name all together in the future. And yes, does it feel like it’ll be a big change in the future and you’d rather get it right the first, of course. But if you keep making it like an end all be all, you’ll never get to that future. I don’t want you to take up months or years deciding because you’re afraid of making the wrong decision.
Another point I’d like to make is, what your business name is ultimately known for, is based on what YOU choose to do. Calvin Klein is an underwear + fashion company and I cannot personally tell you, what he looks like. Apple, is one of the biggest brands in the world + although for the select few, people understand that it’s not a fruit company. Pizza hut sells more than just pizza.
You can make your business whatever you want it to be, add whatever you want to it, + grow it in whatever way you feel is right. Your business name will not define the company, what you do, how you make people feel + how the company adds value to the world will.
If you’re feeling stuck, I’d encourage you to go out in the world, go to a shopping center, go drive around + see all the different business names there are around you. I’d also encourage you to take note of what makes you interested in buying from a company + whether or not the name really matters as much as you may be feeling it does.
This is coming from someone who changed their name at least 5 times + is still doing okay! 🙂
You got this!
LEAVE A COMMENT! What type of name did you choose? Have you gone through a name change?