I created this post sponsored by Name.Kitchen to share best practices and exciting new solutions for naming your business and getting your perfect domain name!
Being your own boss with increased flexibility in your schedule is more and more desirable to many, which means the playing field just keeps getting more crowded.
According to Forbes, up to half a million businesses are started in the U.S. each month!
With that kind of competition it can feel a little overwhelming to create a brand that stands out. The good news, though, is that there’s still plenty of room for you.
I’m going to walk you through 6 guidelines to use when figuring out how to name your business, share a personal story of the difficulties you can encounter when you decide not to follow these guidelines, and finally share some great tools that can help you not only settle on the perfect name, but also secure the perfect domain!
Now I won’t deny that most potential naming issues can be overcome by a big fat advertising budget and the right kind of campaign, but start-ups don’t often have that luxury. So unless you’re one of the exceptions, it’s wise to follow a few basic “rules” when naming your business. We’re all for rule-breaking, mind you, you should just have a good reason for it.
How to Name Your Business
1. Targeted – I can’t express enough how important it is to nail down who your ideal customer is. The earlier in the process that you do this, the better.
It’s easy in the beginning to think, oh, I want to sell to everyone! But I promise, it will save you so. much. time and money in the long run if you’re not wasting those things on the wrong market!
If you have an idea of who your customer is, it will help you throw out the wrong types of names and zone in on the right ones. (Little old ladies probably aren’t going to appreciate your made-up techie name, for example, but teens just might.)
2. Easy to Pronounce – You don’t want people afraid to talk about your business by name because they feel dumb that they’re not sure how to say the name.
3. Descriptive – This isn’t imperative, but it certainly makes creating a brand easier when there’s something in the name that makes sense with what you do.
4. Easy to Remember – Tip #3 helps a lot with a name being easier to remember, but Tip #1 will help you the most with this because creating something memorable is really about getting inside the mind and culture of your customer.
5. Easy to Spell – You don’t want to have to educate people on how to spell your name, because that’s going to make it harder for them to get to your website or type in your email address. I still to this day have a hard time remembering how
flicker flikr flickr is spelled.
6. Domain Available – Securing a domain can be one of the most frustrating parts of naming your business. You finally land on a name that you love, only to discover that you can’t come up with a good URL that fits! (See our personal story below.)
After 30 years, it’s not surprising that it’s slim pickings for the perfect .com domain, but now a whole new world of possibilities has opened up with hundreds of ‘not-com’ options that do just as well, if not better !
Some of my favorite new ‘not-coms’ available from Donuts are: .café, .expert, .fyi, .guru, .life, .solutions, .style, .team, .tips, .tools, .vision, .world, .zone These could be paired with almost any type of business in a creative way for optimum meaning and memorability.
A Personal Business Naming Story
When we were coming up with a name for our design business back in the day, we didn’t follow many of the above tips. As is common with eager young entrepreneurs, we got stuck on wanting to express who we were rather than focusing on what we offered our clients.
A kaleidoscope is “
I won’t tell you that it was awful or that I particularly regret our choice. After all, the majority of our business was by word of mouth, but…
You might say we have personal experience with people not knowing how to spell our name… or remember our domain name. (tips #4 and 5)
“That’s Kaleidoscope eye en tee.com… you know what, never mind, what’s your email? I’ll just send you one and you can reply back to it.”
If We Had It to Do Over Again
…and if our goal was to truly connect with our clients and build a big company, I guarantee we’d:
- focus more on the solutions for our clients and less on feeling “cool”
- jump all over the “not-com” domains!
We are so excited about all the new domain endings available! Not being able to find a great domain should no longer hold you back in naming your business. In fact, checking out some of the possibilities can even be a helpful part of your brainstorming process!
Discover awesome name brainstorming tools, as well as tips and inspiration, at Name.Kitchen.
The tools at Name.Kitchen are so much fun and there are so many great possibilities that it actually makes us want to start a bunch of new projects to take advantage of them!
If you’re anything like us, it’s helpful to be able to check out inspiration from others. Bam! Name.Kitchen’s got you covered for that as well with cool stories on projects like Soul.Camp and Rain.Works. Get inspired!
Ready to discover your perfect domain? Claim your name here before we beat you to it 😉
We’d love to know what cool businesses and projects you’re starting, and we’re always happy to put in our 2 cents if you need some advice. Just hit us up!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Name.Kitchen.