Small Business Name: A Key to Success or a Potential Pitfall

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If you’re thinking about naming your business, you’ve probably already got a good idea of what kind of products or services it offers. Perhaps, have you thought about how that name will affect the way people perceive your brand?

A good Small business name can work as an extension of your brand. A way for customers to tell right away what they can expect if they choose to do business with you.

At the customer level, a name affects customers’ attitudes toward the company and its brands, awareness, and image of these brands, knowledge, loyalty, and helps create a differentiated clear image that cannot be explained by product attributes. At the company level, a name affects price, market share, revenue, and the incremental cashflow resulting from the product with the brand name compared with that which would result without the brand name.

Author K.L Ailawadi states

5 Tips for Choosing a Great Small Business Name

However, if the name is too generic, or doesn’t convey any sense of who you are or what your business does, then it may not help at all.  Here are 5 steps to help you get started, now let’s get right down to business (no pun intended.)

Be Creative, But Within Limits

First things first: don’t be afraid to get creative! Not only can being creative lead to more memorable names, but it also helps you stand out from the crowd. 

But don’t go overboard! You don’t want people to think that your name is too “out there” or hard to remember. A good rule of thumb is that your brand name should be easy enough for people who don’t know much about your industry to understand what it means—and they should be able to pronounce it correctly!

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A survey conducted by a UK-based business insurance company called Simply Business revealed that over 64% of people associate with businesses with a funny or witty name, 55% of whom think it makes them stand out above others and 51% think it adds personality. But, it is crucial to keep it respectful and appropriate.

Pick A Name That Reflects You

If you find a simple and memorable name, it’s easier for people to find you online, as well as make it easier for potential customers to remember when they hear or see your name around town. But remember it’s also important to choose something that is unique enough so that there aren’t already any other businesses with the same name or similar names nearby!

Make sure that your branding reflects who you are as an organization. For example, if you’re a family-run restaurant with a long history in town then maybe “Mama’s Pizza” would be perfect for you! Just make sure it doesn’t sound too cheesy because no one likes cheesy names or names that are too common for example, “pizza lovers” “burger house”, etc. Using a business name generator is always a good start!

Get Inspired But Don’t Imitate

You can always look at other brands in your industry, or ask friends and family for suggestions, but keep in mind to not copy or rip off, because that’s an invitation for lawsuits. And as a small business, that’s the last thing you want.

However, if you’re looking for something that conveys your brand’s personality and makes it stand out from competitors, using numbers or words that evoke feelings like joy, trust, freedom, etc., can often help consumers connect with businesses better than ones that don’t have any emotional appeal at all (e.g., “Happy Carpet Cleaning” or “Awesome Fried Chicken”.)

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Follow The Rules

Once you’ve settled on a name, you have to follow the naming rules according to your business structure, how it is operated, and taxed. Limited Liability Corporations should include LLC or L.L.C; C Corporations must include “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” and “limited”; sole proprietors must operate under the surname of the owner and lastly, General Partnerships should include the partners’ surnames.

Make A Good Impression With A Solid Name 

This approach is unique: they use a sophisticated Quality Scoring Algorithm and Machine Learning to ensure that you receive only the best ideas from top-quality creatives and use a gamification strategy to ensure two-way communication throughout your contest.

You can also poll your target demographic to get unbiased feedback on your favorite brands, and you’ll get high-quality trademark reports to make sure you select the right name.

Take Away

Naming your small business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, and boy oh boy can it be a challenge! You have to think about what kind of impression you want your company’s name to make on potential customers, and what kind of message you want your name to send out into the world. 

Here are a few things to think about before giving a small business name: the name should be memorable, it should be easy for people to spell, and should represent your brand perfectly. It should be a self-explanatory statement about your company, while also making sense within the context of your company’s mission and vision.

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Also, remember that it should also be unique enough that you don’t run into legal issues when trying to trademark or copyright it. Then you follow the naming rules according to your business structure and voila! You’re in business!

About the Author

Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation. 

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