You need a good creative business name to start your internet based business.
Where do you start? Keep in mind, you don’t really have a product yet, just a market – the whole wide world – so you need a good creative business name that will appeal to virtually every person on the planet, right? Wrong! You can’t possibly appeal to every person on the planet but you do have to appeal to some of them, so where do you start? Especially since, like we’ve already established, you don’t really have a PRODUCT … just a desire to do business on the internet. Preferably at home, in your underwear.
OK. So let’s start with some basic ideas of how to choose a good creative business name for your new internet business.
First, (#1) I would suggest that you keep in the back of your mind that your good creative business name should be available in your local area so that you can file papers with your state AND second (#2) it should also be available as a name on the internet with third (#3) a .com extension. If you conjure up a good creative business name and find out after you’ve printed your letterhead that you don’t have exclusive use of the name, you’ve just wasted a whole bunch of money and opened yourself up to liability. As an example, I recall hearing of a bar out west that opened up under the owner’s real name which happened to be Jeep and some folks in Detroit had a real problem with the fellow. The bar owner was lucky, though. He eventually got to keep his bar name, however, it was an expensive proposition. So, before we go thinking up good creative business names, let’s just remember that we need to meet some legal criteria later on down the road – so you’re forewarned: Don’t fall in love with a name (tip #4 so far) before you know you can marry it.
That’s all preamble. Now, let’s get to work on giving you some helpful tips for choosing your good creative business name.
1. Be Distinctive And Memorable
What you’re aiming for is a good creative business name that will stand out from the crowd instead of being so similar to the rest of the pack that you get lost, or worse, your business goes to the next company down the line with a very similar name. I know of one business whose name is so generic as to be laughable. For privacy reasons I won’t tell you their name but I have to stop myself from laughing whenever they call on us – yes, their name is actually laughable. You’re aiming for distinctive and memorable, not laughable.
However, you don’t want to go bonkers by making your good creative business name ultra trendy. Sure, trendy names work for a short while but then you’re faced with the dilemma of either appearing to be old and out of date or needing to do a rename. Both scenarios are not the way you want to go. So, do yourself a favor and avoid super – er – “uber” trendy names. Some names are timeless and others have not aged well. I don’t want to name names but I’ll bet that you can think of several examples for both on your own. If you plan for your business to be around for years to come (even if that means that you SELL your business for a huge profit – yeah!), plan ahead and try to hide your age – right from the start!
2. There’s Safety In Simplicity
When it comes to selecting a good creative business name for your new business you would be well served to remember the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Short names are easier to remember. Short names are easier to type. Short names take up less space on your business card. Short names rock! Google, Yahoo, Bing, Pepsi, Coke… you get the idea.
If you can keep your good creative new business name to two syllables, great! If not, try to be succinct. You’ll appreciate it when you’re making calls, introducing yourself and you can say both your name and your business name with one breath.
Be sure, too, not to jazz up your new business name into some weird, contrived and convoluted spelling that uses all of the non-letter keys on your keyboard. Hyphens, dashes, exclamation marks, and the like are for punctuation, not part of a well planned good creative business name. Remember when Prince renamed himself to some oddball symbol? At least we already knew who he was and kept referring to him as “the artist formerly known as Prince” until he got past his contract hassles. And tildes (~) belong in math class, not on your letterhead. Make it easy for your customers to type and say your new good creative business name correctly.
And while you’re at it, aim for a letter from first half of the alphabet. You’ll have a better chance of being found by the search engines if you’re at the front of the line.
Lastly, on the simple scale, if you have a really great product, a short name may even become a verb: Google being the prime example. Flurp, anyone? (Sorry – Flurp.com is taken but Flurpex.com is still available as of today.)
3. Don’t Hitch Your Wagon To A Married Man – Aka – Check To Be Sure That Your Ideal Mate Is Really Available
This is the litigious age. If you fail to check on the availability of your ideal new business name before you move forward with all of your work, you could face a big fat lawsuit, cease and desist orders and heartache, not to mention unnecessary financial strain if you neglect this important step.
Following are some things to keep in mind: First, and possibly easiest: check to see if your domain name is available simply by typing it in to Google or your browser bar. If it comes up not found, that’s a good sign. After all, in the ideal world, your good creative new business name and your actual domain name should be the same.
But don’t stop there. You’re starting a business – you’re planning to be a Millionaire by Monday, right? So you need to be set up as a real business. Therefore, be sure to check out your preferred new business name options with your state incorporation site.
Additionally, you should check the domain name availability with the domain hosting company that you have selected to use for your business. This is a free service provided by all the domain hosting companies. We use InMotion Hosting because we love their features and service. They are not the cheapest, but remember, you get what you pay for and hosting is the last place that we would ever “go cheap.”
By checking with the U.S. Patent Office you can check to see if there are any existing Trademarks for your preferred new good creative business name. You’d hate to find out after your site is up, running and profitable that you have been infringing on someone else’s rights. And worse, have to pay them!
4. Survey Says!
YOU may love your new internet business name ideas, but before you go buying a domain name and having your cards engraved and letterhead printed, it pays to check with some of your customers to see how they react to Flurpex.com. Does it say to them what you want it to say? Do they consider it a serious, legitimate business name or do they laugh uncontrollably? Can they spell it based on just hearing you say it? You’ll want 9 out of 10 people that you survey to be able to spell it correctly the first time without your help because you want word about your site to spread virally as well as by word of mouth and you want to be the one to benefit from all that buzz, not the other guy that bought the site name that was very similar to yours and let him get all of your bad spellers’ business.
But, remember, even though you’re asking for help, keep in mind that you don’t want a blah, bland, nothing name which is what can happen if you turn this into a contest or committee project when you ask everyone to help you out with selecting a good creative business name. Get input, do a survey of your customers if possible, your friends and family if that’s all you can drum up to listen, but remember that this is YOUR new internet business name and you’re the one that will have to live with it.
5. The Internet Is Global
Check your new good creative internet business name for meanings in other languages.
Nova was an OK car name in America, but Chevrolet found out the hard way that a car named “No Go” (aka NOVA) wouldn’t sell well in Mexico or any of the other Spanish speaking countries of the world. Like me, you probably don’t speak every foreign language in the world, but you can check various sources such as directories and dictionaries to see if your preferred new internet business name is already a word in some of the main languages of the world.
But don’t stop there. Language is fluid and not always well documented in the usual reference materials, so it can be tricky finding out if a word has a bad connotation that goes along with it in the common vernacular. Here’s where the internet can come in very handy. Simply query some international forums to see if there are any particular meanings in various languages for your new preferred name and drop any name that Aunt Sally wouldn’t buy.
You might not expect your new business to go global quickly, but you’d be surprised. Our site www.mpkmedia.com is visited by people from India, China, Turkey and Russia to name just a few places outside of the US. So expect to have visits from people from all over the globe. Make them, and their wallets, welcome to do business with you.
6. Forget The Map
We live in Wisconsin but we planned from the start to be a national, if not global company. Why not? So, we opted for a name that left the map on the wall and gave no indication of where we were located meaning that we were open for business to the world. And we are free to move to warmer climes later if we choose.
Business was different back in the day when Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company started. But as they grew, they faced a hard fact: their name was too long, regional and too product specific. They needed a new name and so 3M was born. You can be sure that it was an expensive proposition that was also confusing to their customers for years. So, keep 3M in mind and you’ll map your way away from a costly mistake.
7. Don’t Reinvent The Alphabet, Or In Positive Terms: Leave The Alphabet Alone!
If your preferred good creative business name has already been taken so that you can’t get the .com for it, don’t play games with the alphabet in order to keep the sound of the name that you love. Shakespeare may have thought that a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but it is pure trouble to butcher the spelling of your new internet business name. Sure, you can twist letters and go all phonetic, but all you’ll end up doing is confusing your customers. Kwik Trip might work as a convenience store, but it won’t be convenient for you to lose half or more of your sales to the company that owns www.quicktrip.com, so find another name that you can spell correctly and get the .com name. You’ll be glad that you did.
Also, keep in mind that made up words don’t convey any image whatsoever to your brand new potential customers, so unless you’ve got a boatload of money to advertise your new business, skip attempting to coin the next Kleenex, Xerox, Tampax, Kotex, or Kodak and use good creative words that convey a meaning to your customers immediately on first reading. You don’t have to tell them exactly what you do, but it would be nice to give them a hint.
If you are still having problems coming up with that perfect name for your business you might find WordMaker useful. WordMaker is advanced naming software that gives you unlimited creative, targeted naming options. An intelligent tool to help you create that perfect creative business name.