How to Choose a Winning Name for your Small Business

Can a name make or break your chances of business success? With the success of businesses with seemingly strange names like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! you might think that a name is not all that important. I disagree. Unfortunately I learned a lot about how to pick a good name for a business after I already chose my business name. For that reason, I want to guide all of you toward a business name that will work for you now and into the future. There are 3 keys principles to keep in mind when picking a name for your business:

1. Remember the Internet – Whether your business is an internet based retail business or you operate a chain of gravel pits around your region, you NEED to keep the internet in mind when picking your business name. In particular you want to think about Search Engine Optimization when you choose a name. If your name contains keywords related to your business, you will have an easier time ranking higher on search engines like Google. If you are a gravel pit owner, then your company name should contain gravel so that when you create your company website it will rank high for the keyword gravel. This principle would be the same if you sell books, cookies, or cell phones. Why make it harder on yourself? Just build your name for the internet age.

2. “Google It” – Have you ever used company names as verbs? For instance, Xerox is a company name, but many people will call copying a document “xeroxing a document”. Similarly you may say to a friend, “just Google it”. If you can create a business name that has the potential to become a verb you are will be happy you did so later.

3. Short and Sweet – Have you noticed how so many successful companies these days have one word names? I don’t think it is a coincidence. I wisk I would have realized this fact before I named my business, but you may still have a chance to keep from making the same mistake. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft. These are all one word companies. Specifically if you are creating a highly technical product or service, keep your name simple. Try to keep your small business name to one or two short words.