You've figured out what product or service your startup will provide, where your funding will come from and how many employees you'll need to hire to get your business off the ground. All you need now is to name it.
While it may seem like a simple task, giving a business a unique and memorable name often poses a significant challenge for small business owners — and it's an obstacle that must be overcome in order to start the branding and marketing process.
Entrepreneur contributor and Eat My Words CIO Alexandra Watkins cautions against making common mistakes when choosing a name for your startup:
- Don't pass up a good name just because the exact domain name you're looking for is unavailable. Even if people can't remember the URL for your startup's website, they should easily be able to find it via a search engine or social media platform.
- Don't limit the scope of your business by tying its name to a single product or service. Watkins refers to a rather ubiquitous e-commerce site to illustrate this point: "What if Amazon had been named Bookstore.com? They would be limited to selling books."
- Make sure people know intuitively how to pronounce your startup's name, and don't rely on accents or visual cues like putting certain letters in a different color than the rest of the company name. "Your name will not appear in color in the press or in search-engine results," she advises.
- Don't use a name that gives consumers no indication of what product or service you provide. While you might think a vague name will engender intrigue, it might actually make potential clients or customers look right past your business.
Lastly, checking for company name availability before you officially name your business is essential to ensuring your startup is a unique presence in its industry.