Your company name is important, and you must take your time to come up with a suitable name, marketing your business is easier if your name explains your offering. You want to choose a name that will show your values and your company’s distinguishing characteristics and will last for the next years to come
How to come up with a name for your business!
Think about your offering, develop your mission statement and determine your niche, this will help you to come up with a list of possible words, describing your venture. Now you start to put two words together and see what fits, what makes sense and what sounds good, this is the same technique I used to come up with Funding Connection.
Consider these tips:
- Don’t pigeonhole yourself by adding the location or one product to your name, like Empangeni Screws, what happens if you want to expand to Durban or you want to add nails to your offering?
- Your name should appeal and be meaningful to the customers you want to attract
- Keep it simple and chose a short name
- Don’t use nicknames or puns nobody understands
- Don’t change the spelling; it can be difficult for your customers to google you
- Decide if you want to fit in or if you want to stand out. In some industries, it is more important to fit in, than to stand out like consultancies, in others, it is more important to stand out!
- Make sure you do not offend your potential customers with your name choice
- Your name must be easy to spell and to pronounce
- If you ever plan to sell your business, don’t use your name as the firm name
- Check the international implications of your name; you do not want to be embarrassed by the meaning in a different language
Test Your Name
After you came up with a couple of names, you should check your name with family and friends and potential clients.
I am sure you know already that I was involved in some coffee shops in Germany, one of our names we came up with was Cozy Coffee, but when we asked friends to pronounce this name, it sounded more like vomit coffee (this is the translated version from German to English of course). So we used Perfect Coffee. Easy to understand and to spell even for people not familiar with the English language in Germany.
Check with CIPC if your company name is available so that you can register your enterprise with your company name.
In some cases, it makes sense to check if your chosen name can be trade mark registered.
Make sure your company name is available as a domain name for your website. If you are offering your product or service to the South African market, I recommend using .co.za, if you plan to go international check if a .com is available.
Naming your company is an important part of your start up and will stick with you for a long time, you do not want to find out later, that you can register your name with CIPC or that you cannot secure the domain name, it will determine your marketing strategies. Take your time and decide wisely.
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