If you are just starting your business, you have an opportunity to choose a business name that will tell people something important about what you do. It doesn’t have to be Smith Bakery or Jones Construction. Those names do suggest general categories of businesses, but if your bakery specializes in elegant pastries not loaves of bread, you need to get more creative with your business name. If you build “green” homes using recycled materials, consider being more than a “construction” company.
The thing that will make this work is having a clear idea of what will be special about your business. What will set you apart from other companies in your category? In order to persuade people to deal with you instead of another business, you’ll need to be able to communicate that. What type of customers do you want to attract, and what are they looking for in the market today?
Not sure what your focus should be? Spend some time asking questions of people in your business community, and find out what niche you’re best suited to fill. Then sit down with pencil and paper and list dozens of different names — as many as you can — that evoke your uniqueness. Narrow it down to no more than five, and then test them on business friends you respect. If you can tell them what your vision is, they can tell you if the name is a good fit.
Duct Tape Marketing suggests that even if you have already started using a business name, it might be in your interest to change it: “Changing the name of your company isn’t something you want to get in the habit of, but it often makes sense for companies that have finally figured out who they serve and what they do well.”
Better yet, figure that out before you open the doors, and choose a name that will be an asset to your business from the start.