Choosing The Right Name For Your Business

My favorite stage of running a business is the start-up stage. It's the most exciting part of creating a business. But for many first-time business owners, it can be a bit frightening. But, to me, one of my favorite hobbies is starting a new business. 

Picking the right name for your business is easy. Start with just your own name.

You want something that people will remember. When I was in college, people always remembered my name Justin Page Wood, but only if I included my middle name "Page."  But if I only went by Justin Wood it was too generic, and no one ever remembered it.  So Justin Page Wood, as well as my initials 'JPW' were the right starting point for my business. Once I started using it in my emails or any documents, I suddenly found that strangers or people I hardly knew would easily remember my name, even calling me "JPW" or calling me "Justin Page Wood" as if my entire name was actually my first name. 

So when you are starting out, whatever you do, choosing your first name is the easiest way to go. If your name is unique, but not too hard to spell, then use that as a starting point. 

The other thing to think about is choosing a name that will allow you to do long term growth. For instance, a while back we chose the name "MW Textile Design" for my wife's business. The problem was that she started to move away from Textile Design altogether, so the name no longer made sense. You want your business name to be generic enough that it can work for all sorts of fields, and not corner yourself into a wall. At the same time, you want it to be easy to say, easy to spell, and easy to remember. 

Just think about if you were to tell people what your website address is. If you have to spell out each letter for them, or if it is confusing, or too easy to forget, especially if they were to type it into a browser, then you're going to get a lot of missed opportunities for new business. 

Overall, here are things to keep in mind:

  • Don't make your business name too long, especially your web address. For instance: is way too long.
  • Try as much as possible to use simple, common words that are easy to say, spell and remember.
  • Starting with your own personal name is always a good start, unless you've found that people have a hard time saying, spelling or remembering it.
  • Don't be afraid to change your business name over the next few months. As you get established, you may find that your business name no longer works. If that is the case, feel free to change it quickly.