Coming up with the right name for your business is one of the most important parts of starting a company. It’s a good idea to spend some time on finding a name that’s unique, memorable and reflective of what it is you have to offer your clients.
When I tried to think of a name for my animal massage business, I got a bunch of friends together at a bar and asked them to help me brainstorm. They came up with several ideas, one worse than the other, and I ended up going to bed that night without a single good name to work with. And woke up the next morning with the perfect (in my opinion) name for my business (Nimble Limbs Animal Massage). Sometimes your brain does its best work when you just leave it alone.
Here are a few other ways to come up with a great name:
1. Pick up a dictionary and just leaf through it. Or look at one online – the interactive visualthesaurus.com is fun to use and displays a “map” of related words for every word you type in.
2. Think of a tag line for your business (things like “The Touch That Heals”, or “Put The Spring Back In That Spaniel”). Sometimes it’s easier to start with that and come up with a name based on it.
3. Write a mission statement. You’ll need one anyway, and you might come up with the perfect name while thinking about what your business is all about and putting it on paper.
4. Brainstorm with yourself. Write down a bunch of words that relate to your business (animal, massage, pet, health, dog, etc.). Pick one word you know for sure that you want in your name, like “pet” for example. Then try on words around that, like Healthy Pet, Pet Comforts, Pet Pampering or Pampered Pet (I always like alliterations – the repetition of the first consonant sound in a phrase). Just play around with it. Sometimes you’ll realize that you don’t want “pet” in the name after all, and that’s fine, it’s part of the process.
5. Go on hoovers.com and look at all the business names listed there – something might trigger an idea.
6. Try out different names on domain registration sites (like GoDaddy or Domainsbot.com). Many will suggest other options to you, and since you’ll probably want a website or blog anyway, it’s a great way to combine your name search with a domain name registration.
7. If you’re completely stuck and don’t mind spending $99, enlist the help of the online community at namethis.com. You just describe your business, the members start brainstorming, and after 48 hours, you’ll be presented with several names.
I hope that at least one of the suggestions above will help you find the ideal name for your business. Don’t worry if the process takes several months – it’s an important decision that shouldn’t be rushed.