10 step complete guide for starting a consulting business from scratch.
Choose Your Business Name
If you want your new company to succeed, you must create a strong brand identity. A brand identity is more than a business name, but a strong brand identity starts with a strong company name.
Here’s everything you need to know to choose a great company name for your new business.
Think about what you want the name to convey
Your business name is an important part of your brand identity. It will appear on business cards, signage, your website, promotional materials, and more, to identify your company or your products/services. So, it’s important that your business name properly embody what your business does as well as the personality and values that guide it.
Brainstorm to identify possible names
Think about words that describe your industry or the products/services you offer. Think about words that describe your competitors. Also, consider words that describe the benefits of using your products or services. While brainstorming, look up translations of your words in other languages – you might find new ideas.
Expect this process to take 50 to 100 hours if you’re doing it yourself.
Keep the name short, simple, and easy to write and to remember
Many top companies (Apple, Target, Whole Foods, Tesla) have names that are short, simple, easy to write, and easy to remember. That's because long business names are often difficult to write and even harder to remember. This creates a barrier to word-of-mouth advertising - which is the most successful form of marketing for small businesses.
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Avoid names that are too narrow or literal
Think about how your business may evolve over time and make sure that the company name can evolve with the business. For example, if you name your company iPhone Accessories and later expand to sell accessories for other products, your original name will be too narrow and restrictive. Choose a name with the flexibility to allow your business to grow.
Avoid decisions by committee
Don’t recruit too many people to help name your company. You’ll find yourself trying to reach a consensus. And, in trying to please everyone, you’re likely to end up with an uninspiring name. Instead, share a few of your favorite names with a small group of people who understand you and your business. And ask for feedback.
Avoid plain words
Plain words make it very difficult to differentiate your company from your competitors. For example, we could have named crowdspring 'ManyDesigners.' But, while descriptive, those words are bland. And, they were already featured in the names of thousands of other businesses. Plain names lack impact - they’re not memorable and certainly not unique.
Be careful with geographic names
Obscure words or references might be difficult to spell, pronounce, understand or remember. These are all bad things when you’re trying to make an impression on potential customers.
You’ll want your company’s name to outlast trends and fads. Instead, focus on communicating your brand. For example, in the late 1990’s, it was trendy for internet businesses to use a '.com' after the company name. After the Internet 'bubble' burst, those '.com' names became synonymous with failure. And, the companies who survived quickly dropped the '.com' from their names.
Consider whether you can register a domain
Look for a company name that is also available for registration as a web domain. If your web domain does not match or include your business name, people will struggle to find you online. And, don't make the mistake of operating under one name but having a completely different domain.
The most popular domains are '.com' domains. So, it may be hard to find a .com domain to match your company name exactly. This is one of the reasons every naming submission on crowdspring comes with a domain search.
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