So you’ve decided to start your own business, but now what do you call it?

Naming your business is just as important as the product you produce or service you provide. Your business name should reflect not only your business product or service, but the culture behind your business. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word name as “a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing.” Another definition is “reputation or an illustrious record.” Your name means something. Every time you say it, you are reinforcing the meaning. You are creating an image, so you want to be sure to choose your name wisely.

Here are 4 tips for deciding on a name for your business.

  1. Have a brainstorming session.

Write down every word you can think of that relates to your product or service as well as the culture you want to create within your business. During this phase no word should be off limits. Don’t discard anything that comes to mind.

  1. Evaluate the results of your brainstorming session.

Make combinations from the words you thought of. Choose 3 – 5 words or word combinations that sound catchy to you. Search your state’s business registry to make sure the names are available for use. You don’t want to get attached to a name only to find out it is already in use.

  1. Test market the potential names.

Take a poll with family, friends, and anyone else who will give a few moments of their time. Social media is a great way to reach a diverse audience to get unbiased opinions. Give each person a brief description of your business and ask them to choose from the list you developed the one that they feel best reflects your business.

  1. Decide on the name.

Ultimately the decision is yours. However, use the feedback you received during your test marketing to make a final decision on what to name your business.

Remember, your business name is a representation of the business and you as the proprietor overall. Don’t rush in making a decision. Take the time to find the best fit for you and the business.

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