What's in a name? Choosing the right name for your company and website

So you’ve decided to start a new company. Congratulations! Now the fun begins and that starts with your business name. There are a number of things to consider when deciding on your name, including whether the name sounds right for the business you’re in, is the domain name (web address) available for that name, how it’ll look in print, online and in speech etc etc.

Firstly, we’ll take it as given that you’re decided on what your business does, be it sell flowers door to door, offer financial services to worldwide businesses or maybe sell cakes online. The list goes on. I can’t really help with that, I’m afraid, but there’s plenty of opportunities for everyone so just think of what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing – then build a business on that.

Here’s a few pointers to consider when choosing your company name:

  1. Choose a memorable name
  2. Choose a name that’s easy to say and spell
  3. Try to make it short and catchy
  4. Avoid hyphens – they’re a pain when it comes to telling people your website address.
  5. Think about your website address at the same time i.e. is the domain name available?
  6. Think about how the name will look on all kinds of media i.e. business cards, letterheads, website, stickers – anything and everything you can think of.
  7. If you choose a name with numbers in the title then consider buying both versions of the domain name i.e. www.1site.com and www.onesite.com
  8. The name may look great in writing but does it sound great when you say it? Will you be understood or will you have to constantly spell it out so you are understood?

Remember first impressions count, so it’s a good idea to list your company name ideas, narrow them down to 5 or so and then ask around for people’s views. Remember to take on board those views.