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Published on June 25th, 2014 | by Sally Wenham

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What’s In A Name (Of A Business)?

Integral to the initial ideas and planning for a new business venture which will inevitably be detailed in a business plan is the actual proposed name of the business.

Critical to the potential success of any new enterprise, a name chosen needs to ideally sum up what the company does or what it in some way stands for.

It is important to avoid business names with negative connotations and it is certainly worthwhile sharing a shortlist of ideas with others for feedback. Undertaking a brainstorming session using a flipchart and easel to understand how the name might be perceived and interpreted is a very worthwhile exercise in the early stages of the decision making process.

There are many sources of inspiration for a potential business name. A good starting point is undertaking a search on Google to establish if there are any other large companies already with the same proposed name. A further check should be made with companies house to check that a proposed company name is not already trademarked and then register it with them accordingly.

In the digital age the necessity for an appropriate name is even more acute bearing in mind the need to factor in an online presence with a URL of the business name. Availability of the domain name will be an important consideration in order to become established in the market place.

It can be very time consuming and expensive exercise to change a company name further down the line once resources have already been invested in a brand name and identity so getting it right first time is imperative.

A very distinctive name with a difficult spelling may sound intriguing and original but it may also fail to be recalled as readily as it should be, notably when prospective stakeholders perform Google searches. However, on the flip side choosing a unique name can certainly reap rewards if it is going to strike a chord with the intended audience in the way it has for greeting card company Moonpig who got its name from the business owners’ nickname at school!

Of course it’s not just the brand name itself that it is important to get right, but the logo and strap line that will be associated with it. They will certainly all need to complement eachother.

From the outset is important to factor in the potential future direction the business will be going in. If a name is too narrow and specific it can limit expansion opportunities in future too.

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