- What is a Business Name?
- Why do you need a business name?
- How to Choose a Business Name
Still yet to choose a business name? In this article, I will show you how to choose a business name in Nigeria.
A business name is a crucial part of any business. It is something you cannot do without. Are you a startup without a name yet? This article will teach you how to choose a business name without stress.
I recently wrote a post about things to know before choosing your business name. If you haven’t read that article, I recommend you to read it now before moving further.
Even before I choose my business name, Passion Entrepreneurs, it took me so many days.
In fact, I had to search the entire web to make sure nobody has that business name and its domain name.
However, I know you’ve been wondering how these big companies came up with such a business name. This is simple. You don’t need to consult business experts or business planners in other to come up with an outstanding business name. In this article, I will show you how big companies chose their business name and how you can choose your own business name without stress.
But before you move on, you have to know what a business name is all about.
What is a Business Name?
Simply put, your business name is the name of your business. Most people interchange it with Brand Name and Company Name. But the truth is, there are all talking about the same thing – IDENTITY
Why do you need a business name?
You wouldn’t like your business to be a “No name business”. If you want your business to go viral; if you want to get people to buy your products, then there is a need for a business name.
No client will go for a “No name product”.
And here is the funny thing about it
If you have no name for your business, then it’s likely a scam and illegal.
Nobody will recognize you and your business.
How to Choose a Business Name
#1. Choose a Business Name: The Abstract Word
When we talk about something abstract, we talk about something unrelated.
The Abstract word business name method is one of the most successful methods of choosing your business name.
In fact, I will say it is the best so far.
Now take a look at these big companies.
Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin)
Google is the king of the search engine. Their major work is to look out for the best content on the internet and display it to their users.
But if you take a look at the name itself, it is totally abstract from what they do.
Apple (Steve Boss)
When it comes to laptops, phones, and other computer devices, Apple is the number one in the industry.
Nothing can ever change an apple from becoming a fruit. But this company does not deal with apples.
They don’t sell apples nor grow them. They don’t even produce apple juice.
Amazon (Jeff Bezos)
Amazon is the king of E-commerce so far. It is a platform where people buy their products end they get it delivered to their address.
But, when I checked the word “Amazon” in my dictionary, It said:
“A female warrior”.
“A river of South America that flows through Brazil”.
This is totally abstract.
When it comes to the domain registrars in the world, Godaddy is topping the list. This is where I normally buy my domain at 12$ per year ( Or you can use their coupon code to purchase at $0.99).
But, let’s analyze the name
“Go” means to move forward.
“Daddy” means someone’s father.
This actually does not talk about what they do.
We have successfully analyzed four big companies and we discovered that the Abstract method is one of the ways of choosing your business name.
For Online Entrepreneurs,
I know you may be thinking:
“How Can I rank on the Internet if I don’t have my target keywords in my domain name?”
Well, according to Brian Dean in his Advanced SEO tutorial video he said:
“Having keywords in your domain name is not a major ranking factor”.
For example, if two persons are in the same niche, let’s say Sports
The first person’s domain name is Sportslover.com
The second person’s domain name is Awesome.com
To a layman, he will think that the domain name, awesome.com will never rank on any sports keyword on Google.
But the truth is
So far as the blogs posts of the domain Awesome.com passes Google’s criteria for ranking higher, it will definitely rank.
In other words, you don’t have to panic if you are choosing an abstract name as your business name and also your domain name.
- Big companies use this method
- It doesn’t require much research or racking of your brain
- When people hear it for the first time, they may become confused.
- You will spend much time explaining to people what you really do.
- Sometimes the domain name may have been taken.
#2. Personal Name or Nick Name
If you are looking for another way to choose a business name, using a personal name or your nickname can work for you.
This is very easy and does not need much work.
Now let’s look at these companies that used their personal name as their business name.
Brian Tracy International
Brian Tracy International is a company owned by Brian Tracy. A popular public speaker, who has written many books and eBooks, Videos and Audiotapes. His company specializes in motivation and how to become successful.
Linda Ikeji Media
This media is owned by Nigeria’s richest and most popular blogger, Linda Ikeji. Her media covers Music, News, Studio, Television, and Radio.
Ford Motor Company
This company is one of the leading automobile industries in the US and also around the world. It was founded by a man called Henry Ford. You can read more about him here.
Of course, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote is using his name as his business name.
Now you’ve seen companies that used their personal name as their business name. Now you can go on and use your own.
Also, it’s very important that you research before making your final decision. This is because there may also be other people who have the same first name and surname with you. If you go to Facebook and type your name, you may be surprised to see many people answering the same name with you.
In addition, this is another thing that can make it unique. It will be better you add what you do if you are using your personal name as a business name.
This is what I mean,
If your name is John Cypher and you are a photographer. You are to make your business name something like John Cypher Photography. Or if it’s a media, you can name it John Cypher Media.
- Very easy to get and does not require much research.
- There are situations where other people are answering the same name with you (Both surname and first name).
- People may not be able to buy your business since it’s a personal name.
Yes! Nobody would like to buy a business that has been established in another person’s name.
This method of naming your business is only applied when two or more persons come together to create a business or company (each of them becoming a co-founder).
As a co-founder, you work with your partner(s) and both of you agree unanimously on any decision made by the company or business.
Below are companies with the partnership method of choosing a business name.
Barnes and Noble
This is the largest bookseller in the US. The company name was formed when Charles Barnes’ son, William Barnes joined Clifford Noble and the business was named with their name joined together.
Do you have an HP computer? Of course, you know that they are one of the best computer producers in the world. The company can into existence through the Partnership of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard.
The business was named from the combination of both names Hewlett-Packard.
Ben & Jerry’s
This is an American company that deals with ice cream, yoghurt, and sorbet. The company name was formed from the name of their founders – Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.
Procter and Gamble (P&G)
This company deals with cleaning agents and personal care and it is headquartered in Ohio, US. The founders are William Procter and James Gamble.
So you’ve seen how the partnership method works. The two (or more) founders come together and join their name together to form the business or company.
However, if you have more contribution to your business or company (like 80-90%) more than your partner(s) or you have the highest shares and you wouldn’t like the combine names, you can use your own name or any other name but you have to add the word: Consolidated, Groups, & Co. etc
Josh Groups, Josh & Co. etc.
- Helps you to know the importance of synergy in business.
- You are a co-founder and cannot make an important decision without your partner.
- In a situation where there is no exit plan for the business, it can cause problems (especially to its inheritance).
#4. Naming backwards
This method is so fantastic. I did it and I discovered it makes sense.
In this method of naming a business, you bring a word (which can be your personal name, objects etc) and then rewrite it starting from the end.
For instance, let me make use of the word PETER
I will start from the end to write
R ___ E ___ T___ E ___ P
My final word is now RETEP. To make it more unique, I can now finalize my business name with RETEP Production Company.
That was amazing, right?
Now let’s take a look at a company that used this method to get their business name.
HARPO (Oprah Winfrey production company)
However, their one vital thing you must-do if you are going to use this method.
“You must make sure your resultant word can be pronounceable”
Yes! People should be able to pronounce it.
There are some words that may not work when you want to name backwards.
Let me give an instance with the word JOSH
Writing from the end, it will give me HSOJ.
The final word doesn’t make much sense and people can’t pronounce it (unless I remove the “H”). Just make sure you avoid such a mistake.
- It’s a very simple way to name your business (without racking your brain)
- You can simply use your name to do it.
- Sometimes your final word can mean something else in another language.
- Companies who use this method are not much.
#5. Number combination
Adding numbers to a word is another way you can choose your business name.
Sometimes, the number added can indicate time, days, week or number of people. For example, when you see 247 (Twenty-Four-Seven) or 365 (three-six-five) then it means that the business operates 24 hours in seven days or 365 days in a year respectively.
Let’s take a look at businesses that used this method to name their business.
This is a fashion business owned by Kierra Sheard, a popular gospel artiste.
According to Wikipedia, this business is a chain of convenience business stores and their products include coffees, prepared foods etc.
21th Century Fox
If you are good at watching movies, then you should know this company.
It is fully pronounced as twenty-four-seven Virtual Assistant. This business provides virtual assistant solutions to online stores and blogs.
However, combining a word with a number is still a great way to choose a business name.
- It keeps it simple, especially in the domain name.
- Some clients may consider it unprofessional.
#6. Acronyms and Abbreviation
This acronym or abbreviation method is another way you big companies chose their business name. This method is usually used when the business name you want to go for is long.
Check out these companies:
- Intel – Integrated, and electronics
- YAHOO! – Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.
You see that they all shortened their company names with the first letter in each of the words. You will also discover that the company’s domain names are bbc.com and cnn.com respectively instead of cablenewsnetwork.com … which is too long.
However, if you decide to use this method to choose your business name, come up with something awesome.
For example, if you are a graphic designer and your name is John.
You can say “JOHN GRAPHICS”.
And then use the acronym “JG” or “JOG” or “JOGRA”
- It keeps your business name simple and easy to pronounce.
- The domain name may not be available.
#7. Your Business Niche
Before you even think about choosing a business name, you should already know the niche you are going into.
The moment you decide your business niche, choosing your business name through this method wouldn’t be a herculean task for you.
I love this method of choosing a business name. This is because from the name itself, it helps your target audience to know what exactly your business is about.
Let’s take a look at these companies that used their niche to form a business name.
Rich Dad Company
This is Robert Kiyosaki’s company and they deal with Financial Intelligence and literacy. They help people learn how to invest, make money and follow the fast track instead of belonging to the rat race. I will recommend you to read Robert’s Books especially “Rich Dad Poor Dad”.
Their business niche is Domain Registration and Hosting. They provide a platform for people to buy a domain for their websites.
This is one of my favourite blogs. From just the name alone, you will know that it belongs to the niche “Blogging”. This blog provides information for bloggers who want to be successful and also make money from their blog. It is owned by Darren Rowse.
- Can be easily understood.
I don’t think there are any cons to this. But if you know of any, you can suggest in the comment box.
For most companies in the fintech industry, they usually add “pay” to their business or company name. These companies include:
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- PalmPay, etc.
If you want to start a Point-of-sales (POS) business or choose a POS business name, you can also structure your name like the Fintechs because you’re also providing financial services.
#8. Your Target Audience
The target audience method is also another way big companies choose their business name.
Target audience or clients are people your business or company wants to reach and sell their products to.
Smart Passive Income
Own by Pat Flynn. The target audience is obvious – those who want to become a boss or CEO and make passive income from their business.
- It can be easily understood without much explanation.
- Most of them are too long.
Finally, there are still some other methods out there that can help you choose the right business name.
I have an advice for you.
Anyone you are going for, make it simple. This post by buffer suggested that you should stick with two syllables like Facebook, Google, twitter etc did.
Also, avoid mistakes that can harm the future of your business. When you choose your business name, don’t start telling everybody. There are people who can steal business names and their domain.
However, if you must share it with someone, go to those you trust – mentors, coaches and business experts – before deciding on your business name.
I will like to hear your opinion. What method did you use to choose your business name and how long did it take you? If you haven’t decided your business name, what’s holding you?
Drop your comments.
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Still having a problem choosing your business name, try this Ultimate Business Name Generator