Six Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
When Naming their Small Businesses

 

Naming your small business is one of the toughest and most important decisions you’ll make. Your name is how people will recognize you, know you, and talk about you. It has to be good. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs miss the mark. Here are six common mistakes you should avoid at all costs when deciding on a name for your business.

Inventing a Name
Lots of successful business – think Google – use a name you can’t find in the dictionary. It’s original and interesting, but it’s not for the small business owner. A made-up name will mean nothing to anyone who hears it; they may even think it’s silly. You’ll need to spend a lot of money on advertising and branding before your invented name becomes accepted, understood, and associated with your business.

Using Unorthodox Spelling
Even if you use words that are recognizable, don’t disfigure them by using an unorthodox or made-up spelling. You may think an original spelling is a good idea for your original business, but it’s not. It can also come across as silly, and more importantly people won’t get it right. Unless you become famous, you’ll become a constant spell-checker. If you start your business with a “ph” instead of the proper spelling with an “f,” for example, it will make it harder for people to locate you in online searches.

Playing It Safe
Boring, vanilla names can also be a terrible decision. As an entrepreneur, you should know that playing it safe never brings a high level of success. When you play it safe, you fly under the radar and never rise above mediocre or average. If your name isn’t anything special, no one will remember it, and your business certainly won’t seem like the innovative, exciting, successful company you envision it as.

Using Initials or Family Names
Using a last or family name is a common way to name a business, but it’s not advisable. Your family name means nothing to anyone outside of your family; it doesn’t describe your business in any way. It can be easy to forget or hard to pronounce. Initials are even worse. They are way too cryptic. You don’t want people trying to guess what your business really is. They’re also ever harder to remember.

Using a Location
If you use a region or location to describe your business, you could be unintentionally limiting yourself. If, or when, your small business gets big, the location name may no longer be an accurate description. People may assume your services are limited to that area, and after operating under that name for so long it will be difficult to change it without confusing people along the way.

Making It Too “Out There”
Sometimes entrepreneurs try too hard to come up with a very original and interesting name. They try so hard, that they end up thinking of something that’s way out of reach for the average person. Obscure references that most people won’t understand, or names that are so quirky they just become plain weird or creepy, are mistakes. You want to attract customers, not make them feel lost.