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Finding The Best Name For Your Online Business

So you’re starting your own business! Congratulations! Starting your own business is like giving birth to your own child (though hopefully with a lot less pain and screaming), since in both cases you’ve just created something special that now requires you to nurture it and help it grow and thrive.

And, of course, you have to name it.

But since naming your business “Steve” isn’t really a recommended option, that’s where the analogy falls apart, and you have to come up with a good name for your online business. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

A good name for your online business could make people more receptive to frequenting it

Don’t Be Too Obscure

Like the article “6 Winning Strategies for Brainstorming Business Names” points out, “Not only must it convey what you do, it should be memorable and differentiate your business from competitors while convincing consumers to believe in you.”

Calling your dog grooming business “Lush” may sound hip and trendy, but seriously now, when have you ever heard of that adjective used in conjunction with describing a dog of any kind? Creativity and uniqueness is one thing, but there are limits.

Think Of How It Will Look In A URL

Since we’re focusing chiefly on online businesses, it’s a foregone conclusion that you have a website for it, which means you have a domain name. If said URL is going to include the name of the business, then make sure it looks okay when spelled out and running together.

For instance, and granted they probably did this on purpose, there was a site where you could purchase pens, and they had an island motif, so the site was called Pen Island. Remove the capitals and the space between both words, and you have the name of a rather interesting “land”.

Then there’s a site for SEO’s, which focused on black hat tactics. The site’s URL is “Blackhatebook”, which can certainly convey a rather racist vibe if you look at it very carefully.

Think ahead, people!

Avoid The One-Shot Joke

On an old Simpsons episode, Homer and his pals decided to put together a barbershop quartet, which resulted in him suggesting “Now let’s come up with a funny name that will sound less funny the more people say it”, or words to that extent.

Yes, like it does for so many other areas of life, the Simpsons gives us practical and profound wisdom here. Someone may come up with a name that makes everyone laugh the first time they hear it, but when the novelty wears off, it ends up being more of an irritant.

To avoid falling into this trap, write the name down and come back to it the following day. Then ask yourself two questions: “Is the name still funny?”, and “Was there any alcohol consumed by any party during the time the name was suggested?” If the answers are “No” and “Yes” respectively, then it’s back to the drawing board.

Make Sure It’s Not Already Taken

Finally, make sure that any serious choices haven’t already been taken. A simple look-see on the search engine of your choice should clear this up in no time.

The right name can actually compel people to check out your online business. The wrong name could make them pass you by. Get some creative people together, brainstorm over names, keep the drinking to a minimum, then see if everyone likes it a day or two later. If it passes the test, then congratulations! It’s an online business! Cigars for everyone!

If you need some help on creating more than just a name, as in, say, an entire ecommerce site “How To Design An eCommerce Website For A Successful Online Business”.

Written By

Born in the Boston area in 1959, I started writing in 1985. I live in Nashua NH with my wife and three cats. We have four kids in our blended family. I am an utter geek who's into gaming, horror, SF/fantasy, the Red Sox, trains, running, history, and a bunch of other things.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. kevin

    November 17, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Having just launched my own start up site, i can attest to the why’s and why not to’s of naming your business. In the end i discovered its more about “what” you do than “what” your called. Great article and very well written, Thanks!

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