Naming your business is one of the most important tasks in your business planning. The business name you select and what will best represent you and what your entrepreneurial venture is about, is a real issue that entrepreneurs must resolve early in the development of their business. Research shows that it is wise to have about three business names that you are comfortable with when you visit your business registration office. A name search is conducted to determine if the name that you provided is already in use by another business. In the event that it is not available, you can draw on the other names that you came up with as alternative suitable names. It is also advised by business naming experts that you should choose a name that you like and that you can live with for many years, although a business may go through a name change as they change.
Business naming experts also recommend that in choosing a name for your business, you must be careful that it does not lock your business within a particular geographical location; doing so can limit your ability to expand and access a wider target audience. For example, with globalization many businesses now have the opportunity to go global, thus expanding their market, and a name that suggest that you are only available for business in a particular area or town would limit your access. Therefore, think of the possibilities for expansion before deciding upon a name.
Research also shows that the name that you choose must be unique to you. The business name should reflect you and not another business entity. Make sure that there isn’t any confusion as to whose business it is when potential clients do a search. Remember that prospective clients can easily find you by conducting an Internet search or while shopping in your district. Having a unique business name also means that you can effectively brand your business and have a unified presence in the marketplace. Your website, business card, twitter, Facebook, blog and other marketing tools can use the same name and image.
Very often you find that you come upon a business with a name so close to another that you cannot discern which company it is. For example, a business with a name such as “Cheryl’s Original Designs” and another who chooses the name “Cheryl’s Original Design,” is much too close to be an accident. If the two businesses are located in the same commercial area or has an online presence in the same business sector, this tells your client and prospective clients that you lack originality and may also put in question your credibility. It may also imply that you are unethical and a thief. Trust then becomes an issue in your relationship building with customers and other businesses with which you will like to partner with, and may therefore limit your business opportunities. People question your authenticity and trustworthiness, and may not do business with you. Clients and prospective clients loose trust in your business offerings when they come to know that your business name is someone else’s or that it is so close that you are “piggy backing” on another business marketing and branding.
Research also shows that using another company's business name can also result in a lawsuit. This can result in you having a great financial lost. You may have already established a business presence in a location, you have customers, lots of inventory, and you now have to change your business name. Naming your business is like parents naming their baby. Parents often think long and hard before choosing a name for their precious little ones; and we chose names that the child can live with throughout his or her lifetime. We put love and care into the naming process. Similar to naming a business, you must choose a name that you can live with, a name that is unique to you and what your business focuses on, and should consider both short-term and long-term objectives.
About the Author
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is the founder and chief consultant of Cottle's Professional Consulting. Dr. Cottle is an education and business development consultant, and has written several post for Crafted Spaces. She holds a Masters degree in Instructional Technology and a Doctorate degree in Education and Computer Applications. She has worked as a consultant for over ten years and is also a social media expert, who works with individuals and organizations to achieve their professional and business goals. Dr. Cottle also provides women entrepreneurs with valuable business development resources through her CPC Women in Business group and other initiatives.
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