a new business isn’t easy. In fact, when you’re shooting for something creative, interesting, and not yet copyrighted, it can be downright difficult. Even Google started out with the less appealing name “Backrub” before the website began to pick up in popularity. Once that happened, the name “Google” was chosen because a google is the number 1 with 100 zeroes behind it. It was meant to convey the idea of infinite results that the search engine could find you with a simple click of a button. While Google is much better than Backrub, the company didn’t start out with that name, and the winner was only chosen after the fact.

Since your first shot at a name might not be your best, here are a couple of tips that can help you brainstorm your way into a great name before the end of the week.

Which Words Describe Your Small Business?

Which words come to mind when you’re trying to describe your small business? Remember, you’re not trying to describe just any small business, but your business in particular. Maybe your company is a tech-savvy, innovative startup. Maybe it’s a quirky, entertaining, customer-based office. Whatever the words might be, write them all down on a piece of paper or in a word document. Come up with a few dozen words, let them rest, and look at them again later. Do you see anything that might be part of a good business name?

URL Availability

Because the Internet has become quite crowded, URLs are sometimes more limited than we’d like them to be. This means that you’ll need to find a name that not only fits into a URL, but is easy to type as well. Since success without a website is difficult these days, you’ll need to find the perfect URL before you even think about naming your business something. It will surprise you as soon as you begin to look for a URL just how many are taken, and it may take you a few tries to get it right. Stick with .com if you can, but the new domains, as well as .me and .net domains, are becoming more popular because of the lack of .com availability.

Don’t Forget to Test, Test, Test

Do you finally have a name in mind? Now you can move onto the next step, which is testing out your name on your target audience. When you say you’re the CEO of the name of your business, does it run together smoothly? Do you have any trouble pronouncing it, or understanding what you’re saying? Check out your competitors. How do their names compare? A little bit of paid market research never hurt anyone, either, especially if you’re not sure you love the name yet. Remember that the name you do choose will be the name of your business eternally, which means you may have to stare at it longer than you expect. Choose a good one.

There’s a lot in a name, and as long as you check availability, how easily it’s pronounced, and find the right words to convey your company’s unique meaning, you’re on the right track to a great business name.

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