choosing a company name

Are you looking to venture off on your own—either as a consultant, freelancer, or something else? If you’ve been working in the corporate training world, then you likely already know that a great company name is a critical step toward success. 

Choosing the right name can jumpstart your side hustle or new career. Alternatively, picking the wrong name can pose tricky challenges you didn’t expect. So, before you make a final decision, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Should you use your own name or a business name?

First, do you want to use your own name or a business name? Either option can work—the correct answer just depends on your particular goals. 

If you’ve already made a name for yourself in the industry, using your own name might make it easier to gain business. Plus, it’ll give customers the sense of a personal touch. Still, it can also impose limitations, such as making your company seem too small for larger jobs—even if you hire staff later down the road. Conversely, using a unique company name clearly communicates what you’re all about and leaves room to grow. The downside is that you’ll also have to build a positive reputation from the ground up.

The right option requires getting familiar with the advantages and disadvantages on both sides of the coin. So, keep exploring, and don’t hesitate to use others for inspiration. Check out this article to read how others in the industry chose their company names.

2. Does the name sound too similar to competitors? 

Ready yourself for success by choosing a name that sets you apart. You never want potential customers to confuse your name with that of another business in the same or even a different industry. Just imagine the headache of getting a bunch of messages or calls intended for another similar-sounding organization! 

So, search for your desired business name on the internet. Are you in the clear, or is another company already using it? Make adjustments as needed until your name is one-of-a-kind. With your own unique company name, your business can thrive as its own brand and identity.

3. Can you spell and say the name easily? 

If you’re having trouble finding a name that isn’t already taken, you might feel tempted to use a creative misspelling—like the rideshare company Lyft. But that’s probably not a good idea unless you have tons of money to spend on building brand awareness. Besides, you’ll likely grow tired of having to constantly correct people if the misspelling makes the name harder to say. So, choose a name you can spell and pronounce easily. That way, people are more likely to remember it, recommend it, and quickly find it when they type your company name into a search field. 

4. Can you register the URL?

Establishing a URL/domain (.com preferably) gives the impression that you’re a professional, and it provides a place for potential customers to learn what you’re all about. Even if you don't plan to create a website right away, reserving a URL ensures that no one else takes it down the line. So, confirm whether you can get a domain that matches your desired company name. As your company grows, you’ll be grateful to have it. 

5. Is the name available on social media?

You can also grow your business with social media—sharing engaging content that attracts new customers to your door. So, make sure your desired company name is available on those platforms as well.

Sound like a lot of work? Don’t stress! Your business doesn’t need to be on every social media platform. You can focus your efforts. Consider your target audience and where they’re most likely to spend their time. Or speed things up even more by recruiting the help of websites like namecheckr—which allows you to check a potential brand name’s availability on multiple social media sites at once.  

6. Do you like the name?

A company name is something that will be with you for a long time, so make sure you’re happy with it. While it’s great to get feedback from others—especially for bringing potential drawbacks to light—this is ultimately your decision. You get to decide whether it’s a name you’d be proud to call your business. Choose something you’ll be thrilled to say over and over again to all your future clients.

In Summary

As you can tell, there are a few things to consider before deciding on a company name. I hope this article makes it easier for you to confidently choose one that best suits your goals, stands out from the pack, and is easy for customers to remember and find online. And—most of all—I hope it’s a name you love!

Looking for more ways to grow your future company? Check out the following resources for more ideas:

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