Starting a Business: Naming


Is choosing a great company name one of the hardest parts of starting a business…or what? Aside from deciding on a great product/ service that you can offer the world, agonizing over what to name yourself is pretty darned hard. It’s something that needs to embody your values, your company’s distinctive characteristics, and something that’s worthy of a multi million rand dollar pound enterprise.

Here are a few pointers to help you find the perfect name.

  • You’ll need to decide whether you want to fit in or stand out. Fitting in is great, but it’s also safe and just a little bit boring. Why not dive straight in and choose something unique and memorable. But not too unique – you want an equal balance of memorable and slightly different.
  • Choose a name with positive connotations. You want to avoid as much negativity in your name choice as possible. An experienced logo designer will help you avoid all subtle negative symbolism in your identity design, but it’s good to avoid this association in the naming too.
  • Ultimately, every business wants to be on the innernet (who really pronounces the t these days!). And this is where choosing something slightly unique comes into play. Let’s say you happen to sell cupcakes (have you noticed our obsession with this sweet, soft, carb laden goodness?). is taken. is also taken. Cupcakes is just too generic. is a more likely option, but rather negative which contradicts point number 2. is also available. But as much as we love all that alliteration in Classy Comforting Carbs, it’s a mouthful (pun intended) for the average typist to misspell. You’ll need to consider your target market, and whether you think they’ll type in your website URL easily enough…or will they get tired before they even hit the part. How about just ? It tells the truth, has a cute alliteration, and is easy enough for us to type!
  • Test your name. Not only should you do a quick and easy CIPC test to check the availability for registering your name, but check with your friends and family. They love you enough to tell you the truth, so why not use and abuse their love and honesty.

Was that sort of helpful… I’d love to hear your thoughts on naming.

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