Why is your business name so important?
What is there in a business name by the way?
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world`s pre-eminent dramatist.
In his book, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote, ’’What`s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’’
By this, William Shakespeare said, name doesn`t change anything.
If you call rose by another name (i.e. a bad name), it will still smell good anyway.
I want to disagree.
Human beings are so weak that we judge book by its cover.
Do you know?
If you meet two ladies in a party who are equally beautiful, but one is bearing Queen and the other bearing Lindo, before you know it, your heart starts preferring Queen to Lindo.
Not because of anything rational, but for their names.
Your business name is very important.
When I read on the internet that there are some “naming companies’’ who are charging above $50,000 to help you name and design your business` name, I know why a name actually can be the difference between a business` success and failure.
People use your business` name to decide whether they will do business with you or not (just as a man could just decide to love Queen instead of Lindo).
Now, let me give you some tips about how to choose a good business name.
1. What are you selling?
What is your product or service all about? Let your name reveal it in such a way that anyone who is seeing your name for the first time will have an idea of what your business is all about. For example, when a man came across our name on facebook about two days ago, though we didn`t write anything where he saw it to indicate what we are doing, the man commented by saying ‘’empowering youths’’.
This shows he has an idea of what the Africa Business Classroom is all about.
When you first see our name, Africa Business Classroom, you`re likely to have an idea that here we are teaching Africans how to start and succeed in business.
Let your name reveal what your business is all about.
2. Make your business name easy to remember.
If you`re doing business in Nigeria and you`re using a French name, you will spend too much on marketing or your business will die. If your name is not general pronounceable in your market, you`re in trouble. Why? Because people will need to remember your name if they will have to patronize you or recommend your products to their friends.
3. Don`t choose a business name that your market already know as evil.
Do you think common sense should tell everyone this? I`ll prove you wrong. You see, even if there is a popular hilarious movie character, his name (if chosen for your business name) could affect your business
That`s why you may need a little research before choosing your name.
If for instance you are having a medical business (hospital for example) and you name it, ‘’Romeo & Juliet hospital’’, how does that sound?
Somewhere about childish love, I guess.
That name, I think, doesn`t connote seriousness expected from a hospital.
Do a little research to know if that name you`re planning to choose has not been known with some ugliness, even in the next state to yours (because one day you might grow your business to that state)
4. Don`t let your business name be too long.
Look at the biggest companies` names, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook etc. why a very short name? For the reason I stated in the point 2 above … because you`ll need your customers to remember your business name … easily.
Even if your own name cannot be very short, then, it must be easy to remember or you will publicize its abbreviation.
That`s what IBM did. That`s what MTN did.
Because their names are long and forgettable, they adopted the abbreviation of it.
Similar thing is what we are doing here at the ABC.
It`s very easy for people to remember ABC, and if anyone could remember ABC, it`s easier for him to remember what ABC stands for … Africa Business Classroom.
5. Don`t use your personal name.
Your market is likely to respect an organization than individual, even if it`s a small business. Even if you`re having a barbing saloon business, people are more likely to respect ‘’Neat Cut Saloon’’ than ‘’Francis Lude Saloon’’.
Observe the way these two names sound and you will understand what I’m saying.
Another side to it is that your business will one day grow and get to a land where your name actually means nonsense.
If for instance you`re having a typical Ghanaian’s name and name your business after yourself. One day your business may expand to South Africa, then you`ll start having problem with your market.
Someone will ask me here, what about Dangote who used his name for his business?
Your name can work for your business, even if it sounds like nonsense, but you will need a whole lot of money to promote your business (which i think you can avoid).
More so, some name actually sound generic, like Dangote. It`s easier to call and remember.
6. Check your business name`s availability on the internet.
There is what we call domain availability (you can google that). We check through the internet to know maybe the name we have in mind has not been taken by another business.
Though this is only useful for an online business, any successful business is eventually going to be online.
Even if you start small now, you are not planning to remain small, are you?
It may be good to check that name and buy its domain name (if you can).
That doesn`t mean that you must have a website now, though it`s nice if you can.
7. Check the availability of your intending business name with the government body responsible for companies’ regulation in your country.
In my experience, this is very easy and cheap. The last time I tried this in Nigeria (with Corporate Affairs Commissions) I spent less than #1000.
Now, your business is named.