Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tips for Startups and Small Businesses on Naming Companies

Hamdoulilah, my professional dreams are becoming real as long as I go in my career, I am working hard to realize as much as I can.

One of them was having my own startup (IT company), and I have been accepted for the national competition ANPT, a big project lunched by the Algerian government to help youth entrepreneurs to realize their small businesses by offering them coaching and trainings in a lot of fields (management, finance…). a big thank you for both Sohaib and Mohamed for helping me.

Now I am looking for a sexy name for my startup, and here are some ideas I found.

Think about what you want your company name to convey:

the company name is an important part of your company, this is why prospective customers have to recognize what services the business provides within the name.

Brainstorm to identify name possibilities:

Think about words that describe your products/services . Think about words that describe your competitors and words that describe the differences between your products and services and those of your competitors.

Keep the name short, simple, and easy to write and remember:

Examples: Apple, Google, Microsoft, ITAlgeria…If your customers can’t remember your name or can’t spell it for others, it will make it difficult for them to help promote your business.

Avoid names that are too narrow or too literal:

Make sure that the company name can evolve with the business. For example, if you name your company iPod Accessories and later expand to sell accessories for other products, your original name will be too narrow and restrictive.

Avoid decisions by committee but do “test” your company name with others:

It’s tempting to involve our friends, family, employees and customers in finding a name for our company. Once you’ve selected a few possible choices, you should share them with a few trusted people to get some feedback about the name.

Be careful with geographic names:

Some people use their city, state or region as part of their company name. If you plan only to work in your city, then this might serve you well. But a geographic name could hinder you later.

Avoid obscure words:

Obscure words or references might be difficult to spell or pronounce. especially sensitive if you’re trying to reach a mass audience (such as on the Internet). Obscure or invented names can work – Xerox is a great example – but this often requires a huge marketing budget and tremendous effort.

Avoid trends:

Be careful to identify the trends and to avoid following them. For example, in the late 1990′s, it was trendy to use a .com after your company name if your company was an Internet business. After the “.com” became synonymous with having no business model and those companies who survived very quickly dropped “.com” from their names.

Consider whether you can register a domain and obtain a trademark:

Look for a company name that is also available for registration as a domain (ideally, as a .com domain) because people often place too much value on the domain.

Make sure that you select a company name that you’ll be able to register for trademark protection.

this what I have found, if you have more, do not hesitate to add your suggestions on how to name their startup or small business Smile


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  2. thanks. I'll be updating that guide every few days
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