Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP: CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS NAME FOR YOUR START UP

By: Lolia On: 6:00:00 am
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    Do you have a name for your business? If yes, is it a registered name? If no, are you planning a name for the business? Are contemplating of changing your already existing business name? What’s the meaning and how does it sound to your and the public? A business name is one of the elements of a business that drives traffic to the business. All we would discuss in this post.

    Before going into our discussion, we need to know what a business name is all about.

    A Business name is a name you want the general public to use in identifying your business. It’s What you tell the public to call your business from the onset. You have to be creative in choosing a name and you just have to get it right. A business begins with a name — the cornerstone of company identity that shapes branding, company tone and first impressions.

    In naming your business you need to consider a name that draws business in itself. First impression matters; potential customers will read so much meaning to your business name at the first instance.

    Creating a good business name takes some thought but is one of the most important things you will do during the process of starting a business. Starting off with a weak name may not give your brand a good image. Imagine what a poor image can do to a business.

    How you create a good business name depends on the information you’re exposed to. Some people prefer going to a branding experts, no matter the cost.
    You may not have the resources for such hassles at this stage. So, how do you create a good business name? Get your family, friends and/or colleagues together for a business name brainstorming session and work through the basic guide below:

    1.     A good Business name has to be memorable: Your business name should be easy to pronounce and spelt by your customers and potential customers. An easy name can be found in business directories without stress. Some of your customers may want to give your name to others for patronage.

    When the name is not easily to spelt or pronounced, you might lose business; there is the possibility of the potential customer getting weary in trying to get the name. What good is word-of-mouth advert to your business when people that know you and your business cannot pronounce or spell it to others?

    So, choosing a business name such as 'Kpakpalogunga' is not a good idea, more especially when you’re just a beginner. You might think you want it to be unique. Fine! There is no problem about that, but it must be easy to pronounced and spelt.

    2.     The visual element: Naturally, when people read or hear a thing, they try to picture it. When people see or hear a thing, in their minds they want to associate it with something. Same goes with a business name. With this in mind, it is advisable to make your business name have some elements of what you do. Attach a strong visual element to your business name so it can be part of your advertising tool. A name that will make a ‘good statement’.

    3.     Positive tone: Choose a name that has strength while being pronounced. Use words that have credibility so as to gain the confidence of potential customers. Your business name is a song that people will dance to. If the tone of a song is not inviting, people will definitely not dance to it. What this means is that when choosing a name for your business, you need to choose a name with positive sound. Choosing a name with a weak tone can put potential customers off. Example, 'Kpakpalogunga'.The name should be as sharp as possible.

    4.     Use a descriptive name: A descriptive name helps frame your company better than a generic one. For example, consider Ultimate foods vs. Ultimate services. Adding this qualifier instantly tells potential customers what your business is all about. With a descriptive name, you are more specific and the name will always speak in your absence.

    Think global when starting up a business, but you must not necessarily start big to meet up the international standard. The point here is that your business name should reflect what you do, so that people (far and near) will have a clue about what you do when they see or hear your business name.

     If you’re going into cloth making, for instance, you need to add something like designs, fashion, concepts, signature to the end of your name. Example, Soradi designs or Soradi signature. If it’s a consulting business, you need to do the same. Zainab construction for  a construction business, and so on. Descriptive but short. With this, your business can be easily spotted at the market place.

    5. Keep it simple and short: Make it fairly short and simple. When the founder of Kodak colors was to get a name for the business. He was advised to choose a name with not more than 5 letters. He ended up with the name ‘Kodak’. Today, if you’re hearing the name for the first time, you’ll barely forget it except your mind is elsewhere. Simple name attracts customers during promotions.

    Choose a name that will fit well on a business card, look good displayed on a sign post or in an advert, and perhaps even a business name that will serve well as a domain name and show up well in search when you put up your website. So keep it as short as possible.

    6.  Translate the name: When you choose a name that is already in use by someone else, you can still translate the name in a different language. I remember helping someone process a company  in 2009. She insisted on using EXCEL as her company name, but the name wasn’t available to her when the search was done. I had to advise her to translate the name in another language. At the end of the day, she settled for the Italian translation. You can even translate it in your mother tongue provided it’s simple and short.

    8. Avoid initials: We all know the business landscape has an affinity for acronyms, but try to avoid using initials for your company name. Example: A.K.D. consult. A random collection of letters doesn’t inspire an emotional connection.  Emotions move people to patronize a business. These letters might mean something to you, but how many people can you sit and explain the meaning of each letter? 

    Explaining a business name reduces your brand in a way. The impact you are supposed to make will be reduced.


    9. Opt for a flexible name: A flexible name will accommodate other things you’ll likely add to the business in the future. For a recording business, instead of Obinna recording, use Obinna Entertainment. Instead of Lolianna supplies, use Lolianna logistics services.

    10. Funny Name: You can use a funny name; people remember funny names more often than regular names. Using a funny name depends on the nature of the  business you are doing. If you are doing a cooperate business, it may not represent your brand the right way.

     Funny names attract attention ( arouse curiosity) ; people will want to know what the business is all about. Over time you will realize the business is popular without a formal advert. Imagine the names Yahoo, Google, facebook, Apple, Twitter, Bing, etc. I’m sure you reacted in a funny way the first time you had them.

    Conclusion: In choosing a name, you can tell people around you what you want to achieve with the name, then brainstorm with them. The most important thing is not to get too attached to any one name during the brainstorming process.
    Sometimes inspiration will strike you and you may not need anyone to help you choose a name. in all, try as much as you can to choose the right name.

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