Share Your Best Advice for Choosing a Business Name

21 replies
Hello Warriors,

I hope all is well with you, and that your lives are abound with many blessings. I've been lurking around these parts for some time now, and I appreciate the wealth of information you all share. I do intend to make myself comfortable, so get used to seeing my avatar!

Now, let's move on to the subject of this post. I need your assistance with a pressing matter, and any advice or suggestions that you can offer are very much appreciated.

I've finally decided to start my own marketing consultancy, but I'm having a bit (actually a lot) of trouble settling on a business name. I do know that I want to offer a full suite of marketing services, as well as business consulting. I've read up on the basic guidelines for choosing a business name, and I'm still bumping my head against the wall. I want something creative and fresh, while at the same time conveying a certain level of professionalism.

I'm going to be providing clients with the typical marketing-related web services including: web design, content development, SEO, email marketing, social media management, and mobile marketing. I'm sure that I'll offer more, but you get the gist of what I'm trying to do here. I will also be doing consultations from time to time, although, I'm thinking that this may become my lead service after a while; any marketing services would be secondary and exclusive to those who have gone through a full consult with me. Anyhow, that's to discuss at another time.

I want to assist small business owners with more than just their "web stuff." For instance, I've been developing some ideas for traditional advertising programs. Nothing that I'd say is new, but you know, with a twist here and there.

So, I need to come up with a business name that is versatile, and allows me some room for growth.

After brainstorming a bit, I came to a couple of conclusions about my possible choices for business name. Keep in mind, these are generalizations, but, you'll see my point.

If I were going to deal strictly in online marketing and web services some good examples of business names would be ABC Web Marketing, Horizon Web Consulting, or Profit Web Media. Of course, the use of the word 'web' isn't always the case when it comes to online marketing firms, but it certainly creates the impression of that exact type of company. This is what I want to stay away from since I'm not going to be focusing solely on online marketing services.

Since I'm going to be mixing online marketing with traditional methods, I need a business name that possibly reflects that ideal. I'm leaning towards business names like Superior Concepts Consulting or Innovative Business Marketing. I think that those names are kind of cheesy, but you get my drift. These examples aren't restrictive, and they have a more polished feel to them.

Now, I know that there aren't any absolute rules for naming a business, but there are some recommended guidelines. I'm having a hard time sticking to them, though. Most people would say, and I agree, "If it sounds good and it feels right, go with it."

That's some great advice there, but that's just it. Nothing seems to feel right to me. Yeah, I've come up with some pretty decent possibles, and they sound great too. I just can't think of anything that feels right. I'm under a ton of stress right now, so my creativity is a bit off. Even so, I'm disappointed in myself for not being able to overcome this tiny obstacle.

A lot of you are probably saying to yourselves that I should just do business in my own name to start, but I've got to make a decision about this. I'd rather do it now than later because I don't want it to put a dent in my productivity. Once I get everything started, I'm going full throttle and not looking back!

For those of you who have started your own marketing consultancy, what steps did you take to name your business? Did you brainstorm or just make up something off the top of your head?

Do you favor the use of either of the words consulting or marketing or media? If not, what are your reasons for being against it?

Is there anything in particular that inspired the business name you chose? And lastly, do you have any advice you could share with me (and others) that might be having difficulty deciding on a name for their consulting business?


P.S. I'm really struggling to decide on a name for my consulting business. I've been at it for longer than I'd like to say, and I really want to get moving forward. And no, this isn't an article...it's just a well formatted collection of my thoughts. I just hope that all my posts don't turn out like this. Although, that could be a good thing.

And please, if you have a tip that could help me get over this hurdle, then please do share it! Not only will it help me, but it could offer some solace to someone else that comes along having the same problem.

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to all of your responses.
#business name #consulting business #offline consulting
  • Profile picture of the author SgtBadass
    When my business partner and I decided on one it was after a particularly drunken night in the pub. He came up with the idea of joining our names up and blam - an Internet consultancy name was born.

    Too many people spend too much time on their name, then they go and create a poxy website with a picture of their ugly face looking out with thumbs up saying "Trust me! I'm a web dude!"

    Also, if you want your name this year, never ask a 'marketing' graduate for help. They'll come up with something that resembles a clue in the Times Crossword.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ouroboros
    Well, the OP could be accused of just posting an article, but I'll let it slide because it is kinda good info, don't restrict your business name so that it limits your offerings.

    But don't spend weeks agonizing over it...customers on the www are a bit more understanding than offline customers.

    Just name it and then do something!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Aandice Austin
    thank you for you posting
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick30
    I wouldnt pay someone for a name, just be original!
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    • Profile picture of the author truly_gifted
      Originally Posted by SgtBadass View Post

      When my business partner and I decided on one it was after a particularly drunken night in the pub. He came up with the idea of joining our names up and blam - an Internet consultancy name was born.

      Too many people spend too much time on their name, then they go and create a poxy website with a picture of their ugly face looking out with thumbs up saying "Trust me! I'm a web dude!"

      Also, if you want your name this year, never ask a 'marketing' graduate for help. They'll come up with something that resembles a clue in the Times Crossword.
      Well, I'm not in the fortunate position of having a business partner. It's not something that I'd even remotely considered. I must admit, though, that's certainly an unusual way for deciding a business name. I don't think I'll be spending any drunken nights in a pub anytime soon...I'm certain of it.

      As for the comment on the website, mine has been in development for more than a couple of months now. I take my business endeavors very seriously, hence the reason that I don't want to just make up a business name and then regret it down the line.

      And concerning the marketing grad, I don't personally know any, so it won't happen by intention. I'm sure there are probably a few on this forum though...

      Originally Posted by Nick30 View Post

      I wouldnt pay someone for a name, just be original!
      Originally Posted by Nick30 View Post

      I wouldnt pay someone for a name, just be original!
      As far as being original, "I'm trying!"

      I wonder has anyone else has this much trouble choosing a business name. While I don't think it's something to be taken lightly, I would have never forseen it being this difficult. I'm really thinking of giving myself a deadline to make a decision, and hope that it doesn't turn out to be a mistake...
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    First a caution: if it is taking this long to just decide on a name for the business, you may be vulnerable to procrastination in a big way. I would set time limits for projects and FORCE decisions, when necessary.

    As to a name, try "GSTEVENS, PROFIT STRATEGIST" or "STEVENS GROUP, Marketing Strategies" or "STEVENS MEDIA MARKETING" or, I give up!
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author truly_gifted
      Originally Posted by brucerby View Post

      First a caution: if it is taking this long to just decide on a name for the business, you may be vulnerable to procrastination in a big way. I would set time limits for projects and FORCE decisions, when necessary.

      As to a name, try "GSTEVENS, PROFIT STRATEGIST" or "STEVENS GROUP, Marketing Strategies" or "STEVENS MEDIA MARKETING" or, I give up!
      _____
      Bruce
      You know, I sat down and did just that....I forced the decision.

      I'm not one to just "give up" at anything, so that wasn't even an option. Anyhow, after my last post in this thread, I decided to give myself 24 hours to come up with something, and I stuck to it.

      I brainstormed and jotted down everything I could think of, no matter how stupid it or foolish it seemed to me; I honestly wanted to quit because I felt like I was just wasting my time, but I kept at it anyway. Then, after weeding out the obvious bad choices for business names, I consulted with a few people on their opinions. We got the list narrowed to 3 names, and I just picked one. I told myself that the decision was final, and that was the end of it.

      Overall, this has been quite a frustrating process, but I'm glad that I saw it through to success. Again, I would like to thank all of you that gave your suggestions and advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I like just about anything with the keyword "Media Group".

    I have my brand setup as "Catchy Word Here Media Group".

    This covers any direction I want to take the business.

    A few examples: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=%22media+group%22+site%3Acom
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  • Profile picture of the author davechan
    When we picked our business name we chose one that is always keyword optimized. In other words, the company name was based on whether people search for the keyword online or not. It fits us well especially since we're in the celebrity marketing business. In fact, not only that but we made the whole domain the company name, LLC.

    So, we got a double benefit of being an optimized keyword with lots of online traffic and rank #1 or #2 in our space for AD Publishing.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      My company is Manly Media.

      Like it for two reasons.

      It's more memorable with two short words starting with the same letter.

      Media can cover both online and offline with plenty of service categories
      in which you may wish to pursue and delete as you move forward.

      If you add the word "research" to media, it has an even stronger aura.

      Some of the biggest and longest companies in history have had the founder name in it.

      So you can combine all three to come up with Stevens Research And Media.

      Google didn't get big because they optimized their name to be well placed in the search engines.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author electronik69
    My Company is Clockwork Marketing

    It was either that or epic marketing solutions,

    The reason why I chose Clockwork Marketing was because I was hoping people get the relation between that and a A Clockwork Orange (sort of like a marketing consultancy which breaks all the rules) that's how i sort of want to come across.

    Also I like it because it has marketing in the title
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    • Profile picture of the author MrIMVO
      I'm coming a bit late to the party but I was got a lot of help from the book "Pop" by Sam Horn. You can go through her book in about 2 or 3 hours and come out the other end with a business name you really like.

      I tend to also focus on 'benefits' for the customer and build that into the name.

      m
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  • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
    For a branding effect, you may want to incorporate your last name in your consultancy name. So say your last name is Johnson, you can do "Johnson Marketing Group". Or if your last name is Owens, you could do "Owens Advertising Alliance". If you're services are top notch, you should also promote yourself around the city in addition to doing marketing for your clients.

    If your services are indeed good and clients are thrilled with the results that you brung them, you could give them your business card and ask them for a referral. There's actually alot of things that you can do to get your business known around your local town, but since you're going to be a marketing consultant, I think you know this already. Good luck with your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Iqball
      Good info here that may help to answer your branding questions:
      go this site: <smallbranding.com>, which has good solid info
      and presentation. Also you can download a "Branding Info Material Pack"
      from <sr1.elementfx.com>.

      This has good materials on starting do's and don'ts on the branding
      for small businesses including help on names etc.

      Hope this can help you.
      Best of the luck :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Firstly you need to decide what you want:

    Functional
    Invented
    Evocative

    Then you can narrow down your choices.
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    Listen to davechan! Make your business name your domain name if you want to be found in your local area via search. If you want a fancy catchy name for your business card or LinkedIn profile then have at it. Do your keyword research and use that to create the biz/domain name. If you have all of that matching, do your citations, and basic SEO you will be in a much better place for being found.

    Heck, create a bunch of biz names and domains like that for all of your specialties. Get found for everything you can. Domain names are cheap ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce99
    so many posts, so little time.

    yes you can just whack your name in front of the word media, and be vanilla flavored but maybe you would like to do what the big companies do, and look at the branding implications behind names. there are plenty of sites that will give you good advice on branding company names - go search. if you are more into the marketing side than just being an online company, you may want to look at that.

    then look at what your logo might look like, and can you answer the phone for the next ten years stating your name. will you grow tired of it?

    My company name is generic, because i used the generic keywords to make up my url, so what i rely on is a great logo, vivid colors and all the other things. I also think it is useful to have your company name the same as your url, so people dont get confused.

    As a by the way, while this goes against what I said in the first paragraph, I did it because I want to appeal state wide and my name gives the appearance of a larger company than I am when I am starting out - without being too grandiose.
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    • Profile picture of the author roypreece
      Originally Posted by Bruce99 View Post

      and can you answer the phone for the next ten years stating your name. will you grow tired of it?
      Very true. There is a sales pneumonic called DIPADA to help people learn the structure of a sales call.

      When we started out, we called our company DIPADA Training. We all got so fed up with answering the phone this way that we changed the company name within 3 months to Persuasion Publishing.

      Didn't make much difference to anything -- except the mood in the office was 100 times better ...
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      • Profile picture of the author jerico
        It should be :

        1) Niche of your business
        2) dot com or dot info
        3) if business name not available, you can add "My" like :

        MyBusinessName.com
        MyBusinessName.info

        4) put "i" (short for internet or online) like :

        iMyBusinessName.com
        iMyBusinessName.info

        5) Hypenate it if possible : My-Business-Name.com
        My-Business-Name.info


        6) Make your business name readable and could be remembered easily, think of :

        Yahoo
        Google
        Ebay - simple, yet powerful domain names.....

        My 2 cents....



        Jerry
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Shorter names are easier to remember.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caper224
    Stop overthinking it, just pick one if your salesmanship & service is on par no one will care what your business is called.
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