Throughout my coaching and marketing experience, one theme that emerges often among my clients is the struggle to choose a business name. It is not an uncommon obstacle. When it comes to your business, the name is one of the first things customers encounter. Asking yourself “What does my name communicate?” could make all the difference. Should you name your business after yourself or come up with something catchy and creative? Will your decision impact your business down the road? Naming your business can be challenging. But if we approach it with these 4 practical tips, it can also be quite empowering and fun.

Choose a Powerful Domain

These days your business name is synonymous with your domain name. As business owners, we have to consider more than how our name will appear on a sign or the front door of our retail space. Instead, we also need to consider how it will appear in search engines.

It can be frustrating to come up with a creative name only to discover that there isn’t a corresponding domain available. As you begin brainstorming business names, take some time to search for domain availability. If your top choice isn’t available, it’s likely time branch out and consider other, practical business names.

Choosing a domain that describes your niche or main offering is a great way to automatically improve your search engine ranking. For example, powerful domain names are those that correlate to common search queries and keywords in your industry. If you have a gardening business, it can be tempting to name your business something cute, like Budsablooming.com, but very few people will be searching for words like “buds” and “blooming.” Instead, by combining some of the most searched keywords in your industry—such as GreenThumbGardening.com—can produce a business name that is also a powerful domain and one that will grow your audience more rapidly.

Keep it Simple

While it is fun to think of catchy, sexy business names, it is important to continually ask yourself one question: how will my client’s view this?

Sometimes the simplest name is the most effective. If your business name leaves clients asking, “What do you do?” then you already have to work harder than necessary to explain your business offerings.

This same truth applies to your programs, courses, products, and even the menu options on your website. Picture your business website for a moment. Imagine your menu options, services, and business name. The words you use for titles and services should hook your clients and make them say, “I need that!”

For example, “Transformational Wellness: A 30-day Approach to Better Nutrition” clearly states what your program is and how it benefits your audience. If the words you use leave clients in doubt of what you offer, they may leave the page without going any further.

Simple language is also an important part of your website copy. Many business owners (myself included!) like to use catchy words or phrases to individualize their menu. I know, because I also made this mistake in the past. While using the word “Musings” may look sexier than the word “Blog” on your menu, it will only cause confusion for your readers. Instead, familiar website terms—like Blog, Contact, Services, and About—offer a clear pathway for your clients to access your services.

Keep it simple! Clearly describe what you do and what you offer in your business name, programs, and web copy and you will absolutely see the positive results.

Consider Your Platform

When is using your own name for business a good option? There are many business leaders who already have an expansive following due to work they’ve been doing on the side or on social media. If this is the case, then your name can be a very effective business name.

Building a personal brand takes time, but launching a business from an already established personal brand can help expedite some of your early marketing and branding efforts. This is often the case for authors, speakers, and activists. Keeping your business name personal means fans, customers, and clients will be able to find you simply by Googling your name.

For those who don’t already have a following, it can be tempting to use your name for your business. The results, however, won’t be as powerful as using a keyword-focused business name. If you do choose to use your own name, pay close attention to how your name appears in a domain. If your name is long or difficult to read, this can have a negative effect on future marketing.

Look Ahead

Before moving forward with your business name, take time to think about how future changes could impact your business. Name changes due to marriage or divorce can be time-consuming, and the same is true for changing a business name. I got married after owning my business for 12 years and changing my name on every business document and outlet proved to be a headache, as well as a strain on my ability to market.

I had worked hard to build an audience and a solid client base. Communicating my name became a top priority. Whether you choose to change your name or unexpected life circumstances lead you there, I recommend using both your former and new last name in all of your business dealings in the midst of the transition. Let your customers get used to seeing your new name and/or new business name as you slowly unveil your new marketing.

Grow Your Business Momentum

Learn how to clarify your business name, message, and growth with a one-on-one strategy session. Between now and June 29th, I’m offering 1-hour and 3-hour business accelerator calls where I work with you to help you gain insight, clarity, and find practical solutions that you can implement today to grow your business.