My two cents on . . . a business name
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but a business with the wrong or an uninspired name may struggle to succeed. Back when we used phone books, many businesses would include “AAA” at the beginning of their name in order to be first alphabetically in their profession’s section. Nowadays your business name selection should go hand in hand with your website domain name choice. You may want to call your bakery Bobbi’s Brownies, but if you can’t secure that as a web address, you may want to go back to the drawing board.
Another decision to make is whether to choose a name that has a literal meaning, or not. It’s safe to assume that a business named “Yoga with Yasmine,” for example, offers yoga classes with a female instructor. But what if Yasmine wanted a more metaphorical or creative name? Maybe she’d call her yoga studio something like “Stretch” or “Moments of Zen,” in which case what she does isn’t immediately obvious. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; there are thousands of companies whose name doesn’t precisely tell you what they do (Amazon and Apple spring to mind). While the non-literal name obligates you to provide some additional explanation - Stretch: Yoga for Body and Mind – it also gives you some creative leeway. (Click over to my posts on Tagline and Domain Name for more on this topic.)
A little secret - my initial name for this business was The Website Janitor. I would "clean up your website" for you. I showed it to a friend (and later a client) and she immediately said, "No. You need a different name. The word 'janitor' has negative connotations." (Apologies to janitors everywhere.) I'm forever grateful she pushed me to come up with a better name!
Click here for a fun article about famous companies that started out with different names. (Spoiler - Google used to be called "BackRub." Imagine walking around talking about "backrubbing" everything!)