Many companies have changed their name throughout the course of doing business. If you've ever followed the progression of some of the top companies you'd see that as their expertise grew, and as their products or services became more defined, they often needed to make a change to continue to grow. Without prior experience, or a lot of trial and error, knowing when, why, and how to change a company's most valuable asset can really be a chore.
Your Name So what makes a good name? Well, for starters it should be simple, clear, short and roll off the tongue. Think of brands like Amazon, The Container Store or Staples. Each of these brands took a very simple word from the dictionary and became known for it. One of the things that I do when I'm trying to come up with a name is to write down all of the words associated with the brand. It could be words you use often, tools or resources that are standards in your industry or items related to fulfilling your mission.
The next step in choosing a name is to make sure no one else has it. I've seen one mistake made over and over again, and it's when someone has their heart set on a company name so much that they disregard the fact that someone else already has it. In growing your company it doesn't matter if the name is trademarked or not, you won't want to use it if one of the following is true:
1) One of the top level domain names is taken. If you do a domain name search and the.com,.net or.org are taken, I strongly recommend that you consider a different name.
2) The name is taken on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Google (not personal profiles, but business profiles). One exception to this would be if your company name is actually your personal name, which really should only be used by a handful of professions anyway.
3) The name is hard to spell, is often misspelled by the general public, or is not easily expansive. I don't know about you, but I'm in business to make a lot of money. I hope to one day have offices for Brand Excitement across several continents so when I chose my name I considered the literal translation of that name into other languages. This may not matter for your business now, but we do operate on a global landscape, so it will matter at some point in the future as your business grows.
Your Niche If you have already narrowed your ideal target down to a specific group with a specific need, you are way ahead of the game! Deciding to define yourself within narrow boundaries is a very key part of being able to market your business effectively and charge more than a pretty penny. People like to work with specialists. Without a niche, you are just one more voice shouting from the crowd. I know this step in the process can be hard ("but what about all those people who will think I don't work with them?") but it's necesary in order to get know and get shown.
Use these guidelines in determining your niche:
1) What do your current clients have in common? It could be their passion, their purpose, their hobbies, etc.
2) What is different about how I serve their needs? It could be a combination of your experience, your insight, the way that you communicate or even that you just have a magnetic personality:-)
3) How many people that fit the above criteria live in your region or country (and would be willing to pay for your offering). If there are more people than you could possibly handle, and you have a plan to reach them, you've got a niche worth testing!
Your Number In today's marketplace we don't remember much, so find a vanity telephone number so that you can stamp your number into the brains of everyone you meet. This is one of my top recommendations when I company is setting to establish itself and stand out easily. It used to take a lot of work to get a vanity number. Think of 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-GO-FED-EX or 1-800-MATTRESS. Part of their success is a result of us being able to recall their number and refer it to others without much thought.
My own vanity telephone number was definitely a blessing. I searched and searched the toll free database to find something easy and available and eventually (after days actually) I found mine. Fortunately for you, new toll free numbers are coming to the marketplace this October. The new prefix will be 855, so the toll free numbers available in the U.S. will be 800, 888, 877, 866 and soon 855.
That means that now is the perfect time for you to request your vanity number. Perhaps you'd like the number 855-BIZ-COACH or 855-YOGA-4-YOU, whatever your business, it's a worthwhile investment to look into this and make it easy for others to call you. To look into it one great place to start is http://www.tollfreenumbers.com
. There you'll be able to reserve and purchase your number to own it outright (a great deal compared to the inflated prices from the telephone company). Best of luck!