Before a new business commences operations, seeks investment, or is duly registered, a business name has to be selected by the founders. Choosing a great business name can go a long way to make or mar an investor’s interests in your business. While the business model and viability is more important, some investors after seeing a bad business name on your business plan or business model canvas, could get turned-off if the name doesn’t sound prospective.
How then do you choose the right business name for your startup? What should you lookout for when carrying out a business name search? What will turn investors off about your business name?
While there are many factors to choosing a great business name, focusing on the conditions that could turn off investors or consumers from connecting with your brand name the moment they see it is important. You need to know the key turn-offs, and how they affect their thought process before you begin to come up with the right name for your business.
1). Words That Make No Sense Can Be Difficult To Brand:
Sometimes you may be tempted to use a name that makes absolutely no sense, both from the spelling and the pronunciation, simply because the name sounds cool. Unique as it may seem, some investors will either get mixed feelings about investing in your business from the name or may request you change it.
These thoughts or feelings are mostly in no way to spite you, but majorly based off the fact that words that make no sense can sometimes be difficult to brand. To make a name like Google or Twitter get big, you’d need a lot of resources to back your business idea and model.
If you realize an investor may have previously been interested in your concept, but reduced talks after learning the name of your business, reach out to them to propose a better name for your company. Let them know how you trust their judgement based on how you’ve followed their business journey, and send them a couple of names you think are great & they should pick their best from.
By showing a little more effort towards changing the name to a more reasonable and attractive name, they could take you a bit more seriously.
2). Your Name Limits You To A Particular Service Line:
Using a name that states what you do as your business name can affect your business on the long run. When it comes to scaling the company to cover other service lines, it gets more difficult to let people know you offer those services.
A name that confines you to a specific service will cost you a lot more money to either rebrand or promote the other services you’re introducing.
When choosing a name for a business, choose a great one, but make sure it doesn’t restrict you to a particular service line.
3). Your Name Is Difficult To Spell:
If you run an internet company, then this must be a very important concern to you. If your business name is too hard to spell, people will have problems finding your website without going through Google.
Before choosing a name for your online business, make sure when you pronounce it, people can almost immediately spell it. If they have problems spelling it after the second trial, it’s already a bad name.
Choose a name that’s easy to spell else, you’d lose a lot of valuable traffic (through redirections) to your competition.
4). Someone Has Already Acquired Your Domain Name On The Internet:
If the business you choose is not available online for a domain purchase, then you’re better off picking a different name.
This situation is based on specific factors. Internet companies are expected to have their domain names match their business names. As for businesses that largely don’t operate on the internet, this could be an exception.
If you run an internet company and are thinking of sending a business plan or business model canvas to a potential investor, ensure your business name matches your domain name. If it doesn’t, you’d come off as inexperienced.
5). Your Name Is Offensive To Someone Else’s Culture:
A word could mean over a thousand different things in many places around the world. This means the name you pick for your business, whether it’s an online or offline business, could determine how far it will scale.
Your operating business environment may be your locality or country, but scaling to other countries around the world could have serious implications. If your business is built to be a global brand, make a thorough research about the business name of choice before registering the company or pitching to investors.
While most investors may not pay initial attention to a name that may or may not sound racial, tribalistic, or offensive to other people’s cultures, it’s crucial you avoid it, so as to save future high re branding costs.
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What are your thoughts on these 5 things investors lookout for in a business name? Let me know by leaving a comment below.