Does Your Small Business Name Really Matter?

When it comes to starting small business of your own, one of the most important decisions you will make is also one of the first – your business name. There are plenty of things to take into account when naming your new company,

Dot Com Domain Names Still Ruleblank-sign-questionmark-300x213

Today’s small businesses depend on Web presence to generate leads.  Prospective customers are researching businesses online before they buy, so being findable online is crucial.

Before you settle on a choice for a business name, go to your favorite domain registrar, and search to see whether the .com URL is available.  The “dot com” version of a name is still the go-to address that most of the public thinks of automatically.  So whenever possible, try to get the dot com version of your chosen name.

Otherwise, you may end up like me – buying that dot com extension at auction on the secondary market later –for thousands of dollars.  After years of vainly trying to encourage people to use our chosen domain name (which was close but not exact), I finally caved in and purchased the one that matched my company name and that people tended to automatically think of, and redirected it to our company website.  So now we no longer “leak” that misguided Web traffic, but it did cost us.

Something to take into account as you name your company and purchase your domain name is that you want it to be as easy to spell as possible. You want your company to be so loved that it spreads by word of mouth, but if you have a name that’s hard to spell, that will also make it hard to find when potential customers try to type in your URL.

You want to take as many obstacles out of the way as possible, and the first step is making sure your name is memorable, easy to spell, and easy to find.

Newer Domain Extensions Can Be Catchy

Absent that – or perhaps in addition to a dot com – consider the catchiness of some other top level domain extensions.  Today we have many more choices for domain extensions, to the point that they can become a clever part of your name.

Consider a name like  The “.ly” extension is used as an integral part of the name.

Some of the new domain extensions suggest the type of business you may be in.  For instance, a consultant might opt for a .guru domain extension, as in  A photographer might opt for a .photography domain, as in or something similar.

There’s no rule that says you are limited to just one domain name.  You can always have two or more using some for specific marketing purposes – just make sure they are directed properly to your website.

Will Trendy Names Stand the Test of Time?

Names, like fashion, go through trends.  A number of years back, names with “crunch” in them were trendy.  Think Techcrunch.  Names with dropped vowels were also trendy for a long time – such as Unbxd.  Or adding in extra letters was cool, such as the three b’s in Dribbble.

Consider, though, whether that trendiness will be difficult to spell or remember.  Will the public remember to drop the right combination of vowels, or to add in that extra letter?

– via Small Business Solutions Powered by AMAC

Have you already chosen a name for your small business? Did you get a domain that’s the same as your company name, or different?

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