How to brainstorm your best business name ideas.

How do you brainstorm good business name ideas when you're starting a new small business? Naming your business can be both work and a chance to play with words. Here's a few things you should keep in mind while you're evaluating the business names ideas you come up with.

  1. Your name should be simple but describe your business. I'll use an example- Bob's Shoes. That business name is both simple and descriptive. But maybe it's not descriptive enough. There's lots of things the name could mean... Bob could repair shoes, sell new or used shoes, or even recycle them. See what I mean?

  2. Easy to pronounce is a plus, but after some of the crazy names I've seen online, you'll have use your own judgement. I think that "Bob's Shoes" is good on this one.

  3. Do be sure your business name is spelled right! Mispelling your business name would be silly and inexcusable. Bob's good here too. (Keep a dictionary handy while you're brainstorming business name ideas.)

  4. An easy to remember name is helpful when starting a new small business. You don't want to just fade into the background. There's millions (billions?) of business names floating around the internet. Choose a business name that sparkles! Does the name Bob's Shoes sparkle?

  5. Think twice about using your own name when you name your business. Some people will want to sell their business later. Using a "proper name" like Bob (or Brian) can be a problem for the next owner that doesn't share that name. Plan carefully to avoid problems later.

  6. Location-specific names can be a problem too. This one depends on the nature of your business. “Portland Widgets” may be okay for an online product-based business. But the name “Portland Pizza” may be misleading if the business changes its location or decides to expand to a Gladstone address.

  7. Size matters when you choose your business name. I can't use my website name as my Twitter user name... because it has too many characters. I wasn't “tweeting” at the time and never gave it a thought. Now I've got to figure out how to work around that problem.

  8. How does the name look when you write it? This last step isn't a "must.” But I think it's a good idea. While you're brainstorming your business name, ideas for your logo and business card should be on your mind too.
  9. Type the name in several different fonts to see how it looks written. If you abbreviate it, do the first letters of each word spell anyhing? This is a good time to discover any problems.. Bob's Shoes now becomes "B S." I'd probably do a little work with that business name. But Bob might be quite happy and leave it.

(Apologies to Bob's Shoes, if there is one. It's just a random name I chose for an example. No offense is meant... in fact, my husband's business name is two words... his own name and the kind of business he does. Simple and it's worked for us for 25 years. Would we choose it again? Maybe not.)

See what I mean? Consider any business name ideas you've thought up from all kinds of points of view. Think like the perfect customer you want to attract. Your business name will be part of your branding and logo, so take your time on this step.

This is an important part of the process of starting a new small business. It can and should take a bit of time and effort. So put on your thinking cap and get to work thinking up a few good business name ideas.

I'd suggest having a party to play with business concept ideas- it's always party time at my house! “Many hands make work light” is how the old saying goes. Get your friends and family busy thinking of business name ideas with you! It's a good way to get them used to your being an entrepreneur.

Bookmark me if you want to. Come back when you're ready to register your business name.

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