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Coming up with a business name
Old 10-12-2009, 01:14 PM   #1
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Coming up with a business name

I have a small web development business and am trying to think of a good business name. I've been going back and forth on whether I want something that's professional and descriptive or something that's catchy and creative.
Any recommendations for coming up with a good business name?
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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I remember business names when they describe what the business can do for me. For example, "George's Plumbing" comes to mind.

We have a furniture store called simply "Scandinavia". It took me years before I even figured out that it was a furniture store. So, I wouldn't recommend an approach that was that creative.

Granted, I am not inherently very creative, but I am thinking something like "Bank5's Website Design Services".
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:21 PM   #3
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"Spidey Web Development".......

Uh oh...just looked on the internet...this name has been taken..
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
I remember business names when they describe what the business can do for me. For example, "George's Plumbing" comes to mind.
Yeah, like "Joe's Tool Works."
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
I have a small web development business and am trying to think of a good business name. I've been going back and forth on whether I want something that's professional and descriptive or something that's catchy and creative.
Any recommendations for coming up with a good business name?
This is a more important decision than many people realize. First, you could consult Don Draper (oh wait a minute, he's a fictional character)....

Some years ago I set up a consulting company (which is my exit strategy). I did the mission statement, business plan, the lot. I chose a professional name that is meaningful to me because it is linked to the person who inspired me most. Of course I also had to search NUANS databases to ensure that the name was not already in use. I wanted to have an image that reflected my vision, so I spoke with a number of marketing experts. They created a graphic suite for me that I'm very happy with. They told me that the "life" of a graphic suite is generally about 10 years if well designed. Well, it's been 9 years, and it still looks very contemporary and I'm always proud to have it on my work.

My point is that the mission and vision of the company should dictate how you want to present yourself to the world. For example, W2R's suggestion suggests (to me) a well established company with infrastructure. If I approached you with my business and found you were a one man show, I might wonder whether you will be around next year to update my website. Do you want a name that screams "creativity"? You could choose something simple like "webs by bank5" but if you want to sell the company some day, would you want your name on it then?
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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Any recommendations for coming up with a good business name?
Most of it is answering the question "Who the heck are you and why would we want to use you?"

What kind of customers are you looking for? Big, boring commercial-real-estate law firms or edgy graphics-design startups? Businesses, gamers, or fanboys?
What are you offering? Huge, multi-million-$$ transaction processing, family reunion-scheduling utilities, or contracts with county high schools for their student websites?
Who are you competing with? eBay, Craigslist, YouTube, Monster.com, or AskJolene.com?
What do you do cheaper, faster, or with fewer errors? Pick two...
How much do you plan to expand? "Joe's Websites" is not necessarily a good brand name if you're planning to become a huge company or someday sell it to people who aren't named Joe.

Since you're running websites, another question might be why you're trying to come up with "a" business name. You could create a dozen web-design businesses (and domains) designed to appeal to all of the above while having a back-office operation incorporate them under a generic umbrella name like "Command Performance, Inc." for legal/tax purposes.

So maybe it really doesn't matter what name you start with, or how many attempts you make. You could run as many as you want for a year or two and then decide what you want to keep.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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I'd agree with Meadbh to NOT include your name in the business (unless it's fabulously fortuitous, like Paragon or Superior, ).

I think the best names are creative and yet evocative of an emotion linked to the business. For example, Blockbuster video stores. I would also choose a common spelling of the name -- it needs to pass the see-n-say test (you see it, you can say it) and be easy for people to remember AND recommend (because that's how you'll get a lot of business). If you choose an ancient Tibetan name for development, it's going to be hard for people to pass your business name on to others, simply because they haven't heard it before and so will have a harder time remembering it. (I have an uncommon first name and people forget it ALL the time, simply because it's so unusual).

Also, keep it short if you can. Short reproduces better on banners, signs and other types of advertising.

Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:00 PM   #9
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Let me google that for you
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post

Granted, I am not inherently very creative, but I am thinking something like "Bank5's Website Design Services".
This is what I did for the last couple of years. It was descriptive, simple and the dot com domain name was available.

However, I'm now planning to contract out some of the work so I don't want to tie my name into my business name. I know some people do that (especially lawyers ) but if there are other people involved, I won't want to stamp my name on it.
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:33 PM   #11
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"Spidey Web Development".......

Uh oh...just looked on the internet...this name has been taken..
That's a big part of my problem...it's extremely tough finding a decent dot com domain name.
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:34 PM   #12
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This is what I did for the last couple of years. It was descriptive, simple and the dot com domain name was available.

However, I'm now planning to contract out some of the work so I don't want to tie my name into my business name. I know some people do that (especially lawyers ) but if there are other people involved, I won't want to stamp my name on it.
Well, how about a descriptive adjective instead of your name, then?

Premier Website Design Services
Speedy Website Design Services
Creative Website Design Services

The advantage of using your name, is that the domain name might be less likely to be taken.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #13
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Most of it is answering the question "Who the heck are you and why would we want to use you?"

What kind of customers are you looking for? Big, boring commercial-real-estate law firms or edgy graphics-design startups? Businesses, gamers, or fanboys?
I mainly want to target start-ups. This is who I enjoy working with the most and who my best clients have been in the past. I'll also target small to medium businesses.

Quote:
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What are you offering? Huge, multi-million-$$ transaction processing, family reunion-scheduling utilities, or contracts with county high schools for their student websites?
mostly database driven web applications. also web design for marketing purposes. I used to have a manager that would say "if you've seen it on the web, web can do it." I tell my clients the same thing.

Quote:
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Who are you competing with? eBay, Craigslist, YouTube, Monster.com, or AskJolene.com?
What do you do cheaper, faster, or with fewer errors? Pick two...
I'm competing with the millions of other designers and developers out there. My competitive advantage is better customer service and lower prices than larger web design and development shops.

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How much do you plan to expand? "Joe's Websites" is not necessarily a good brand name if you're planning to become a huge company or someday sell it to people who aren't named Joe.
I'm just doing it part time right now so I don't plan to expand very much.
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:13 PM   #14
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Thought of this one...Untangled Web Design

Bummer, already taken.

Go here and see if any words jump out at you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_web
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:43 PM   #15
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Yeah, like "Joe's Tool Works."
Sponsored by Viagra.

C'mon, isn't any one else going to swing at these soft lobs
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:50 PM   #16
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Sponsored by Viagra.

C'mon, isn't any one else going to swing at these soft lobs
I saw it but I checked my swing. Gotta give the rest of you a turn...
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:02 PM   #17
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OK - how about Frugal Webworks

I just checked and the URL is available! Get it quick...
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