How to choose the ideal name for your business + free workbook

There is a saying by Suzy Kassem stating that “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” I agree with Miss Kassem 100% and would like to add something to it.

Most people never get to fulfil their dream of running their own business, doing what they are sent on this Earth to do, and making it a little bit better in the process. And all this because they don’t know where to start. And starting is everything.

Yes, finishing strong takes guts, grit and vision, but you build those qualities along the way. So, let me repeat that one one more time:

STARTING IS EVERYTHING

Here's why:

HOW TO CHOOSE THE IDEAL NAME FOR YOUR BUSINESS + FREE WORKBOOK

Starting something new requires two major things you need to have RIGHT NOW:

  1. The absolute faith that you can figure things out as you go and
  2. The courage to take that leap of faith.

And I know you’ve got both.

So today I’ll help you get one other little detail out of your own way. Because as important as a business name is, your story of why you are doing what you are doing, the value you provide to your customers, and a strong connection with the people you are here to serve are 1000 times more important than what you call yourself.

That being said, let’s make sure you choose the ideal name for your business, shall we?

Does it really matter?

As I said, there are more important things than your name, but there’s nothing wrong about being smart and strategic when it comes to what you should call your business.

So yes, it does matter. Your business name is the first impression your dream client will get from you. It’s your website, your Instagram account, and so on.

Take your time to find the ideal name. Not the perfect one—that might take years and by the time you've found it you’ll have moved on and never started following your dream.

Aim for greatness, not perfection.

What’s the most important thing when choosing a name?

Is it to come up with something catchy? Smart? Something your tribe will love? Yes, all those things are important. But the most important thing is this:

YOU (yes you, my dear) will have to absolutely, undeniably, 110% love it! It’s your business, it’s your dream, it’s your heart you’re putting out there. If you have doubts, if you’re not sure, if you're “meh-I-don’t-know”, keep looking—your heart will know when you’ve found The One (as it always does, but we are stubborn humans with big pretty brains, who refuse to listen and do stupid things, and oh boy, the regrets and heartbreak afterwards!)

How I did it?

I looooove naming things. Creating characters for my sci-fi stories is perhaps my favourite part of fiction writing. That being said, I would've named my business linachervenkova.com if my name wasn't practically unpronounceable for the majority of the Earth's population (cher-'ven-ko-va: try saying cher- as in cherry, ven- as in vending machine and ko- as in connection and va- as in van, fast… yeah, right?)

So I decided to make it all about what I do best—design (and magic). It came naturally to me one day, I loved it from the beginning and it felt good to say it out loud—Mindful Pixels. And the words matched my goal AND personality, plus to me they made perfect sense together. 

mind·ful

/ˈmīn(d)fəl/

adjective

1. conscious or aware of something.

Also (made up by me):

2. full of ideas and tingling with life.

3. caring, compassionate, loving.

 

pix·el

/ˈpiksəl/

noun

1. a minute area of illumination on a display screen, one of many from which an image is composed.

Also (made up by me):

2. a pixie who lives on the world wide web and helps creative women follow their dreams and fulfil their destiny.

The four main types of brand names

After years of browsing the interwebs and researching brands, I've found out that the majority of the business names out there fall into one of the four main brand name types:

yourname.com

It's simply your name, or your name with a short description of the type of your business.

Examples: linachervenkova.com, marieforleo.com, neshadesign.com, etc.

catchywordcombo.com

Non-descriptive, but attention grabbing word combos.

Examples: rosemaryandlavender.com, juneletters.com, beautifulmess.com, mindfulpixels.com, etc.

descriptivename.com

A name that describes your business right away.

Examples: thebrand-stylist.com, creativemarket.com, etc.

sentence.com

A full sentence, usually something that describes an action.

Examples:  goinghometoroost.com, shegetsaround.co.uk, trashisfortossers.com

How to find the ideal name for your business?

Get your copy of the Choose Your Business Name workbook here and let's find The One.

BRAINSTORM FIRST

  1.  First, set a timer for one hour. No, this isn’t a joke; you don’t have your whole life to spend on finding a name. One hour is enough to come up with plenty of names. Don’t worry, you’ll get more time for the choosing process. 
  2. Grab the workbook and a notebook or open a new document on your computer.
  3. First, fill in all the names that are already in your head. Do this fast, without thinking, just spill your pretty pink brain onto the blank sheet. Don’t attempt to sort anything just yet—make a simple list, nothing more. Just come up with as many names as you possibly can as quickly as you can.
  4. Sum up your business in 10-20 words.
  5. Write down 10-20 descriptive words for your dream customer (such as feminine, wild, boho, etc.)
  6. Describe the services you'll provide to her (jewellery, aromatherapy, business coaching, etc.)
  7. How will your services make her life better? (inspire her to love herself more, give her the focus to achieve miracles, help her get from idea to 10k/month, etc.)
  8. Note all the logical things you think your dream customer might google to look for products or services like yours.
  9. Write down your absolute favourite words (haberdashery and gobbledygook, anyone?). Use a thesaurus if you wish.
  10. Think of your dream customer's favourite words. Go on Instagram or Twitter and see how some of your dream customers describe themselves. Are there words that jump up to you?
  11. Finally write all the words and phrases commonly used in your industry and by your peers who offer similar products or services.

Your hour is probably gone by now and your pages should be filled with over 100 of words, phrases and idea provoking ink blotches and typos.

COMPOSE NAMES

Get your timer ready again (one hour should be enough) and let's mint some real names. So far you have a large collection of words and phrases. Go through it three times:

  1. Transfer all the names that sound great already.
  2. Combine words and write down those that sound well together or added to your name.
  3. Create short sentences that sound good to you.

Don’t:

  • make it too long
  • use unusual spellings
  • use something too similar to an established business you know
  • use offensive, controversial or adult language

TAKE A BREAK

When you have 50 good names, go walk the dog, brew a cup of mint tea, watch an episode of Star Wars Rebels, eat lunch with your beau, call your mum to ask her for that vegan chili recipe—do something else for an hour or so. Give your brain and soul a chance to recalibrate and your names, the time to rise.

When you're back, it’s time to bake your X-Factor contestants (that doesn’t sound very delicious, does it?)

How to decide if a name is good for you

After you have around 50 possible names in your contestant list, start checking them out one by one.  There are four test I use to decide if a name is suitable for a project:

The Availability Test

  • First check availability - I use Squarespace domain search to find out if a domain name is free. Also, check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. If it isn’t free, strike it through and move on.
  • Google it and see what kind of businesses use similar names. You don't want to be associated or mistaken with something offensive or inappropriate

Usually if the domain is taken it means the business name is taken too. So do these two steps for all names first and strike all names that are already taken.

The Language Test

  • Check the translation in several major languages, especially if your target market includes those.
  • Say it out loud, as if you're introducing your business to somebody or making a video.
  • Write it down as a link and see how it looks together. Sometimes words put together can build another word, you don't want in your link.

The Human Test

  • Ask your friends and family. Don't follow every advice out there, but at least make sure you test your ideas on living, thinking, feeling beings.
  • Ask your Facebook community. If you are part of a Facebook Group where you know some of your potential dream customers hang out too, ask what sounds better, option A or option B.

The Intuition Test

This is the last and most important test. Sit back, breathe and listen to your gut. If a name is 'perfect', but it doesn't feel right, it ain't gonna work for you, my love. You need to adore your business-brand baby name 1367%. Don’t think, just feel and answer these questions:

    1. Is this a great name for my business?
    2. Will I love it 5 years from now?
    3. Can I build an empire around it?

Pick your name

In the end, pick the one name that feels amazing, when you think of it: imagine it in the address field of your browser, or on your business cards. Does it make you feel proud when you say it out loud? If yes, you’ve got your ideal name and now it’s time to start building that magical business of yours!

Get the workbook

By now you should have your ideal business name. If you are down to two or three names, go through the tests again, pick one and commit to it with all your mind, body and soul.

To make the process easier, I created a workbook for you. It is one tiny part of my upcoming services and it'll give you a taste of what wonders you can expect from Mindful Pixels this fall.

 

That’s it, my dear! That wasn't so hard, was it? Of course, you can always open two random pages of a thesaurus and put the first two words that you see together. But if you'd rather put some thought and feeling into it, here are your action steps this week:

Action steps

  1. Clear out your schedule for an afternoon this weekend.
  2. Download the workbook and either print it, open a fresh text document or find the next blank page in your business bullet journal.
  3. Go through the workbook and find your ideal business name.
  4. Leave it aside and have a great evening with the people you love and sleep on it.
  5. The next day make The Intuition Test again and if you still feel in love, register your name everywhere.
  6. Come back here and let us know what it is and where to find you!

 

Oh, I can't wait to hear your brand name and the story behind it, my dearest magic woman!  Let me know!

See you next week,

xoxo

Lina