Sixth in the What's Next? Series
Business name, the last in our series of What’s Next? but definitely not the least important task. Niche, tone, branding, marketing, social…all are important and over the course of the last few months, we’ve looked at each individually.
To recap, here are the tasks to consider when focusing on what's next in starting your business:
- Website- August newsletter
- Niche- September newsletter
- Tone, branding, personality- October newsletter
- Marketing - November newsletter
- Social - December newsletter
- Business name
You’ve looked at your competition’s website, reviewed your available budget for both website and marketing and dug into who you are as a coach and how you want to portray yourself to potential clients. Now, let’s put the icing on the cake and find a business name.
There’s a lot to consider and a lot that is in a name. Think of brands that you love, logos that you recognize on sight, and emotions that bubble up when you see or hear that business name.
Notice how logos change over time. Disney is a master at adapting their logo for different arms of their business as well as changing with the times. The ability to adjust a logo based on size is also a consideration. Website, social media, sponsorships...all require size changes.
Disney Where dreams come true
Toys R Us I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid.
Toms One for one // 1/3 of profits for grassroots good
KFC Finger lickin’ good // so good
Hanes Her Way // For Good
Where to start? There is a long list of things to consider and whether you’re a pro and con list maker or you prefer brainstorming and vision boards, consider these thoughts:
- Think long-term. Your business may grow or morph into something more. Maybe you’ll start with 1:1 coaching and eventually offer group coaching or classes, or speaking engagements could be a dream of yours. Consider future growth when deciding on a name, don’t hold yourself back with a limiting name. Also, consider how the name will sound to corporations and the business world if that is in your business plan.
- Catchy is great but don’t be so clever that those outside of your circle will be lost when trying to interpret your meaning or correct spelling. Flickr put some serious money into marketing to ensure we know how to find them. Also, say it out loud, be sure that you haven’t created something that when spoken out loud evokes another meaning!
- Once you have a top 10 list, search domain names as well as other businesses. A simple google search will get you started. The last thing you want is to send your clients to a competitor's site or to confuse them.
- Keep it short. Two to four words are ideal. Follow up with a catchy and informative slogan or tagline to enlighten your potential clients as to who you are and what your purpose is.
- Have a working list, then walk away for a few days, and share it with your inner circle for honest feedback. Come back to the list a few days or a week later and check in to see if the top choices still resonate with you and evoke the meaning that your business stands for.
Now that you have your list, shorten it to five options. Now measure them up against more considerations:
- Does the name- in both length and meaning- fit into the website plan that you created in task number one?
- Is this a name that your ideal client, your niche will connect to? Is there a hidden meaning to it that they may see but you do not? We all have diverse backgrounds and experiences that color what we see and hear.
- The third task on our list was tone, branding, and personality. How does your top 5 list stack up on this? Does your choice lend itself easily to your brand voice? Or does it feel a bit like peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth?
- Jeff’s Online Goods For Sale At A Discounted Price. This is clear on what the company does but doesn't roll off the tongue. Amazon isn't as descriptive but is definitely catchier. However, you’ll need a higher marketing budget if your name doesn’t explain who and what you are. Also, does the name fit easily with a logo? Too many words in the name mean a longer and more intense logo that your potential clients may skip over.
- Social…again, is it easy to use in captions, social posts, and blogs or do you stumble over it?
When you talk to your circle, your friends and family, and colleagues, how do you explain what you’re planning and where you’re heading? Is there a story that inspired you or that led you here? Do you hope for your business to be known for certain things? Certain groups, you’d like to help or work with? Consider this as well when making your list.
Assuming your creative juices are flowing and you’ve got a great list to start with…now you need to check availability and competitors. A simple google search will tell you if you’re on the wrong track quickly but you should still visit a domain registrar such as Google Domains or GoDaddy. Be sure it’s available and if .com and or .ca are available. While you’re searching, check social media platforms as well as hashtags, you’d hate for the name you choose to be affiliated with something inappropriate!
Finally, go through your list and say the name out loud, introduce yourself with the business name "Hello, I’m Fred from Coaching For Life". Now say it over and over. Picture it on your website layout, business cards, on a logo. Share your now shortened list with your most trusted people, those that will be brutally honest at all costs. After that, it’s up to you. Take the leap and pick your favorite!
Here’s my last suggestion for you…take your name list and read through blog posts 1-5 and see how your newly chosen list stacks up against your other decisions.
Stay tuned for more discussion and thoughts on starting your coaching business! We’ve wrapped up this task list on What’s Next? but thanks to feedback from current and past students, we’ll continue this with more details such as:
- Using technology- choices and comparison between tech tools
- How to compare website platforms
- More about brands and logos and social media 101
- Where do you put your marketing budget? Google ads? Social ads? What is SEO?