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Choosing a Name for Your Home-Based Business

Much like naming a child, the name of your business will be around for many years to come, so you had better choose it wisely.

One of the more fun aspects of starting a home-based business is giving that business a name. Much like naming a child, the name of your business will be around for many years to come, so you had better choose it wisely.

There are many aspects of choosing a business name. But the bottom line is, well, will it add to your bottom line or take away from it?

Stand Out From The Crowd.

The other day, I met a business owner who had named their business something very similar to "THH Enterprises." How would I ever know what their business was, by the name of their business? I wouldn't. This is a classic "new" business owner mistake. But if you're naming your business, you're likely a new business owner! (Catch 22, huh?)

So what do you do? There are a few options, and you'll have to choose the one that works best for your business.

One could be to simply use your name and what you do:

"Johnson Telemarketing" Or "Lane's Web Design"

You could describe what you do in a more creative way:

"Home Away From Home Daycare" Or "Orderly Office Organizing"

But here is where you have to think ahead, so to speak. If your business name is "Orderly Office Organizing" and 6 months into your business you realize that more and more of your clients are asking you to organize their homes, and a few months after that, your efforts in organizing homes is actually 75% or more of your business, what do you do about your business name? Change it and lose momentum? Keep it a possibly confuse your prospects? It's probably better to consider these possibilities now, and not have to fix them later.

Make Up a Sensible Nonsense Name.

Some huge businesses online have simply made up names or used words that have no relative meaning, and succeeded wildly (think auctions and books). But for most of us home- based business owners, we don't have the huge budgets (usually) required to make such names work.

But if you want to use a name like these, try making it a word that isn't real, but by combining two or more words, it will make sense to those who read it. For example:

"LimoScene" (Tours by limo.) Or "Callacaterer" (Get it -- "call a caterer.")

Or even emphasizing a letter with capitalization to make a point:

"SmArts" (Art projects for intelligent kids!)

Choose More Than One.

Some people think "all the good names are taken," but that is far from true. But that certainly is one of the considerations you must make when choosing a name. When filing a fictitious business name (or DBA -- "Doing Business As" as it is known in other areas) you will frequently have to list at least three different choices, in case one or more are already taken.

What If You Just Can't Choose?

If you can't decide on a name, ask trusted friends, family, and business associates for their opinion. Have a mini market research feedback forum and get their opinions, good or bad, either as a group or individually, and write them down. Hear all sides, and decide from there.

On the other hand, if you really feel like you can't come up with any good ideas, you could hire a business naming firm. But if you go that route, realize that it may cost you a few thousand or (possibly) much more. Most of us home-based business owners simply don't have that in our start-up budgets.

But remember, your business name will be associated with you and your business for many years to come. You'll want something that reflects you, what you do, and possibly, how creative you can be!

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