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Week 2: Choose Your Company Name
January 19, 2015

Before we get to this week's lesson, I want to congratulate those of you who decided to take part in the $100K challenge. I am so glad to have you on my team and am looking forward to working with you!

I was asked by someone who is not participating to keep everyone informed of how we are doing. I don't know that I will be doing that in this newsletter. I'm not sure that it is the proper venue. However, if you did express interest and for whatever reason, are not part of the challenge, I will continue to keep in touch with you - because I care about you and your success. I will do this until it is apparent that I care about you more than you care about yourself, and then I will stop. That will also be how I keep the interested party up-to-date on our progress.

And now, on with this week's issue

Choose Your Business Name

Coca Cola. Subway. WalMart. We all know these names. As soon as someone says it, we get an image in our mind, whether it be good or bad. You want your company name to have the same effect on your customers - create a positive image in their minds.

Choosing your company name and creating your company identity can be fun and exciting. It can also be overwhelming if you let it. How do you come up with the perfect name?

A cute or clever business name can be an excellent marketing tool. But coming up with one can be frustrating at times. Don't let it overwhelm you. The right name is important, but not so important that you should spend weeks searching for the PERFECT name. Remember, in a small business, you are the brand. In fact, many boomerpreneurs use their own names as their company name. Or you can use a descriptive phrase. My first business was called "Leave It To Me" since I was an event planner.

A good business name should achieve several things. It should communicate information about what your business is. For example, Shirley's Flower Shop, or Iron Horse Coffee Company are two local businesses whose names make it very clear what I can expect when I enter their establishments.

It should be easy to spell and easy to pronounce. I don't often use my own name as part of my business name just for that reason. It is neither of those things! The harder a name is to spell or say, the less likely a customer will remember it.

It should convey the feeling you want your customer to have about your business. "Leave It To Me" clearly evoked that feeling. If you wanted your event taken care of, just leave it to me!

Lastly it should be memorable. If customers easily remember your name, they are more likely to do business with you and to tell others about you.

Most importantly, the name should be something you like and are comfortable with. The cutest, most clever name ever is irrelevant if you don't like it.

Once you have chosen your business name, you want to secure your domain name as well. Almost all businesses today need to have an internet presence and a domain name is crucial.

For those who are unfamiliar, a domain name is the name by which your internet site is found. It is also known as your company's URL.

Domain names are unique so it is possible that someone has already claimed the name you want. You can find this out by using a domain registry. I personally like Go Daddy to register domains that I am simply holding until I am ready to use them. Once I am ready, I transfer them to Site Build It as part of their hosting service.

Don't be disappointed if the domain name you want is already taken. If this is the case, just try to find a name that is as close as possible to the one you want.

The success or failure of your business won't depend on the name or URL. There have been plenty of companies with catchy names and clever domain names that have failed. And there are many whose names are clearly lacking in inspiration that have gone on to be hugely successful. What is important is how you build your brand. If customers like you and your products and service, they will find you online.

Next week: Logos, taglines, and graphic design

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