Take Nothing for Granted: Choose a Good Name! February 15, 2012Business Strategychoose a business name, Starting a businessMike Mann To set your business up for success, you must choose a good business name. The wrong name can set you up for failure regardless of what you do, while the right name can give you a huge starting boost. Your name needs to be easily found online, and it needs to describe what you do. It must also be catchy. Your name must survive for years while your company gets established and builds a reputation. Choose a Business Name and Logo Your Customers Like You need to reach out to your target audience and find out what name will draw them in. Use MTurk.com to find out what name consumers may like. For $50, you can get hundreds of votes on a business name that will bring customers in. However, do not assume just because you’ve never heard of the name before that no one is using it. Even if you can trademark the name with the US Patent and Trademark Office, you should make certain that no one in another country is using the name. Choosing a memorable logo is just as important as selecting a good name. Use MTurk.com to find out what logo is most appealing to your customers. You must also scour the market to make certain your logo is not too much like any other company’s logo. It is not wise to deliberately choose a logo like your competitor’s in the hope of stealing customers, as that will probably land you in court. Leave Yourself Room To Grow When you file for incorporation, the form asks you to describe what your business will do. Leave yourself room to grow by listing “to engage in all lawful activity” as the purpose of you business. If you limit yourself to “selling widgets,” it will be illegal for you to expand your business beyond selling those widgets. You may find years down the road that you need to change industries to keep your business alive. For example, IBM is now primarily a consulting company. DuPont began as a gunpowder company but now makes all sorts of synthetic chemicals. Like them, your business may have to change drastically as the market changes. Keep Improving and Take Nothing for Granted Upon opening for business, you must constantly recheck everything you are doing. Keep a close eye on the market. It will change daily, as will the preferences of your customers. What sells products today may not sell them tomorrow, so don’t take even your most successful marketing campaigns for granted. Try new sales strategies regularly and measure the results. Don’t assume that the way you began operating is the best simply because you are meeting your costs. New and better ways of manufacturing products and providing services are constantly being invented, and those who adopt them gain a strategic advantage. You must constantly watch your industry—and even other industries—for any new trends and respond accordingly. In order for your business to succeed, you must choose a good business name, write a flexible plan, and assemble a great team who know how to constantly improve their work. Your success will come as you follow Best Practices and constantly watch the industry and your target audience to keep up with changes that will come.