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Five Tips on Naming Your Business

By David Bain

1) Think keywords

If feasible, it's good to call your business something both memorable and 'keyword friendly'. Make sure that you consider less popular keyword phrases as well. Think about how you use a search engine. You'll often amend your search phrase until you find the information you're looking for. That means that less common keyword phrases could get a reasonable share or traffic.

2) Brainstorm business name ideas

It's best to try and brainstorm with a mastermind group of friends or colleagues. Write down one hundred possible names, either on a whiteboard, or on a piece of paper. The important thing is not to constrain anyone or anything. If necessary, reward everyone for every name they come up with. No name is too crazy at this stage.

3) Rate your business name ideas

Take a break for half an hour. When you come back, you need to have forgotten who suggested which name to make sure that your decision isn't personal. Go through each name and give it a rating. If there's a few of you involved in the brainstorming, then everyone should give each name a rating. Now you need to narrow the list down to the twenty best names.

4) What domain name extension should you use?

Whether you use an internationally recognised domain name extension such as .com or .biz or a more local extension such as or .us, it probably depends upon the nature of your business. If you have a product or service that only appeals to a certain country, it's worthwhile just going for a country specific domain, as you're more likely to be able to register your first choice. However, if you wish to appeal to a worldwide audience, don't put off a large percentage of your visitors by limiting your domain name to a specific country.

5) Search for and buy your domain name

Now you need to establish whether or not any of your preferred twenty names are available as a domain name. I tend to use 1 & 1 Internet to do this. Don't be surprised if none of your top twenty list of names are available. If you find one that is free - and you're happy with it - now might be the time to grab it. Bear in mind though that domain purchase prices vary wildly. Yahoo Small Business Hosting is also worth considering. To begin with, I'd recommend purchasing the cheapest package that includes some basic web hosting. If none of your names are available, amend them slightly. If you're still not having any luck, then you'll need to get back to brainstorming. But keep the faith - your ideal business name is just around the corner.

Copyright 2006

David Bain is founder of the independent business articles resource, BuildYourOwnBusiness offers the latest business news & management advice on how best to build your own business - business articles on Strategy, eBusiness, Change Management & much, much more.


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