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Four Steps To Naming Your Business

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You must be used to the familiar and rhetorical question: What’s in a name? A lot, one would say, especially if it is the name of your business.

The name of your business is something you must give a great deal of thought. The name must reflect your products or your services, what your business represents, and should be easy to recognise and remember.

The recognition of your business as a brand in the public space rises or falls with the name you choose to call it, hence the seriousness you assign to choosing the name of your business.

Granted that there is no art or science in determining the name of your business. Yet, there are some basic stages you will pass through to ensure that you find the ‘perfect’ name for your business. Your goal, subject to statutory and regulatory approvals, will be to create a brand with the name that passes your tests.

Below are some simple steps you would need to follow in the process of deciding on the name to call your company:

Step 1: Visioning The Business. What is your vision for the business? What will the business look like when it matures in the marketplace? Your answers to these questions will help you crystalise the reason you’re starting the business in the first place, and help to keep you on track as you strive to build it towards growing into what you dream it to become. At this stage of finding a name for your business, you will be beginning with the end in mind. In essence, the names you are considering must reflect the picture of the business that you have in your mind.

Step 2: Brainstorming Possible Names. In line with your vision for the business, and as a reflection of the products or services you plan to offer and/or the target market you intend to serve, you will now compile a long list of possible names for the business.

With your list before you, you will brainstorm the names you have compiled. It will also be helpful to get trusted friends and dependable associates to be a part of the brainstorming process, as you search for, and build your list of, potential names.

Your objective here is to widen your dragnet before you narrow your choices to a short list of selected names, say five to 10, bearing in mind that any of the short-listed names will be good enough as your business name.

Step 3: Check Availability Of Chosen Names: Armed with your list of probable and possible business names, you will proceed to test each name, to determine whether it is available for registration as a company at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

Step 4. Poll Your Target Market. After clearing the checks for availability of the names under consideration, the time has come for you to test each of the available names, to pinpoint the one that is most popular in the market you plan to serve. You will present the available names in the form of a public poll among your friends, family and a cross-section of your target market.

Finally, after you count the votes, the name that grosses the highest number, and best approximates your vision of the business, emerges as the winner!

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