How to Name Your Business
The Mom Inventors Handbook takes inventors from idea development to marketing and
sales covering everything from prototype development, getting patents and trademarks,
finding funding, manufacturing, licensing and distribution. Here's what the author
says about naming your business.
What's in a name? A whole lot, especially when you're building relationships and an image
with buyers, vendors, and customers. That's why choosing an effective name is a vital
early step in developing your business.
That said, feel free to explore and brainstorm business names! One of most common mistakes
I see is when inventors name their company the same as their product. For example, if you
invented a day-glo dog leash you named your company "Day-Glo Dog Leashes, Inc." it would
be tough to release any other pet product through the same company name. Naming your company
the same as your product can inhibit growth, defining your company in terms that are too
narrow. You may think now that this is the only product you plan to ever develop and bring
to market. However, if you truly have an inventor's mindset, you will continue to think
of one product idea after another.
Julie Aigner-Clark, founder of the Baby Einstein Company, started her business as a single
product company with her first video to stimulate and educate infants. Under the general
name of Baby Einstein, she was able to beyond that single video to add countless more
videos and educational products. She turned her small home-based venture into a multimillion
dollar company that was eventually acquired by Disney. Similarly, take the time to think
of a company name that's "big" enough and that feels right to you. Like naming a new baby,
this can be a fun and creative experience!
Another error to avoid is naming your company something that's meaningful to you but
meaningless to customers. Many mom inventors I've observed combine their kids' names in
some way. While it's cute, it can also result in names that are difficult to remember, hard
to understand, or tough to pronounce (picture yourself answering the phone all day using
this name as a test). Also, your name needs to convey the right image for the company. Ask
friends and family for their suggestions and feedback. A word of caution hereŚlike naming
your baby, asking family can be touchy, especially if they really dislike the name you have chosen.
Once you have decided on your company name, search the Internet and purchase the domain
name that you have selected. (See the section later in this chapter on consulting ICANN,
a government-sponsored site that regulates facets of the Internet. This site will help
show you how to obtain a domain name.) Hopefully someone else will not already own the
name you've chosen. Companies that sell domain names often offer packages with e-mail
address accounts along with your domain name.
These e-mail accounts can further legitimize your business and present a professional image,
as opposed to using an e-mail account with a Hotmail, Yahoo, or AOL address. (I even know
businesswomen who use e-mail with their husband's name. This implies they are not
technically savvy, and it is highly unprofessional.) This is also a tip-off that you are
a small (sometimes interpreted as "unstable") company. Presenting your company as a serious
player from the beginning, by using an e-mail address name of your company, will allow you
to prove yourself and the credibility of your company to others ... retailers in particular.