What's in a Business Name?

The right business name as well as the business Logo is an important factor that needs some deliberation and careful thought.  The Business Name and business Logo is important because if gives your business an identity. 

Business names that are long or difficult to spell will not be remembered.  If customers cannot remember your businesses name, they cannot find you in the yellow pages or anywhere else for that matter. 

If remembering your business name is difficult they will not find you on the internet, what they will most probably find is your opposition.! The best business names are those that give customers an idea of what kind of business it is, or what kind of products or services the business sells.

Everyone that watches television knows the power of brand names.  I know of many housewives that will not buy rice if the label does not read “Tastic Rice”. They know the brand, the label, the logo, they trust it because it has never let them down. 

Once the customer starts to recognise your business brand because they have come to trust it, you will have more sales than your opposition.  Logo’s are powerful advertising instruments; do not take the name and logo that you choose for granted.  Every Logo should have a short catchy slogan. 

Make sure that you live up to your promises.  You will break down your business identity quicker than it took you to build it!  Upset and disgruntled customers do not only talk to others, they also do not come back.  Everyone knows that losing a customer is easy, finding a new customer cost lots and lots of advertising.  Everybody also knows that advertising does not come cheap.

So, how do you go about choosing a business name, slogan and Logo?  I suggest that you choose at least 10 names and sleep over it.  Next day, ask as many people as possible which name they prefer and why.

You are the business owner; the final choice is yours, well, not always.  If you want to register any business entity other than a sole proprietor this is done through a company called CIPRO who has their offices in Pretoria.  As soon as you have about six names that you like and would be happy to have any one of them as a business name, you can complete the forms and lodge it to CIPRO.

CIPRO will then conduct a search of their database to make sure that no other company has the names that you have listed.  They will then notify you of the names that are available.  This list of names that is available might only consist of one name; this does not mean that you have to take the name.  You can start the whole process over again if it pleases you. 

Examples of good and bad names:

H&M Funeral Services – probably the initials of 2 owners – short and sweet.  An ideal name because it tells customers that this is a funeral parlour.

H&M Enterprises on the other hand tells customers nothing.  This company is throwing away the ideal opportunity to advertise the type of business that they operate.