What’s in a name? Tips for naming your business

When you’re just getting customers through word of mouth referrals, there’s no real need to think about your business name. Sure, registering your company with the Companies Office requires you to give a name to your business, but the Companies Office isn’t out in front of customers so you can get away with putting anything down as the name.

A website changes that dynamic. A snappy, memorable name is essential to have and will give you an immediate leg up against your competition. Being easy to remember means that it’s easy for potential customers to type it into their web browser, and customers you’ve already served will be more easily able to recommend your services to others.

But if you're already in business and swamped with working through quotes, scheduling jobs, and making time for family at the end of the day then it can be hard to find the time to sit down and nut out the perfect name. Fortunately, we have some tips for naming your business and some online tool recommendations to help you make a decision quicker.

Our top naming tips

Keep it simple

A short and simple name is great because it's memorable, easy to type, and will easily fit on a small mobile phone screen with room to spare for marketing text!

A good name can be hard to find though. New businesses get formed every single day, and naturally there will be names you like that also appealed to someone else--and that other person registered it first. Despite that, the world is a big place and it's definitely possible to find new brand names.

Be different

Try doing some market research and see how other tradies are branding themselves.

Think about your online presence

Once you've got a list of possible names, it's important to make sure that they haven't already been taken. While there might not be a company using the name, it's possible that someone out there in the world has already used it to make an Instagram account--if that's the case, you might want to pick something else from your list so that you can have the same name everywhere on the Internet.

The other big thing to check is whether a domain name for your chosen business name is available. If you're naming your business "Bob's Tiles", then you really want to be able to register a domain like "bobstiles.com" or "bobstiles.co.nz" in order to stay on brand and make a good first impression. We have a free tool you can access here which will TODO

Online tools

"There's an app for that," was Apple's marketing slogan for the iPhone 3G because they were so proud of how many apps were available on the app store. Back in 2009 there wasn't really an app for everything -- but these days it feels like there is.

There are a huge number of completely free apps and websites which can help you automatically generate business names. After generating them, all you need to do is pick the best one. Easy. Here's our list of recommendations:

  1. Namelix

  2. Shopify

  3. FreshBooks

  4. Business name generator

#1: Namelix

Screenshot of the Namelix name generator

Namelix is the most unique and feature-packed tool on our list. While the other options use a set of manually designed strategies for generating names, Namelix is powered by artificial intelligence.

The way it works is you type in a key word or two you’d like your name to relate to, choose how long you’d like your name to be (shorter is often better!), and then pick the “style” of name you’re after. The style option is really cool—one of the choices you can make is to generate “misspelled” business names similar to “Lyft” or “Flickr.”

Not only does this tool generate name ideas for your business, but it also generates logos to go with those names! While some of the logos generated by Namelix are premium and require payment to use, the majority of them are free—and at the very least, they can serve as inspiration for you to go and create your own logo.

Namelix is at the top of our list for being an all-in-one solution for generating business names and logos. It’s kind of like how we at Kwotimation offer an all-in-one service for getting you online. There’s value in keeping things simple and doing things well.

#2: Shopify

Shopify’s name generator is a great tool. All you have to do is type a key word—like “tiling”—and click the “generate names” button and the tool will instantly generate 100 different names which use your key word. From that list, you're bound to find at least a few names which sound appealing.

Unfortunately, the Shopify name generator doesn't give you extra configuration options such as the style of name you're after, like Namelix does. From that perspective it's a bit barebones, but another way of looking at it is that it's simple to use. Anyone at all can use Shopify's name generator, and that's why we like it. Type in some key words, hit a button, and boom—you've got names.

#3: FreshBooks

FreshBooks name generator is a bit more involved than Shopify’s. After clicking the “let’s get started” button you’ll have to pick your industry—which will be “trades & home services” if you‘re reading this article. You’ll then need to type in a keyword, and after that you’ll be shown three different name ideas which involve your keyword and are relevant to your industry.

Three names isn’t a whole lot, but there’s a button you can click which will instantly give you a new batch of three names. You can click that button as many times as you’d like in order to find a suggestion that you like the look and sound of.

We really like the ability to select your industry when generating names using this service. It's a nice touch that results in higher quality and better-targeted generated names for your business.

#4: Business name generator

Business name generator doesn’t have the most creative name in the world, but at least you know what you’re getting into! This free service works exactly the same as Shopify’s: simply type in a keyword or two, and you’ll immediately be shown a large number of name suggestions.

A nice feature that this tool has is the ability to filter the suggested names based on how many words they have in them. If you’re looking to maximize the brevity of your business name and stick to one word, then business name generator makes it easy to find suitable names because you can choose to hide name suggestions which are more than one word long.

Brevity is important: you want to keep things simple so that customers will easily remember your business name, and find it straightforward to search you up on the Internet.

The power of the Internet

There's software out there to do almost any task you can think of: even naming your new trades business. Software's great because it can save you heaps of time that you can then use to do the things you care about.

Getting that name sorted is the first step on the road to running your own business. After that it's all about building up your customer base, establishing yourself online, and doing great work.