When setting up a business you’ll want to think up a company name which stands out from the crowd and gives your potential client base an idea of your skills and services.

At this stage it is important to sit down with a pen and paper (or possibly a word processing document in the modern age) and brainstorm.

Remember that this name can be the difference between securing lucrative contracts and not.

In the ideal world…

In an ideal world all business would be given to the companies or contractors who have the best skill set and can deliver results in a timely and cost effective manner.

But in reality, many contracts are given on first impression so if you have a company name which is tasteless or immediately off-putting, it doesn’t matter if you are the best company in the world for the job, that contract could very possibly go to somebody else.
As the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) pointed out this summer, there is no right way to decide what your company name should be, but there are a number of wrong ways.

Thinking up ideas

When thinking up ideas it is often best to start with the basics such as your own name, your initials and what you actually do for a living. The problem here is that creativity is lacking and this name is unlikely to wow prospective clients.

Certainly, calling your firm ‘Bob Smith – IT Services’ tells people who you are and what you do, it’s not a name that will live long in the memory and could even go unnoticed in a competitive area of business.

Future proofing….

Another thing to avoid is current trends. While it may seem like a good idea to name your business after something currently popular, times change and this name could quickly become dated.

Take the example of the firms which decided to include ‘Y2K’ into their names around 1999 and the turn of the Millennium, by 2001 they were beginning to look like companies stuck in the past.

Animal names?

The PCG suggests using animal names if you are bereft of new ideas. Like with many sports clubs, this will provide something fun and easy to remember. It also means that producing a logo for your signs, banners and business cards is simple.

Of course you still need to pick an animal which encourages business. Many people are scared of spiders and reptiles so naming your company after an arachnid or snake isn’t advisable, unless your business is a pet shop specialising in exotic creatures!

So as a general rule use lots of creativity, think of something which will stand out, but not look unprofessional…And if you are really stuck, make a list of suitable animals!