Simple Strategies for Choosing a Winning Business Name (Plus, How to Avoid the Mistake I Made!)

When it comes to small business success, a name means everything. And coming up with the right name for your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

With your future on the line, plan on putting in just as much time and effort into creating a winning business name as you did when developing your business plan or choosing your target market. The right name will help to pique curiosity, attract your ideal customers and form an immediate emotional connection, while the wrong one can leave you and your business faltering.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic recipe for picking a winning business name. But following the six hints below will definitely point you in the right direction.

1. Keep it short

Although there are always exceptions, the majority of great business names tend to be short, to the point and catchy. Some of the most successful businesses use simple, one-word names! Longer names are usually difficult to say and harder to handle in radio ads, on logos and signage.

If you do decide to go with a longer length, make sure its shortened version, which might be required for its web domain, is acceptable.

Also, keep in mind that people would much rather say, “I’m going to call USAA to update my insurance policy,” than “I need to call the United Services Automobile Association.” But be careful because even if you don’t intend for your name to be shortened, the public will often do it for you. And not all abbreviations will work. (“I’m going to the FBI,” has a whole different meaning than grabbing a bite to eat at Frank’s Breakfast Inn. smiley) 2. Make it easy to spell, pronounce and remember

Put simply, if they can’t easily pronounce your biz name, your customers will avoid saying it! And as a small business owner, you can’t afford to miss out on free word-of-mouth advertising.

This is a lesson I’ve learned from experience.

Make sure the name sits well on your tongue and sounds good to your ear. And then test it out with others. They should be able to easily spell and correctly pronounce the name the first time they hear or see it.

3. Remember the meaning

Before you start thinking of a business name, define the qualities you want your business to be identified with, such as, strong, dependable or affordable. Also think about WHAT you do. The more meaning you put into your business name up front, the less time you’ll spend explaining what you do or the value you provide.

For instance, names like Joe’s Plumbing, Carol’s Interior Design and Smith & Weston Architecture immediately communicate the type of service each of these businesses provide – even to a casual passerby. And when you stop to think about it, many of us end up calling companies are walking into stores simply because the name of the business clearly indicated that they have what we’re looking for.

4. Create a positive visual and emotional connection

Generally speaking, when we hear or read something, our brains transmit this into an image. For example, what picture pops into your mind when you read “Bridal Boutique” versus “Dress Barn”? Based on your newly formed mental picture, where would you rather shop? Besides the visual, we also form an emotional connection, either good or bad. So when we see an ad about a day spa with words like “Retreat ” or “Relaxation,” we not only form a visual but also a connection of peace and tranquility.

5. Make it unique

Keeping in mind hints one through four above, it’s also important to make your business name unique. Ensure other companies aren’t already using something similar. It might be the difference of a word like having “apparel” instead of “clothing” at the end of a business name or simply having an “s” at the end of the title like, “Sparkle LLC” versus “Sparkles LLC” that makes the difference between two companies. Do your research. There are plenty free online services that allow you to check whether or not a business name is taken.

Also test out your top choices of names on your friends and family. They might surprise you and come up with a connotation that is completely different than what you intended.

6. Make sure you can get the website address

Before you decide on your award-winning business name and concern yourself with the details, make sure you can transfer your name into a website address as early as possible. Your domain name needs to match your business name as closely as possible, giving your potential and current customers one less thing they have to remember.

But what if you can get the domain name you want, only without the.com extension? Is it better to get the name and choose another extension such as, “.net” or “.biz”? Different experts say different things. My advice is to have a.com address as your primary URL, but to buy as many of the closely matched other domains as possible – and have them all point to your website.

If you do choose an alternative, make sure that you advertise your business with the full domain name, otherwise people will assume a “.com” extension and travel to the wrong place or worse yet, to your competitor’s page.

At the end of the day, one of the most important factors is whether or not your ideal, targeted customers or clients will like and resonate with your business name. It’s even more important than if you like it. So be sure to do your research, test out your choices and choose something that will help you grow your business.

Business Logos In Sparkling Rhinestones

Companies must have a successful marketing plan to help their businesses thrive, especially in Australia where the population is over 20 million people. To reach your target audience in such a large area such as this, companies must have eye-catching business logos, such as sparkling rhinestones or bold colours. The logos are what set your business apart from others with similar products or services. Customers have to know your business exists and they need a way to indentify and differentiate between your business and others. Logos help you brand your specific company making it more appealing and appear more professional in the eyes of potential customers.

There are many ways to get your name out into the public eye. One way for companies to get their business logos noticed is to make them stand out from all others. Some companies may opt to have their logo printed on tee shirts, hats or other garments. This is a great way to get your business noticed and create a buzz about the products or services your company offers. Employees of the company can wear the logo around friends, family and acquaintances. Company members who attend conferences, expos and other meetings can wear shirts with the logo in sparkling rhinestones to attract even more attention.

Branding is important to a company’s image, and logos associate the company’s excellent products and services with their good name. Once a customer has tried a specific company’s products or services and are satisfied, they will look for those specific companies’ business logos when looking to buy the same services or products again. Loyal customers are repeat business and look for your company logo associated with the products they need. The happy, loyal customer can also be a wonderful source of marketing. Word of mouth advertising is great when coming from someone who has had a positive experience with your company. Customers may also buy apparel with your company logo in sparkling rhinestones and get your name in the public eye.

When searching for ways to get your company and the products and services you offer out to those millions of people in Australia, business logos are essential. Logo designs vary, but the ones that attract attention have eye-catching shapes, colours and designs. When putting your logo on apparel in sparkling rhinestones, you create a shimmering effect that catches the light and the eyes of potential customers. Put thought into your logo design and make your business stand out.

Review: Sparkle

Breaking into the entertainment business can be a very difficult thing to accomplish these days. You have to have desire, faith and the right connections. Four or five decades ago, breaking into the entertainment industry was probably even harder. That’s because you needed all of those things that I mentioned, but you also needed a little something called talent. In the movie Sparkle, three girls think they have talent to go out and succeed. Now all they have to do is get their foot in the door.

Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dolores (Tika Sumpter) are sisters who all share the aspiration of making it into the world of music. Whether it’s going out to do small gigs, sneaking out of the house to perform or finding revealing (for that time) outfits for their lead singer to wear, they’ll do whatever it takes to make it to the big time. They’ve even met a manager (Derek Luke) who’s willing to take them on. He’s only an upstart, but he has that desire to succeed. He also has the desire to get with one of the three lovely young ladies.

All of this sounds good to everyone except the overbearing and controlling mother of the three girls. She wants none of this and plans on keeping her daughters away from a lifestyle and profession that she’s weary of. She keeps a watchful eye on them with the hopes of making sure they don’t follow their dreams of becoming singers. What she doesn’t know is that these women are dead set on their goal and it will be difficult to stop them, especially if they manage to keep most of it a secret from her.

I guess you can look at Whitney Houston’s role as being a inhibitor of sorts to the plans that some of these people have, but I wouldn’t call her a villain. If anyone can be classified as a villain in Sparkle, it would be Satin, the character played by Mike Epps. Satin is a comedian who’s essentially a coon or an uncle tom. He earns his wealth from making disparaging and disrespectful remarks about Black people in his comedy routines that are geared specifically toward entertaining a White audience. He has no issue selling out his people and making them look for a buck.

He’s not well liked by many of the people in the film, because of this and a few of his other nasty habits. Epps is asked to put this on display, but he’s also asked to do other things as well. He’s asked to be funny on some occasions and highly negative in others. There are even enough scenes where he’s asked to do both at the same time. In my opinion, he was probably the best performer in the film and I never thought of him having this kind of range. He plays Satin as someone who is classless on his own and a complete buzz kill when he’s around others. His performance is great here and he certainly added a large hunk of the entertainment for me in this particular film.

Maybe not me, but most of the people who are going to see Sparkle are probably going to see it because of the singing and the music. There’s plenty of both here and it’s consistently a part of the film from beginning to end. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say that most of it is really good and easy on the ears. That’s because you have people like Jordin Sparks, Cee Lo Green and the late musical great Whitney Houston bursting out into song over the course of the film.

The rest of the film is hit or miss at times in my eyes. It starts off getting everything set as the audience is being introduced to the characters and the stories that make the movie Sparkle. The chance to watch this beautiful trio of sisters develop into this girl group and seeing all that goes with it is entertaining and might be the part of the story that I enjoyed the most. That’s nice to watch, but everything hits a bit of a lull somewhere after all that needs to be established is established.

That’s primarily due to the script resorting to cliche after cliche when attempting to create some of the heavy and more dramatic sequences for this musical drama. It’s noticeable and at least for me, it cheapens the movie a bit. Whether it’s the mother being against the girls singing or certain characters finding love or whatever, there were already enough cliches to go around and I don’t think they needed anymore. Sparkle was moving in a positive direction at this point and just keeping it somewhat on the same path would have worked best in my opinion.

After the film’s journey through a host of cliches, it does pick up again and stabilizes to an extent. It’s not as funny as it was before and it’s not as entertaining as a whole, but it does show improvements. In general, there’s nothing that’s really that bad in this movie. Even Jordin Sparks’ acting wasn’t as bad as I thought it could have been. She was wooden at times, but she was solid overall, especially since this is her first feature length film. If she continues to work at it, I’m sure she’ll continue to get better. I can see her (and Sumpter for that matter) succeeding if she wants to continue her young career in acting. She already has the looks, she just needs a little more polish.

I was originally going to skip Sparkle altogether, because I really didn’t want to watch another movie about Black people singing. A lot of us are good at it and I respect that, but I just want to see Black films diversify more and expand into other aspects of life. We’re a talented people and we’ve shown that over the years in other walks of life, but for some reason, we can’t grow and develop in the world of film. Hopefully that changes sooner or later.

As far as Sparkle is concerned, this is not entirely geared toward me anyway. It’s mainly geared toward Black women, people who love movies about music and fans of a legendary singer who just want to see, hear and witness her very last performance. If you fit into any of these categories, you won’t be disappointed and there’s no reason not to check it out. Sparkle probably offers most of what you’re looking for.

Score: 2.5/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: Salim Akil

Cast:
Jordin Sparks
Whitney Houston
Derek Luke
Mike Epps
Carmen Ejogo
Tika Sumpter
Cee lo Green
Omari Hardwick
Michael Beach
Tamela Mann

Film Length: 116 minutes

Release Date: August 17, 2012

Distributor: Sony Pictures