Business Name Blues is a 3-part series in which I talk about the experiences I had in naming my business and give tips based on lessons I’ve learned in the process. Part 1 will explore choosing the business name. Part 2 looks into the online aspect of business naming. Part 3 closes with the legal and tax steps necessary to ensure your business name is protected. Also, as I go through each part, I will be updating the Resources page with a Business Naming section to assist you with resources and links to help you make the right moves when naming your business.
One of the first things I did after deciding I was going to get serious about starting my own computer support business was to come up with a business name. Naming my future company was not only a way for me to solidify the dream as an actual tangible goal, but it also seemed like a fun process. I have always been fascinated by the decision making process that goes on behind some of the well know brands out there.
I kicked things off with a solo-brainstorm session. I spent a few minutes at work each day coming up with a few names that I thought would be good for my business based on my initial concept: “Fast, easy to understand, preventative maintenance for home and small office computers.”
Here’s what I ended up with after a few days of brainstorming (I’m sure one of the names will look eerily familiar to you all):
- Computer Tune-Up
- PC Tune-UP
- Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy (YFNCG)
- In and Out PC
- PC Care
- EasyPC or EZ-PC
- EasyFix or EZ-Fix
I was going for a lighthearted name that didn’t sound too corporate. The “Ro” names in the list are there because my last name begins with the letters R-O.
My next step was to send out the names to a few close friends and family members, asking them to pick their favorite four. I told them to think of my concept for the business when choosing their candidates. Always willing to lend a hand, they helped me narrow the field down. I took the most popular four from the suggestions they provided, including my own favorite four, and ended up with these:
- Y.F.N.C.G. (Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy)
- QuickTech (or a “hip” mispelling like QuikTech or QuickTek)
Before I continued any further, I had a flash of common sense and realized I should probably check to make sure these business names aren’t already taken. The easiest way I knew of was to do a google search. A quick search showed me right off the bat that both CompuTune and QuickTech were already being used as business names. So that left Jiffy-PC and Y.F.N.C.G. Well, it’s probably obvious what I finally settled on. Y.F.N.C.G. was a little too long to be a business name, but I ended up using it as my business motto, and later down the road it proved to be the perfect name for a blog! So, Jiffy-PC was the winner!
What’s good about the name, Jiffy-PC? Most importantly, it fits my initial concept, “fast, easy to understand, preventative maintenance for home and small office computers.” It’s catchy, light hearted, un-corporate, and insinuates efficiency and friendly service. Granted, it borrows heavily from a certain well-known American automobile maintenance establishment, but I think the similarity will be helpful to me. Using a pre-established naming convention will really help lay the preventative maintenance foundation that my business model will be based on.
What might be wrong with Jiffy-PC? One potential problem is the similarity I spoke about in the last paragraph. Will there be any legal problems as a result of this name and it’s close similarity to a pre-established brand? And then there’s the matter of the dash between the y and the P. Is it really smart to have a symbol as part of your business name? After all was said and done, it turns out there was a problem with this name that I never could have anticipated, which I’ll speak to later in this series.
So, for better or worse, I decided to settle on Jiffy-PC. The process of choosing the name was fun and rewarding. Only time will tell how successful this name will be.
Things to think about before choosing a business name:
- Think of what you want your name to convey to potential customers.
- Brainstorm and make a list, include anything and everything you can think of, no matter how silly.
- Ask friends and family to help you narrow the list down.
- Do a preliminary search online by typing your business name into Google, just to make sure the name isn’t already in use.
In part two of the Business Name Blues series, we’ll look into doing a more thorough search online to make sure you business name isn’t being used. Also, I’ll talk about the headaches I encountered while trying to register the domain name for my business website.
Updates to Resources Page:
What do you think of the name Jiffy-PC? Do you think a good name is a critical part of a small business?