You know how it is: you get a great business name idea and jump online to register a domain for it … only to find there is not just one name like yours, there are several names—or name derivatives—like yours, too.
Don’t fret. “Get creative,” says About.com’s entrepreneurial writer, Scott Allen. Another tip Allen suggests: Employ a thesaurus, too. Beware, though. Choose your name wisely. Chrysler learned that millions costly mistake when they unveiled their new Chevrolet Nova in the late 1970s—and no on in Mexico would buy the car—because “Nova” in Spanish means “no go.” Worse, still: Henry Ford, Jr. named the mid 1950s car with the vertical grill flop after his kid—Edsel.
With your new business, don’t get an Edsel or NoVa for it, as some websites that specialize in creating available domain names can craft this for you. The domain name search engine at www.makewords.com and other internet websites that brainstorm domain names can ensure ways to a great name for your site:
1. Play with names. Take the first few letters of a combination of names from your family members, street signs or consult a baby name book—like St from Steve, Or from Orson and Nel from Nellie. There, you’ve got STORONEL Or, something to that effect.
2. Research. What’s the Latin meaning of the name? How is it said in Greek? What’s the proper spelling in Hebrew? Remember, what may mean one definition in this country may take on a totally different—and sometimes insulting—meaning completely in another country or even said in another dialect.
3. And speaking of definitions … Hone in what your product is, does and stands out from the rest of the pack, and chose that one glowing, pivotal product gimmick as the domain name. Then you can register (and worry about) the company name, later. Think of Scott Golden’s rule of thumb: the Purple Cow Theory. Think about it: most cows are either brown, black or white, so if you saw a purple one in a field of all that brown, black or white cattle, you’d notice it, right? Cows are known not for milk alone.
4. Start reading everything. Bus signs, street signs, phone books, the table of elements, surnames.
5. Go Au Natural. Um, no, not naked, but back to nature. Orson Creek. Grey Seas Limited. Whatever works.
6. Get feedback—even if it’s on a name you hate. And this includes your own. Okay, so your own name’s hideous but you figured, what the heck, why not profit from it? Run it by your immediate family, anyway and see what they think, all the same. And, by the same token …
7. If you’re going to use their names—ASK! ‘Nuff said on that. And even if they still say no on the name use—regardless of the double-digit percentages they get from the royalties—move on.
8. Register your stuff, ideas and trademarks—if any—with the U.S. Copyright Office. You may also want to look into your state’s registered offices for any name trademarks, copyrights or patents your idea may or may not be fringing upon. Also, register with your state as names that you will be doing business as, or known as a DBA, so that the IRS and other financial institutions can keep track with, for and yes, on you. For instance: If you have a Freddie-Eddie, a kid’s only night-light as your product, you may register the website name as your name spelled backwards—like NEVELE for ELEVEN or NEVAEH for HEAVEN—the do business in your given name, SBA whatever you have it spelled as, and register Fred-Ed.com, or something like that.
9. Consider registering .net and .info as domain names, too besides .com. Oh, sure, it’s not as glamorous as is a .com name—but it’s not as crowded and jockeying for web traffic space and branding recognition, either. And, if you’re looking to maximize your search engine places, .net and .info may be the way to go, since not many name brands have those tags to go by, either.
10. Get an EIN with the IRS. That’s an Employee Identification Number registered with the Internal Revenue Service. If you’re gun-shy in using your Social Security Number, they can assign an EIN to you. This way, you can use this for any and all business transactions you’ll be making with your new business.
11. Play with Colors, Shapes and Numbers. So, you’re still determined to get a .com with your name in it? That’s okay. More and more websites today have alphanumeric combinations to their domain names. Like the song by the Brothers Johnson called “Strawberry Letter #22”, some websites have letters and numbers working for them, too. As for a logo, like with a domain name, if you’re going to go on the international scale, make sure that logo is a universally accepted sign. Choose a light, bright color for your logo. A square with a smiley face may work if that smiley face is a rosy pink in most countries. If that “Have a Nice Day!” smiley face is square and yellow, though, you may have to take issue with those who own that kid called Squarepants.
Author: Jessica Mousseau. Start your domain search at MakeWords.com – a free domain name generator and brainstorming site. Our intelligent name suggestion tools help you search, create and bulk check hundreds of unused names or dictionary domains instantly.