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How to Come Up With The Right Name For Your Start-Up

How to Come Up With The Right Name For Your Start-Up

What’s in a name? According to Shakespeare, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, but does that apply to companies?

Not really. Successful companies tend to have memorable, simple and effective names, and for good reasons. Names are the first thing people encounter when they are introduced to a company. They are interpreted as a symbol of the company’s underlying quality. They are also an essential tool to create a lasting impression.

All of this makes it important to find a name that serves your company well. Here are some tips on how to come up with a corporate identity that lasts.

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Come Up With A Name That Communicates Who You Are

Your name has to reflect what drives your business. For customers, names are important. When they purchase goods or services, they want to know that the company they are buying from is serious about what they do. That doesn’t mean picking a bland, boring name. But it does mean foregrounding what makes you special. So think about coming up with a name that reflects your core values, not just a flashy, catchy name that is easy to remember.

Stay Memorable With The Right Company Name

Having said that, it’s important to come up with a memorable name. Sometimes it seems that having a short, snappy name is the only reason start-ups exist. Everywhere you look, there are companies with names like “fuzzle”, “bangle” or “zoopla”. Short, punchy names work well, as does an element of strangeness. Anything that can burrow deep into the minds of site visitors and passers-by on the street will work well, so think about adding a quirky touch to your company name.

Take A Direct Approach for Straight-Forward Communication

For others, a more direct, straight-down-the-line approach could work wonders. If you work in a business like plumbing, home redesign, landscape gardening or pool cleaning, customers probably won’t be impressed by a quirky name. Instead, they might respond better to something concrete, simple and direct. Names like “Outstanding Gardens” may seem too basic, but they do get the message across. With a creative logo, the plainness of the name can actually create an impressive effect.

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Consider the Long-Term to Create a Brand That Lasts

Think about the medium to long-term as well. You want your company to be around for 5, 10, even 20 years, so coming up with a name that reflects where you want to be in the future is a fundamental key to success for your business. Some ways of wording names suit large, successful companies that reach out to richer clients. Others try to retain a homely feel (like Walmart) by stressing a family identity. Either way, pick a name that will sound sensible and catchy when success is in your grasp.

Make Your Company Name As User-Friendly as Possible

Think about how your name will be used by people as well. This is something that companies often forget about, but it’s fundamental. Good company names should roll off the tongue. They should be easy to say, and easy to spell. If people can’t spell your business properly, it can have a huge negative impact on your search ranking. If they can’t say it, they will be less likely to remember it.

Make your name as user-friendly as possible. Little things like that can have big dividends. In a world where voice search is becoming more crucial, making your name easy to pronounce can also be a big plus for search engine optimization.

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Go For a Localized Approach and Create Roots in Your Community

Another strategy is to go hyper-local and come up with a name that connects your company to the local history. If your town witnessed a crucial battle or it was the site of a world-changing invention, you could incorporate that heritage into your name. By anchoring your identity in the long-term history of a community, you can instantly gain credibility and the impression of having deep roots. That can go a long way towards creating trust among local customers, even if you are, in reality, nothing but a start-up.

Names Matter, So Don’t Rush Your Selection

Spend a little time brainstorming potential names. In fact, spend as much time as it takes to come up with something that ticks all the boxes. It should be short, simple, easy to remember and in some way reflect your core values. It might be a little quirky, it might be straight-forward, and it could be linked to the local community.

Time spent coming up with the right identity will be rewarded, and the last thing you need is an expensive rebrand a few years down the line. It might be simple, but there really is something in a name, and it takes some creativity to find the right one.

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Featured photo credit: istockphoto via istockphoto.com

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Published on January 28, 2020

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

8. Why Should We Hire You?

If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

The Bottom Line

There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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