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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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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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