This is an exercise that we went through ourselves when we chose our name, and we help our clients go through it as well.
It's important to choose a URL or domain name for your company so that the structure is "your company name.com." We cannot stress the importance of this enough.
Another consideration is American English vs. Canadian English.
One aspect is words in American English which are different in Canadian English: sneakers (US) vs. runners (CA), etc. If you sell sports shoes to primarily a Canadian market, you would not be wise to choose a URL of "SneakersRUs.com."
Another issue is spelling. Is the middle of something the 'center' (US) or the 'centre' (CA), etc.?
Avoid names that are hard to spell.
Names are tricky also…especially when they are not spelled the way they are pronounced. A popular actress is often called "Amanda Siegfried," when in reality, her last name is spelled "Seyfried."
Avoid overly creative names.
Lastly, be careful of made-up words. Instead of 'empowerment,' one company that we dealt with wanted to use the name "IM-Powerment."
Spending a lot of your advertising dollars educating people about your name may not be the best use of your resources. The easiest thing is to just pick two common words, and make a name out of them.
If you're telling somebody on the phone or on the radio what your domain or company name is, do you have to spell it out for them or can they just remember it and go there?
Hint: If you answered 'spell it,' go back to Step 1 above.
Remember: you don't want people to have to do all this extra work to get to your website and to know about your business.
Once you've got an idea of what you want your company name to be, you want to secure your URL — in other words, your domain name.
Here's an example:
Start with some brainstorming.
Netfirms.ca is a good place to brainstorm. Even if you're not going to purchase your domain name there, once you enter your desired name, their software gives you a ton of suggestions.
Remember that you can do .com or .ca.
Let's say I think the best thing ever is to call my company "Great Events," but before I go to register that at the business registry office, I want to know if this name is available as a .com or .ca.
After typing it into Netfirms.ca, I find out that both GreatEvents.com and GreatEvents.ca are taken, so that's not a really good name to pick for my company. I would need to look at the additional options/suggestions and see if one might work for me.
Some of the options/suggestions are really expensive because somebody else owns them. Other ones are cheap because they're not owned. There are also new extensions coming out all the time.
You can keep brainstorming like this until you find a name/price combination that works best for you.
Top URL Tip: New extensions such as .space or .tech are not used very often. As a result, people don't really remember them and/or are not sure how they work. Best to keep to a .com or .ca extension. If you want one of the new extensions, you can use it as a duplicate company name.
Now, it's time to secure your social media branding. Let's take a look at that.
When you go to Facebook, by clicking on different symbols and in different areas, you can create a brand or a local business page for your business.
You might know that already, but what a lot of new entrepreneurs don't know is that they can actually customize the URL of their Facebook for their business.
Set up your business page but don't publish it. Before you go live on the internet, you click on the About button. This gives you the option to have a Facebook web address that's customized for you. The original web address is going to be a bunch of numbers, so just type in your web address and enter the custom name of your company. Facebook will then tell you whether that address/name is taken or not.
If the address/name is taken, you may choose to add something to your name to make it unique or start your brainstorming from scratch.
You should repeat this process for all your social media pages.
You know that your name and web address are available.
You know that they work with all your social media pages.
Finally, it is time to register your business with your local registry, knowing that your marketing is going to be great because it has a consistent message via a consistent name.
Here's a handy little tool I use to check that all the .com and all social media handles are available for any name we want to go forward with Name Checkr
Dafne’s expertise lies in creating strategic roadmaps for companies to grow their business through unique marketing approaches. Her company, Spartan Spark, works with million dollar companies, advising them on how to grow their business by using strategy and technology more effectively.
Through articles, vlogs, training and speaking engagements, Dafne shares her marketing knowledge, showing business owners how to leverage all the knowledge they have and use technology to their advantage to increase visibility and lower their cost of acquisition.
“After being frustrated with other service providers. Spartan Spark got our website up and linked to a payment system over just a weekend.” -Patricia Marin - Calgary Family Services