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Our Small Business Management Course teaches students everything they will need to successfully start and operate their own small business, which includes how to write a business plan. Throughout the duration of the course and particularly, when it comes to writing your business plan, you’ll need to think about what you’ll name your business. So what does make a good business name?
What’s In a Name?
For this post, we spoke to a business owner whose business has a rather distinctive name: CIA OPS’s Principal, Robert Crane. CIA — or Computer Information Agency — OPS is a Sydney-based technology consultancy firm, which focuses on assisting businesses and individuals improve their productivity using technology and smart business practices.
The name CIA OPS perfectly encapsulates everything Robert’s business does — provide his clients with information about computer-related technology, such as how to streamline a business’s processes for use with cloud-based software or training in Microsoft Office 365 — but at the same time, it’s also a conversation piece.
“Everyone’s heard of the CIA, as in the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency,” Robert says. “So when they hear CIA OPS, they immediately ask me more about my business and what we do.”
Interesting – and Easy to Remember
But because the name CIA OPS has already aroused people’s curiosity, they’re more engaged and interested in what Robert has to say. The fact CIA OPS is also easy to remember is another added bonus.
“Even if they forget the ‘OPS’ part,” Robert says, “They always remember the ‘CIA’ part and the fact we work with computers, which makes it really easy for them to find me Google.”
Is it Google-Friendly?
Which brings us to another important consideration you need to make when it comes to thinking of a business name. Thinking of something quirky and interesting which also represents what your business does is one thing, but ensuring it’s Google-friendly is another altogether.
Google has, in many ways, fundamentally changed the way we do business — and as a result, it has changed the way people select their business name, too.
If your business name is too obscure that it becomes too hard to remember, then it won’t work; if it’s too common that it returns hundreds upon hundreds of Google results, it won’t work, either; if it’s too long, too short, too boring — won’t work, won’t work, won’t work.
“You really need to think about what you’ll call your business, because that is one thing that’s hard to go back and change later,” Robert says. Make sure you check to see if the business name you’re thinking of using is being used already, or is too similar to someone else’s — which could land you in hot water, as you will lean in the intellectual property and general law module of our Small Business Management Course.
Robert’s advice: “Avoid names that include the words ‘solutions’ or ‘networking’ — they’re boring, too common, and pretty obvious — you know, all businesses hope to provide some sort of solution, for instance.
“Be original, give your business name some real thought, and test it out on your friends and family first,” Robert advises.
Being that your business name is so important, we recommend that our small business management students start thinking about potential names as soon as they start the course, so than when it comes time to finishing their business plan, they’ll have something in mind.