What’s in a Name? Five Tips for Choosing a Successful Business Name

Business CardThe following article is a guest post. So you have a great product or service to sell that you know people will buy. You also have a killer business plan drawn up that you feel confident about. All that’s left to do is market your business. But there’s one problem: you don’t have a name. Naming a business today seems especially tricky.

Gone are the days of naming your business something like “Smith and Sons Internet Company” Huge tech companies like Tumblr, Snapchat, and Facebook have cool names that seem to fit the business so perfectly, it’s difficult to imagine that someone actually had to sit down and come up with that name. But the perfect name for your business is out there. Here are some tips on how to find it.

1. Don’t try to make the name so cool that nobody knows what it means. People may now know that the shoe company Nike was named after the Ancient Greek goddess of victory. But you can’t afford to choose such an abstract name that nobody knows what you do. Nike’s advertising budget is much bigger than yours and they can afford to remind people that they sell shoes.

2. Brainstorm a list of names. Write down as many names as you can think of, even if you know they’re horrible as you write them. When you’re done writing, look at your list and go over each name. If you don’t like a name, make a note next to it like “too long” or “boring.” You might not find your name on the first try, but repeating the process with your notes in mind will help you drill down to a short list of possible contenders.

3. Consider your domain name and SEO possibilities. Check to see if possible names have an appropriate domain name available. Don’t choose a name that is so similar to another company that a simple misspelling will send potential customers to your competition. If you’re going to cater to local customers, consider including your city name in the business name to help your SEO.

4. Don’t get too cute. Using a pun in your business name is a great way to stop people from taking you too seriously. Unless you’re opening a pet grooming business, it’s best to avoid wordplay. Think about the kind of customer you’re hoping to find with your name. If you want a serious customer that expects the professional level of work you know you can deliver, choose a name that speaks to that.

Computer Search5. Search an ASIC database (see Infotrack for more on this). Once you have a possible name, search a directory of Australian businesses to make sure the name you name you want isn’t actually being used by or trademarked by someone else. Maybe more importantly, searching the ASIC business listings can tell you if the name you’re thinking about has any negative baggage tied to it, such as past court filings or litigation against other similarly named companies.

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Apple Pie Spice Muffins – Dairy Free!

Dairy Free Apple Pie Spice MuffinWith Fall in the air, it’s a perfect time for baking!   I’ve been making these muffins for many years now, and originally got the recipe when cooking for a milk allergic child.  Notice that the recipe is dairy free! You won’t miss the milk in the recipe though – These little muffins are so good to eat and a snap to make.  I like to bake double or triple batches and then freeze some of them for later.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1 Egg
1-1/2 cups of water
1/3 cup canola oil

Preparation: In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and apple pie spice. Then add the egg, water and canola oil and stir until the batter is well combined. I like to make my muffins large size, so this mix makes 12 large muffins. I also like to use the paper liners but if you used a cooking spray and a nonstick muffin tin that should work fine too. Bake the muffins at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. I usually start checking the muffins at the 15 minute mark to see if they are done. You’ll need to make your own time adjustments according to your own oven but usually 20 minutes is the most amount of time you’ll need. Enjoy these muffins for breakfast, as a snack, or as part of “breakfast for dinner.”

Your Budget Goals – Is It Time To Revise?

bgbudgetOdds are that you routinely re-evaluate the big choices that you make in your life all of the time. As you become more educated about the benefits of a healthy diet, you might make changes to the foods you eat. Completing a degree might make you reconsider your career choice. A change in your family situation might even make you rethink the house you own. As the circumstances around you change, it only makes sense to re-evaluate other parts of your life.

Re-evaluating your budget than re-evaluating any other part of your life. As you achieve your goals you will need to set new ones – and be sure to be on the lookout for anything that could be a budget helper. As you struggle to make some goals, you may realize that you might need to reconsider those goals. Whatever the outcome of your old budget goals, it’s always a good idea to assess them and determine which ones still work for you and which ones need replacing.

Savings Goals
Savings goals commonly need to be re-evaluated every time you meet your goal. For instance, if you were saving to pay for a winter vacation, you don’t want to simply stop saving after you have paid for you trip. Think ahead to your next vacation, or other major purchase, and start putting away the money you’ll need for it. If your income increases, you may want to consider putting all of that increase (or at least a good portion) towards your savings goal to fund it faster.

Debt Reduction Goals
Debt reduction goals are another type of goal that is in constant need of updating. If you set a goal to pay off one line of credit, maybe a consumer charge card like a Lowe’s card, you’ll need to set a new goal once you’ve paid that account in full. Tackle the next debt on your list of debts and make paying it off your new goal.

Unaccomplished Goals
Sometimes, through no fault of your own, you just can’t make one of your goals happen. Maybe your goal was to pay off your credit card debt in 2010. Then you were laid off from your job in June and took three months to find a new job. It’s just not realistic to think you would still be able to pay off your credit card debt in the time you originally allotted. The important thing to do in these situations is to recognize that your original goal isn’t going to happen and set a new goal in its place. Instead, try something like not accumulating any additional credit card debt while you’re between jobs. You just need to make sure that you’re working towards something.

Re-evaluating your budget goals doesn’t have to be a monumental task. By simply keeping in touch with your financial situation, you won’t find it hard to recognize when you’ve met a goal or when a goal has been placed outside of your reach. Keeping your budget goals in line with your changing life is the best way to guarantee financial success.