Our Story: The Business Name
I want to share with you the story of how That Works For Me came to be. Setting up a business is not easy and we have probably been through some similar challenges! This post is all on how we made the huge decision of our business name…
How we came up with our business name
This time last year I had an idea. Having explored it with my best friend Nicola, and worked out what business model we would use, it was time to try and flesh it out into something more meaningful.
We were clear on the objectives – to bring parents back into the workplace, bring highly skilled expertise to businesses on a non-full time basis and to facilitate flexible working opportunities. We knew that the fastest way to make the biggest impact would be through a digital venture. Having tested it with lots of audiences, we were increasingly confident in what we wanted to build.
We started working with Rose Montague, an incredible designer based in Leeds. She was 6 months pregnant so we were working on borrowed time (yet wonderfully on-brand!), but she agreed to help us by bringing some life to our thinking. We drew up a basic sitemap and some simple user journeys which gave us all great confidence in what the business was to become.
She started to look at the design and think about creating a brand. We needed a name! And fast!
Deciding on a name for your business is like trying to name your child! It feels so dauntingly definitive! ‘The naming’ was one of the most intimidating tasks I have faced to date. The name is everything! The pressure! It had to be memorable – but not cheesy; represent what we do – but not be too long; other people had to like it – and so did we; and, most importantly – the domain name had to be available.
It wasn’t easy. Lots of the good names were taken (Work That Works, for example) and everyone has an opinion. The three of us came up with a list of possible names over the course of a week, checking (before we even put it out there to the others) the domain name availability. I was quickly forced to confront one of my shortcomings – this sort of task was not my bag! Thank goodness for creative people!
However, not one to be easily defeated, I acknowledged this fact and started searching for tools to help me get into the naming process. My favourite ones were:
Onym – a resource to help you get started naming your ‘thing’
Rhymezone – a tool for generating rhyming and similar words
Greensdictofslang – a sland dictionary, good for a read at the very least!
moby-thesaurus.org – the most thorough thesaurus I’ve ever seen! Reeeaaally creative (!)
Etymonline – the history of words, interesting if not always useful
fantasynamegenerators – the wild card! One for the Game of Thrones fans
Namelix – great one-word suggestions, you can customise to generate positive or negative words
Businessnamegenerator – your straight-up name generator!
Entrepreneur – Top tips & resources 7 Tips for Naming Your Business
What’s in a Business Name? the Six Essential Elements You Need to Know Balancesmbsixelements – tricky to meet all the criteria but a good list of things to think about when you get stuck
Put your business name to the test! Balancesmbbusinessname – road test that bad boy!
Picking the favourite
Once we had a list of a couple of hundred (!) potential names, we each went through and discounted the ones we hated – a classic no-nonsense veto approach. Then we each picked our top ten names, jumped on a call and talked through our top tens – eliminated some more from there and then turned our attention to the ones that were left – about 15 between the three of us. Some were too lengthy (work that works for me), some were one-word names that felt a little ‘meh’ (flexiwork), some were ‘mash ups’ (we were very nearly called WoBal). In the end there were three or four that stood out that we all liked.
We talked through them all, ran them through some of the name tests, I particularly liked the Balancesmbbusinessname tool.
We put our shortlist out to the Facebook group we had started, comprised of a couple of hundred really engaged friends, family and businesspeople who were happy to offer their opinions. Luckily, our front-runner was the one they all liked the best!
So that was that! That Works For Me was made official! We were off…
Next stop is bringing the business to life.
The stage we are still in now and have been for some months! Keep an eye out for our next post to find out how it’s all coming together!