Does your company name suck? Take the ‘Ten Word Test’ to find out.

The name for your company is about as important as the company itself. It is normally the first encounter anyone has with your company. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. But your company name may be the only impression you get to make if your company’s name sucks. And I have to say, there are a lot of names out there that do.

I’ve noticed a trend among novice start-up acts; they love to have fancy sounding names that communicate absolutely nothing. They put their name alongside a word like “Group” or “& Associates” or “Consulting” and suddenly they are a high-powered CEO of a company. Their business card gives them permission to believe that their you know what doesn’t stink. Well it does stink!

So, I thought it would be fun to put on the fancy CEO suit for a moment and imagine myself as a new entrepreneur choosing a fancy sounding name for my start up. Take a look at some examples I’ve created for myself: Colleen Robb, founder & CEO.

Associated Enterprises, LLC
Strategic Solutions Group, LLC
Robb Strategic Alliance, Inc.
Robb Consulting & Planning, Inc.
Innovative Business & Solutions, Inc.

Do any of these tell you anything about what I might do? No.
Do any of these tell you what I might specialize in? Nope.
Do they make you a bit more inclined to learn more? No way.
Do they tell you why you might need my company? Absolutely not.

In fact, the only thing that these names tell me about you and your company are that you are either one of two things: inexperienced or egotistical.

So, let’s do a test of YOUR company name. Take a look at this list of ten words and then take a look at your company name and see how many of these words you find:

  1. Business
  2. Solutions
  3. Consulting
  4. Enterprises
  5. Strategies/Strategic
  6. Planning
  7. Group
  8. Innovative
  9. Associated
  10. Alliance

If you have one of these words in your company name, you may want to think about replacing it with something that communicates more about what you do for your customers. You could also just remove the word entirely and save some printing ink.

If you have two or three of these words in your company name – you should probably scrap the whole name and start again.

And if you have more than three of these words in your company name – post them below, I’d love a good laugh.

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