Business Blog – Chapter 3
Last year I started listening to a really good podcast called Startup, from Gimlet Media. It’s a podcast that shows the listener what it’s really like to start their own company and is hosted by Alex Blumberg, the CEO and founder of Gimlet Media. In one of the early episodes, Blumberg and his co-founder Matt Lieber struggled with the different aspects of naming a company. When I first listened to that episode, I thought they were crazy. How hard could it be to name a company? Very.
These days there are so many factors that go into picking a business name. The name has to be clever, fitting, legally available, and open across social media platforms and domains. That is a lot to consider, especially when startup money is really scarce (we’ll go over money in later blog posts) because you don’t have the luxury of buying a name that has already been claimed.
The first thing I did was write the idea for the company on the top of a blank piece of paper (don’t worry, the idea wasn’t as well defined back then).
- NewCompany is a social staffing platform that helps you find the right freelancer for the job faster and easier than ever before. Post jobs, network online, discover long lasting partnerships and find word-of-mouth referrals, all at the click of your mouse.
Next, I started a list on that same piece of paper with words from this description and any synonyms I could think of. For example one of the words I started with was partnership. From there I listed: team, squad, clique, group, unit, pod and so on. I did this with so many different words; the page was almost completely covered in black ink. Then I started mixing and matching different words from this list together on another blank sheet of paper. After a little creativity I had about 20-25 different names listed on the sheet.
This is the point where things got considerably more difficult. I ran all 20-25 names through GoDaddy’s domain search engine to see what was available and not one name combination was available with a .com address. There were a few available with .net, .org, and so on but I wanted .com because that’s the one that most people assume when typing domains. That being said, I started to narrow my list of 20-25 down to the five that I liked best.
Once I was down to five names, I started looking up different spelling combinations for each one. Once I had four combinations for each of the five names, 20 total, I went back to GoDaddy’s domain search engine to check their availability. To my surprise, only three names out of that list of 20 were available.
Now down to the final three names, my next stop was the United States Patent and Trademark Office website (tmsearch.uspto.gov). Here you can see if anyone has filed a trademark for the name you want. Trademarks are pretty expensive and take a long time to process so before you decide to trademark a name, be certain that this is the name you want and also be certain that you do something with this name. When you trademark a business name, you have to prove that you are using this name within six to eight months. If you don’t, you can file for an extension, but that costs nearly the same as filing for a new trademark so you’ll be wasting a lot of money if you don’t have everything in order. Luckily for me, all three of the names I wanted were available.
This was it; I had arrived at the final obstacle standing between me and having a company name. Unfortunately, the final obstacle was vast and arguably the most important. There are so many social media platforms these days that missing one could end up being very costly. So I made yet another list. This one consisted of all the social media platforms I could think of: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Snapchat, etc. Then I started looking to see if my three names were available on these platforms. Unfortunately, one of the names was taken on Facebook. It didn’t look like anyone was using it, but the page did exist. My other two names were both available across all the other platforms.
At this point, I just had to make a decision. It was down to MyClyq or QuickClyq. After a little back and forth between the two, I decided on MyClyq because it sounded much more original and had less chance of being confused for another company (QuickClick Loans and QuickClick Android App). To be completely honest, MyClyq was a name that stood out to me from the very first list of name combinations I made. I had a feeling it was the name I was going to choose but I wanted to be sure. Going through this process really helped solidify my decision.
Now that I had a name picked out, I went through and reserved it across all the social media platforms and purchased the domain www.myclyq.com. Then I went back to tmsearch.uspto.gov to start the process of filing for the trademark. After I did all this, I decided to go back to the social media platforms and start building early drafts of the MyClyq pages. As soon as I got to Facebook, I realized that before I could do anything, I needed to figure out a logo and color scheme as this would set the pace for the rest of the website moving forward.