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When working on a new business concept, one of the first steps nearly every idea driven person wants to take on is to find an appropriate name for the new business. It feels like a very necessary step, because with every concept or thought note, you would like to use the brand or company name.
My first advise on this: You don’t need a name from the beginning. Try to do as much of the work as you can, without thinking about a brand or company name. It’s very hard, I know. But it is not necessary and it may distract you from the real things to think about.
I have done most of my conceptional work regarding the business model, possible revenue streams and early MVPs incl. relevant hypotheses without a name for the business. I started with noting thoughts in my evernote notebook. To make sure I don’t miss any relevant part of the business model, I use proven structures, such as Business Model Canvas – which is of course nothing new, but still essentially helpful. For hypotheses definition, I tried out a new structure that is called Validation Board. After I’ve done all the concept work to a certain point, where I was quite clear about the concept – at least the hypotheses and the MVP concept, I started to think about a name.
The main reason why I started thinking about the name was that I needed a domain and I was pretty sure that the brands name should be also the domain name. So I defined some criteria, that the name and therefore also the domain should meet. Here you can find some requirements that I applied, simplified to not give too much information about my concept in current state.
- Should be short (7 characters or less)
- Should make sense and should be catchy
(consisting of syllables that make sense in combination)
- Should not contain numbers
- Should end with TLD “.com”
- Should contain a keyword related to the topic/industry of the concept
After I’ve noted down the requirements, I tried to find a name with doing some brainstorming. But, after I’ve found some candidates, I realized that none of them were available as a .com-domain. I needed to find another approach, preferably the other way around.
I started some research and stumbled over a very valuable website called peew.de. One of their services is to list all domains that are about to expire or yet expired within the last hours. And – fortunately the website offers a great filter for this list, so I would be able to filter by using nearly all of the criteria I mentioned above (by length, containing numbers, containing keywords …). I realized that this website is a great tool to find a domain and with this, to find a name for my business concept.
I can absolutely recommend this service to everyone looking for a domain name.
I’ve found a short domain, 6 characters long, with containing the most relevant keyword in this industry. The domain expired just a few hours before and I immediately registered the domain at my favorite hosting service one.com and now I’m able to set-up the MVP website to test all the primary hypotheses.
Do you have some experiences to share about this topic? Post your comment below. I would love to discuss with you.