What’s in a name? Well quite a lot actually when it comes to naming your gardening business. It’s going to be on your van, headed paper, invoices, fliers, social media accounts, and for the purposes of this article on your website. So, what type of name is it best to have? Should it be your own name or a novelty name?
Well there are no hard and fast rules to naming your business. If you take a look at some of the giants of the industry their names do not fall in to any particular category. For example, Gavin Jones-own name, Ground Control-a play on words type of name, Idverde-abstract name, TCL-initial type name.
What is a good name for a gardening business?
Whilst a successful business can use any type of name, certain types of name can hinder small businesses from getting off the ground. Should you decide to use an abstract name for example then you are going to have to get people to associate your name with the type of work you do. The same can be said for initial type names with your type of business following the letters. ABC services will take more effort to get known than ABC Landscapes for example. It really depends on what direction you want to go in. If you want to build up a local landscaping business, then putting the area and type of work together in the name often works. ‘Essex Landscapes’ or ‘Milton Keynes Gardeners’ for example. These names won’t be appropriate, however, if you want to expand in to other geographical locations.
So what’s wrong with novelty names? Well, nothing really, as long as they imply what you do in the title eg ‘The Garden Guys’, ‘Mow It All’ etc. The anonymity can be a problem when going for some jobs. A gardener using their own name can be perceived as being more trustworthy, after all, it is more difficult to do a runner with your own name on your van. Should you live in small community, a village, or isolated area, then using your own name is an advantage as people will know who you are anyway and they will quickly associate you as a person with that type of work. There again, if you want to start a franchise business you are better off with a novelty name. A franchisee shelling out a few grand to work under your brand umbrella doesn’t really want another guy’s name on his van.
How do I know if someone already has my business name?
Whatever name you choose, there is one thing that your name must be, unique. So how do you check that nobody else is using your name? The first stop is companies house to see if somebody has registered your name as a limited company. Just go here https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/ and enter your proposed name. Companies house is for limited companies. Sole traders do not have to register with companies house so there might be somebody with your business name out there. The only way to find them is to search the internet for your business name. The quick way is to do a domain search. Go to https://www.lcn.com/domain-names#/results and type in your name. The results will show if anyone has registered a domain using your business name. The domain could end in .org, .com, .co.uk, .uk amongst others so run through the list of search results to see if you are there. This leads us on to the next stage in choosing your name, the domain.
So what actually is a domain?
Every computer online has an IP address. This is a long and difficult to remember number. Domain names were invented to make your favourite websites easier to find by replacing this number with a name eg www.fredbloggs.com instead of 16.114.546.789. The domain is the address of your website on a computer.
How is the computer hosting my domain and website found?
When you enter the domain name of your website into an internet browser, it sends an enquiry to the Domain Name System (DNS) of computers.
These then search for the name servers associated with the domain.
Each hosting company has it’s own set of name servers. These name servers are computers run by your hosting company that direct enquiries to the computer hosting your website. Your enquiry will be sent to the computer that hosts your website.
What are the best domain endings?
If you have done a domain search you will see that there are a lot of domain endings! As a general rule, .com endings are for international companies, .org endings are for information type websites, .co.uk is the preferred ending for UK based companies. If you work only in London, there is a .london ending that might be useful.
OK, all there is left to do is to start scratching your head for that perfect name!
Once you have decided on your domain then you need to think about your website and how to host it. We cover that in the next in the series.