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Thinking of starting a new business – start with your domain

By Tim Fuell - August 2, 2013

Budding entrepreneur? Here’s the most important piece of advice you will get… Pick a domain name not a business name.

“Of course you’d say that” I hear you cry. Well no, we try and keep this blog as an information source not a sales driver so we’d only say it if it is true – and it is.

We live in an online world. Even if you are the biggest luddite refusing to set up an email or use the world wide web, if you live in the developed world you can’t have failed to have heard about the power of the internet. Every magazine, every billboard, even every other vehicle that goes past and on every radio channel and tv channel, there are references to the internet. mostly references to websites. The power of the domain name has never has been so strong.

So back to starting a business… The problem with coming up with a name first is has something of an analogy with coming up with ideas for new products. It’s just an idea but it needs a catalyst to work. In the modern world that catalyst is your domain name. That instantly recognisable website address and / or branded email that says who you are.  The catalyst changes it, moulds it and gets it in a form to ‘make it happen’. It acts as a funnel too and as a funnel the domain name system acts to minimise options.

Your favourite domain name may already be taken or not look or read so well with a .com or the like suffixed to it. With it goes all the hard work and effort put into choosing that business name. So choosing the domain name first makes greater sense again.

Your domain name will possibly be the thing people most remember you for. Make it snappy and memorable and your business will automatically become ‘sticky’ in their mind. Choosing your domain name first also intenstifies your attentions to the need to be sticky. Of course long domain names are possible, but in practice they are rarely used. Why because they don’t look or sound right, yet as a business name they may have been very acceptable, but remember this is a digital world, how it appears and how it works online, is key.

Remember though your first choice domain name may have already been snapped up but it may also be available for sale like one of our Premium Domain examples. It depends how much you want it and how much you think that brand works.  If that isn’t an option though, think about being creative with another domain extension. It could be clever or witty to use the suffix actually as part of your brand. After all that is effectively what many of the big brands set to launch their own branded gTLDs have in mind. It also sends out a message about how committed you are to the digital world.

In the modern world your domain name is your strongest brand ambassador. Choose it and use it well and your business will be off to the best possible start.

Want to know more about domains? Feel free to check our comprehensive domain name guide.