Thinking up a name for your business is actually pretty hard.

Thinking up a name for your business is actually pretty hard.

The Australian Small Business Centre strives to help new businesses get their ideas off the ground — and existing businesses to grow. And one of the first steps anyone has to take when branching out on their own is deciding on the business name.

I recently started my own virtual assistant (VA) business and had to come up with a business name. How hard can that be? Well, for me, in terms of challenging it was up there with naming my child or pet — there are so many things you have to think about when naming your business!

Picking a Word You Like

Your business name is probably going to be with your company for a long time. It’s your brand, it tells your clients who you are and possibly what you do. I have recently gone through this decision for a new business of mine and boy did our house have a few discussions about it.

Someone suggested when deciding the name of your business, use a word that you like. I love the word “visualize”; to me that means to see what can happen or to see how I can help. The Australian Government has a website called ABN Lookup. This allows you to see if your preferred business name is available or if someone else has beaten you to it. Visualize had been used so I was left still trying to find find that perfect name.

Not to be deterred, I still really wanted the name to have something to do with “visualize”. I started to put design, concepts, systems etc. with the word. It was getting too long or the name had already gone. (Be careful with long names, they are difficult for people to pick up quickly, to hear and to type correctly if using for your web address. I learnt this from experience.)

Name Generation Programs

The internet has fantastic programs that allow you to generate names. One of them came up with “Vizilize”. I thought it was a clever name. My family couldn’t quite understand or see the whole “Vizilize” concept that I had. They said, “What’s Vizilize?” I said it was like Acer, Foxtel, 3M and Optus. I’m thinking real big for this company! That’s when the family suggested that I should incorporate what the company did.

Telling the Story of What Your Company Does

I started to go down that path. Initially I didn’t want to incorporate what the company did. But I felt like I should give it go. “One Stop VA” was my first idea. My son called out, “What’s a VA, Mum?” Then I came up with “The Virtual Assistant” but that got the family thinking the company was run by a computer-generated assistant. “Teleworks” was next but we felt the name was limited in what the company could do and difficult to expand.

Then I said myself, “Stop mucking around. Have a name you want, a name that relates to you”. The word visualise kept coming back to me. To me, this name said, “I can visualize what you want; I can help you and your business become successful.” I wanted the company name to sound creative whilst also sounding professional. I mentioned all this to my daughter and that’s when “Viziway” was born.

“Viziway” — meaning we visualize your way, by  showing things visually.


Notice how Michelle’s business name was the result of discussion with family? If you want to realise the benefits of speaking with others — especially like-minded professional business people who have run, and continue to run, successful enterprises — we invite you to meet with us, obligation-free, at our casual and fun breakfast meetups at Lane Cove in Sydney.