You can name your startup yourself. Should you?

Originally published Jan 29, 2015

Founders, you can come up with a good name for your startup on your own. You may be surprised to hear this from The Name Inspector, who is, after all, a naming consultant.

So why should anyone hire a naming consultant? Like so many business decisions, it’s a matter of using resources efficiently.

Naming takes much more time than most people anticipate. A typical email to The Name Inspector begins something like this:


Could you please tell me about how you work and what you charge? My partner and I have been trying to come up with a name for three months, but every idea we like seems to be unavailable, and we still haven’t chosen a name. Now our lack of a name is holding up other tasks, like getting a logo designed.

Naming is a process. If you don’t have experience with that process, you’ll be learning as you go, and it can take much more time than you realize. That time might be better spent on other things, like finishing your product, pitching to investors, or polishing your marketing plan.

Experienced naming consultants (such as The Name Inspector) know how to go through the naming process very efficiently, and how to come up with ideas that you wouldn’t think of yourself. They can make the difference between finding a good name slowly and finding a great name quickly. (Well, relatively quickly.)

So the question is: Can you afford the time it takes to come up with a name yourself? You might find that it’s more expensive not to hire a naming consultant than it is to hire one.

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