Business name rules and guides

In my previous two blogs I provided rules and tips for selecting a business name.This blog is about how successful (or not) my own company name is in light of my own advice.

Why “OnSolution”?

I started my company in 2000 as a financial entity to allow me to do contract work. I had no thought of it being a “real business” and so came up with a name that was related to what I was doing back then – programming.

When programming we attach code to “events”. An event is something like a mouse click and the event name is “OnClick”. So if you wanted to do something when a solution is found it would be “OnSolution”.

Clever hey? Not really.

Business Name Test 1 – The Rules

So according to my  rules post, how do I stack up?

Available: Pass. Of course.

Domain name available: mostly pass. The “” was available but not the “.com”

Trademark available: Back then I didn’t even think about it. It is, but I have now been trading for so long it isn’t an issue.

Easy to remember: FAIL. People can’t even repeat it straight away. We get called “Online solution”, “On solutions” or just totally forgotten.

Strategic: PASS/FAIL: It passed in terms of how I saw the company heading (as a programming company) but failed to realise that within 6 months the company was going to take a huge change in direction when I started selling my own software as an off-the-shelf product with temperature loggers.

It has to be you: PASS. I see myself as a solution provider, not a product pusher.

It has to pass the google test: PASS. The other OnSolution companies are fairly dormant. But I have noticed that Google will split it into “on solution” and find many more matches that way. So the competition is there, just not what I expected.

Business Name Test 2 – The tips

For the tips failures aren’t that bad. After all, they are tips which can be taken or left. But there were consequences.

Trade or product: FAIL. There is no way that you can work out what my company does based on its name.

Location: FAIL. There is no way that you can tell where I’m located by my name, but it doesn’t matter.

Consider the medium term: FAIL. I couldn’t even predict 6 months into the future when I started my company.

Expect the unexpected: FAIL. Big time FAIL.

Use Google: Probably not applicable because I didn’t have the right direction in mind, so Google wouldn’t have helped.

Use a pub: FAIL. I didn’t pass the new name around to mates for feedback. All I wanted was to have a company set up so that I could start doing contract work. I had the contract signed, I just needed a legal entity.

Use Fiverr: Not applicable. Fiverr didn’t exist in 2000.

Business name conclusion

It’s not looking too good, and so we are now trying to come up with a new business name. It’s tough and that’s where my rules and tips are largely coming from.

So as promised, my first mistake – the company name.