What’s in a name? A lot if you’re starting a roof replacement business from scratch.
For some, the right option for picking names for a roofing business is to work with an advertising or marketing agency. Their services often include a systematic approach, like full market and competitive research, as well as branding elements, like logo design.
The snag for new business owners: an agency’s price tag can run into the thousands.
But you can still find the right name on a bootstrap budget. This guide will walk you through the process of coming up with ideas for roofing company names and choosing one you’ll be proud to put on the sign out front.
Whether you use pencil on paper or markers on a whiteboard, now’s the time to let name ideas flow. Jot down any and all ideas without judging them--that comes later.
Pro Tip: Too much input from others early on can muddy the decision-making waters. Brainstorm with no more than one or two others. Later, after the list is narrowed down, you can ask friends, family, or colleagues for feedback.
Stuck? Find inspiration in:
- Your mission statement
- Your vision statement
- What differentiates you from competitors
- Words for concrete objects that suggest concepts or values (for example, stone suggests longevity or reliability while diamond conveys quality)
If you like the concept or feeling behind a certain word but the word itself doesn’t feel quite right, check an online thesaurus for alternatives that might be a better fit.
Consider long-term strategy before choosing a place-based name.
A geographically-based name can help build trust, especially in an industry like roofing, where homeowners worry about fly-by-night contractors. It can also help you build valuable local SEO (search engine optimization).
But consider that a place-based name can limit your roofing company if it expands its service area later. Say you choose the name “Dauphin County Roofers.” As you grow, out-of-county homeowners may automatically overlook you because they don’t realize your service area reaches their home in a neighboring county.
Try to avoid oddly spelled or hard-to-spell words.
Think a name like Ur Best Roofer will set you apart? Maybe not. Odd spellings make it harder for consumers to find a newer business when they’re typing into search engines.
Likewise, think carefully before choosing a complex name. For example, the 12-letter name of the ancient mythical ruler you’ve always admired might be a bad choice if area homeowners can’t spell--or say--it.
Speaking of, well, speaking, pronunciation plays a role in search, too. About 74% of surveyed consumers use voice for local search on their smartphone at least weekly, according to BrightLocal. Easier-to-pronounce could very well translate into easier-to-find.
Give the process a break.
Picking a roofing business name can feel as intense as naming a baby. So, give your brain space to process; set the brainstormed list aside for at least a few days, and come back to it with fresh eyes.
Narrow the list.
Now that your brain’s rested, pull out those ideas again. If you’re lucky, you’ll recognize that AHA! name that’s perfect for your roofing business.
More likely, you’ll have to go through the ideas and narrow them down to a few finalists. Once you’ve got the short list, it’s time to share it with family, friends, or others who can help you narrow the list even more.
Start your search engines.
With a whopping 97% of consumers searching for local businesses online, you need to know what a prospect will see when they type in your potential company name...because finding out that the name you just paid to print on signs and t-shirts is confusingly similar to a one-star roofer the next county over is stressful, frustrating, and expensive.
Always web search the names on the short list. Look for businesses with the exact or similar spelling as the names you’re considering. Visit your state’s business registry, too, to make sure someone hasn’t already registered them. (For example, PA roofers can check the state’s Business Entity Database.)
Pro Tip: Considering an uncommon word or term as part of the name? Enter it into an online slang dictionary like Urban Dictionary to ensure it doesn’t have an unfortunate second definition that leaves prospects giggling.
Consider potential URLs and social media handles.
Your roofing website and social profiles act like digital homes for your company. For each name on the list, write out options for URLs (website addresses) and social profile handles. If the name is too long, consider how you might shorten it.
Questions to ask:
- Is the ideal domain for this name taken? (Use a domain checker, like this one, to find out.)
- Will prospects still recognize my roof replacement business if the name needs to be shortened?
- Does the domain or social media handle have an unintentional interpretation? (One often-cited example: the URL choosespain.com can be read as “choose Spain” or “chooses pain.” Yikes!)
Choose a roofing company name.
Time to pick your winner! Making a final choice can feel tough, but if you’ve taken it step-by-step you can have confidence you’ve chosen well.
Final step: protect yourself by making sure the name is free to use.
Trademark law protects a business by preventing competitors from choosing names that are too similar to its own. Make sure you’re not violating another company’s trademark by consulting a trademark attorney or checking out this free Nolo resource.