How to spot a good business idea

How do you know when you’ve got a business idea that will fly?

Once upon a time we renamed an organisation I worked for. In the boardroom, the branding agency prepared us for the first round of potential names: ‘Even if you really love one name, don’t get too attached as it may not work, even if all the stakeholders agree. Trademark searches can kill good ideas.’

The second name in the deck was the one. We all looked around at each other. We went through the rest of the workshop trying to be open minded about all the other options. But we all knew. It was just right and there was nothing else for it. Waiting for the trademark searches to come back was nerve-wracking but eventually, with a spot of negotiation on the way, we prevailed. And renamed the company – the name was just perfect.

In June I met long time friend and venture-partner Sarah Green for a glass of wine at Somerset House. We’d both been toying with the idea of working together again. As we waited for our drinks to arrive the topic came up again.

Let’s set up a business doing marketing the RIGHT way.

OK.

Let’s call it F and G.

DONE.

There was that moment again. It just worked.

If you’ve ever had the responsibility of naming something or someone you’ll know the pressure. But hopefully you’ll have also had the pleasure of just knowing when you’d got it right.

What ensued was an evening of high energy conversation as we shared our hopes and goals for our new venture. So much fun. F&G. Our initials, a serious business name. But also sounds like effin’ and jeffin’. Which sits well with our irreverent outlook.

Now, having nailed the name, we have to make the business work. And I don’t think for a second that we’ll hit on the perfect solution every time. I know there will be dark moments and even abject fails along the way. But we’re going to give it our best shot. And we thought we’d share our progress and the lessons we learn – the good and the bad – on this blog.

We’d love to hear what you think. How was your business born?

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