1 in 4 (28%) of small business owners wait months after they’ve registered their company name to register their domain name, risking losing out on their preferred .com or .co.uk web address according to our research. With so many small businesses going to Companies House before they check for their desired domain name, 1 in 5 (22%) actually lose their preferred name and have to settle for a name not related to their company at all (21%).
We surveyed 2,079 business owners and found that many are startlingly relaxed about owning their online brand – coming to regret this later on when they miss out on their domain name. Two thirds of business owners (63%) admit they registered their company name after establishing their business. Even many .com savvy firms established in the past 3 years missed the boat.
Stephen Ewart, Marketing Manager for names.co.uk, explained: “Most companies make the mistake of acknowledging how important their company name is to the success of their business. This attributes to the huge number of people registering their business name at Companies House, without even thinking to check for their domain name first. Your domain name is more important these days than your mobile or telephone number, so it is a big oversight to not check for this first. Customers will search for your .com or .co.uk name every single day, so not owning the domain is a real issue.”
However, not all businesses are as forgetful on registering their company name. More than a third (35%) admit to registering their domain name before they launched their business with 25% even building their website before launch. 49% also admit to registering multiple domain names to protect their company name or expand their business.
Sally Tomkotowicz, Customer Acquisition Marketing Manager for names.co.uk elaborated:
“This survey provides a compelling insight into the thought process of entrepreneurs and small business owners. While it seems some owners have all their ducks in a row and make sure they own their website and social names ahead of launching their company, our data suggests that actually a quarter of SMBs are very disorganised – waiting months after they’ve registered their company name to find out if they can get their name as a .co.uk or .com and many taking even longer to design and launch their final website.”
Other key breakdowns from the research include:
- 84% of small businesses launch their website within 3 months of their company, with 12% building their website in a day.
- 10% of businesses take over a year to get a website online.
- Just a quarter (27%) of businesses have registered Facebook and Twitter accounts, where as 54% have neither registered.
We carried out the research at the point when we took Namesco back to its domain name roots by rebranding to names.co.uk. Sally explained the decision: “We feel that all names are important and that every new business really needs to think carefully about their domain name. By making our main name actually our domain name we are really encouraging small businesses to consider registering their domain name before they launch their company, so they can get the name that matters to their business.”
Our research also showed that 25% of businesses might consider changing their name, given the chance. A further 10% of entrepreneurs openly admitted to not being sure if they even like their company name at all.