When electrician Marcus Prescott launched his business, it didn’t take him long to think of a name.

He was starting it in the days when most of us looked for tradespeople in the Yellow Pages – and we didn’t have time to scroll through loads of names.

And so A1 Electrical Services was born.

That was in 2007, and the Malmesbury firm is still doing well on the back of it.

But in an age of Google searches and Facebook group recommendations, does what you call your business still matter?

Marcus says the name can still get him noticed.

“I chose it because it put me right at the start of the alphabet in the phone book. It was the first one you look at.

“It still means I can be the first one in and make a great impression.”

The Wiltshire electrical field is a crowded one at the start of the alphabet, with Accolade Electrical in Trowbridge and Aardvark Electrical Services near Semington.

Electrician James Johnson set up Aardvark 19 years ago, with the name suggested by his accountant.

He paid a firm in London to design a logo featuring the nocturnal African mammal.

“We picked the name for marketing purposes – it gets you to the top of the list, or in those days it used to.

“And then people came along with names like A Plus Plus and A1.”

James said the unusual name still worked in his favour, even though much of his work comes from word-of-mouth recommendations.

“I think it did work initially – I was top of the listings. And even now, if you’re an A, someone is going to see you.”

Research by the official body Companies House has revealed that A does punch above its weight when it comes to business names.

The most common word-starting letter in the alphabet – and the most common letter to start a British business – is S.

But A is the second most common business name starter, even though more actual words in the English language begin with C and P.

Companies House says A remains enduringly popular, but that letters at the far end of the alphabet such as X, Y and Z are used more now than in the past.

American branding expert Mark Prus argues that starting your firm’s name with an A is no longer a wise move.

“In fact, having a name that starts with A could put you at a competitive disadvantage because of the large number of historical A names.”

He said a better strategy would be to develop a name reflecting your competitive advantage such as 24-Hour Plumber.

Other experts have suggested that having a distinctive, unusual name could be the key – and that actually targeting less-used starting letters such as K or Q might work.

At the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, business advisers have plenty of advice for entrepreneurs thinking about what to call their businesses.

Head of marketing Tim Burghes said: “A business or company name is central to a firm's identity and can help distinguish a business from its competitors.”

The advice is to choose a name that is easy to remember, unique, appropriate, easy to find, simple and legal. Conversely, the experts say names which are confusing, slangy, likely to become out of date or obscure should be avoided.

Businesses will be urged to consider how easy their name will be to find on a Google search through the process of search engine optimisation, with simplicity, relevance and distinctiveness crucial.