When starting a business, it is almost like naming your baby. After all too many of us, our business is like a baby to us. We birth this idea, create it, and care for it. So, the name is important. We imagine and even practice how it sounds, write it so we can see what it looks like, and even talk to our family and friends to see what they think.
I get asked the question often, how should I go about finding a name for my business? I have put a lot of thought into my answer and did a lot of research to see what others have to say about the topic because, to be honest, I think the answer changes depending on the business.
I have a passion for "business" itself. I have started many businesses in life and still do. I even have the intention of opening several more in the near future and with it, comes finding a name for them. I have given many hours of thought to the name of each of the businesses. Some of them I think are a pretty great fit and others are just okay. I chose some names that tell you where and what the business is and on the reverse, I have some that if I told you just the name.
Initially, I think most people would say, the business that tells you where and what it is, make the most sense, and to a large degree, you are right. In most cases, I think it is a good concept and for many would work out just fine. This isn't always the case. If I named all my business that way one of my businesses would have been Minneapolis Planner. Well, that doesn't really roll off the tongue, but currently, it could be Central Valley Coordinators. That sounds pretty good. So, you see it obviously doesn't always work out well. If you named your business that way what would it be called? Just for fun, put it in the comments below. If that works for you great, I am glad I could help! You don't have to read any further. If not, how do you name your business then? Let's look at what the experts say:
After scouring the internet, I checked out some of my top "go tos" for their take on the subject. I like to see what all the "Big Guys" have to say. After reading them, I thought many of the tips they had really didn't apply and I wanted to break it down and give you my thoughts. I bolded their top tips for naming your business. Then I give my opinion right under their recommendation.
This site offers advice, support, tools, strategies, real stories, and real business examples. Here is what they think about when naming a business.
1. A strong name should be simple
I agree. Simple as in easy to remember, easy to spell, and easy to understand. Sometimes we try to be too clever and if it isn't in simple terms, some people may not even know what the words mean which will translate poorly and make it all too easy to forget.
2. Avoid using puns
I agree here too. I don't think this is a good idea for an event business to "joke about their name". It is going to set the wrong tone for your business. If you are reading this and trying to remember what a "pun" is, here is a fun flashback: “Make like a tree and leave.” Another good reason for not using a pun is not everyone will understand the pun and dismiss your business altogether. A practical example; knock your socks off events?
3. Don't be a copycat
When trying to be clever and get inspiration from other business you find on the internet, it is hard to not copy someone. You want your business to stand out and be clever, but you also want to stand out and be different. I agree with this one too, don't copy someone else.
4. Play around with phrases
There are some really cute and memorable businesses that I can remember because they have a cute phrase, but all too often people start to copy each other with a twist and all of a sudden you have several businesses in the same are with names like, covered with elegance, we gotcha covered, the covered affair, and all of a sudden I get them mixed up. That get's tough when you want to recommend someone and they do a google search and can't remember the exact name.
5. Use a foreign word
I wouldn't recommend this idea. think in the event business this can be an elegant-sounding name when you hear it. However, again your prospective clients may have trouble spelling it. Then they will just go to someone else they find on the internet.
6. Don't cater to trends
I have seen many people fall into this habit. Several years ago the trend word was premier. So we have dress shops, magazines, jewelers, DJs, and Photographers all with that name in our area. It's not a bad name, but it really has lost any impactful meaning and now just dates the businesses as "older". So, I agree. Stay away from trendy words or phrases.
If you want to read the full article click here.
If you are not familiar with this site, they offer advice, insight, profiles, and guides for established and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.
1. The name needs to sound good when it's said aloud.
Yes, I guess this should be obvious, right? If they had to tell us that, I guess it must not be obvious. I think if it sounds nice, that is a definite good way to go. We probably don't need to say much more about that.
2. Use a name that has meaning to it and conveys a benefit.
As I said in my introduction, a name that says what it is and conveys a benefit, is great. Stacy's Stress-free Planning, Stunning Events, Styled with Grace, anything that has what you highlight in the name.
3. Avoid Web 2.0-ish syndrome.
These are names that you use the letter "u" instead of you or "2" instead of two. This is hard to search on the internet and get right.
4. Beware initials.
They say initials in a name like IBM or 3M aren't the way to go, but I think it is easy to remember and if it is meaningful, I say go for it. Who can forget the Queen of Soul's famous initials in her song, TCB- now that would make a good name: TCB Events. If you are a little spunky and don't put up with nonsense, that name would be great for the right business.
5. Use specifics.
I can get on board with this. They are really saying, basically say what you mean. Get It Done Events depicts a no-nonsense type of planning service. On Top Of It Events, makes me think nothing will fall through the cracks if I hire them. Hold Your Hand Events for clients who are sensitive and want to be nurtured through the process. Right On Time Event Planning (focusing on short-term event planning). These are names that tell the client what to expect.
6. Make sure you can trademark the name.
In our industry, I don't see the need for this. Planners come and go so often, no one's name really needs to be trademarked. If someone copy's your name, don't sweat it, they may not be around long. What benefit long term will you have by trademarking your name? Even if you plan on being huge, if you live in Maryland and someone steals your name who lives in Arizona, will that person really be a threat to your business?
7. Test it out on Google AdWords.
When you start out yes, you can try it to see if it has a higher ranking, I really don't think it will have as big of an effect as ensuring you have great SEO.
If you want to read this full article click here.
Forbes is a great resource. They are a global media company, focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle.
1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
We did cover this one before but, I do think it is worth repeating. Especially if you decided to use your name and you or your parents have decided to use an unusual spelling for your name. People trying to search for it will have a difficult time finding it.
2. Don't pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
Sometimes we don't realize that as our business grows, our name could limit us. I know a decorator that had her name and then chair covers. She obviously started out with just chair covers, then expanded quite a bit, but years later she did all types of decor and you can see how her name limited what people may have expected.
3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
I don't know how important this is other than trying to ensure no one in your service area has the same name. The only other thing you may want to do is to check to make sure the name you want isn't trademarked. Someone else may want to ensure no one else uses the name they wanted so badly they trademarked it.
4. Get the .com domain name.
If the name is available at a reasonable price then yes, get the .com. If not, you can get the .net .biz .cc whatever is available. The .com isn't as important as it once was, many people understand that most names are taken and the alternative ending is widely excepted.
5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
We covered this one before and I think we can agree if it is possible and flows off the tongue nicely it is definitely a great idea
6. Conduct a trademark search.
Again, okay, check it out for trademark issues, but I think overall they are really considering the big companies, not those of us who typically have a very specific region we serve.
7. Conduct a Secretary of State search.
Typically you do this step if you are going to incorporate your business. This is similar to trademarking. If you are a corporation, your name will be owned. cross-check your name to see if anyone has the sole rights to it.
If you want to read the full article click here.
Okay so how do we put all this into practice?
Here are the applications I agreed with:
1. Easy to spell
2. Keep it simple
3. Convey a Benefit
1. Well, let's start with your name. Start by just simply writing it out. Now ask yourself objectively, is it easy to spell? Is there any way someone won't be able to spell it easily? If the answer is yes, then I would leave it out. If it is easy to spell let's keep it in for now.
2. Now what do you do? Do you want to plan, decorate, coordinate or do you think you should leave it open for growth? Do you specialize in anything?
3. What is the benefit of someone choosing you. Do you receive stress, help them save money or time, or are you a great designer, or like to be seen as a friend?
Let's look at some simple examples:
Stress-free Planning by Victoria.
Easy Events with Victoria.
Budget Party Planning By Victoria.
Calm Coordinating with Victoria.
If it gets too long, maybe drop your name.
Budget Party Planning
Of course, you will play with your thoughts and ideas. Remember try not to be too clever for your own good. When you come up with a name that you think is good, go back and review the list above to make sure it checks all the boxes.
A name is a very important aspect of your business but all too often the focus is on the wrong thing. You might have a cute name and you may love it, but if someone can't spell it, doesn't know what it means, or is too niche, they may pass by you all together and book Planning by Patty because it was easier for them.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.