It was time. My photography business needed a name. I had built my portfolio and I was ready to charge actual money for my pictures. This was a big step. But first, I needed to name my business.
I called my creative sisters and we brainstormed. No, I didn’t want something boring like using my own name, but something that was fun and different. I settled on “Jasper and Josephine Photography” not because anyone around me (like my kids) were named that, but because they were family nicknames.
This was great and cute and creative, but it was a little silly. For the three years that I used that name, I had the darndest time getting people to remember it. To potential clients, there was no connection between my name and my business name. This was a huge problem.
When I moved to California, I decided to do away with Jasper and Josephine (sorry friends) and go with Michelle Gifford Photography. That name has made all the difference because if people can remember my actual name they can also remember my business name.
Using my name for my business made sense for me because I am a photographer, but what about you? What should you name your business? Let’s consider these seven things:
1. What are you selling? What kind of name does it call for?
If you are selling services where your talents are the product, like photography, interior design, graphic design, etc…, then it makes sense for you to use your name in your business. But, if you are selling a different type of product, consider what kind of name would fit the product. If you are selling baby hats, then you are going to choose something that is a little cuter than others and applies to babies and hats.
2. Create a list of the characteristics of your business, then make a list of characteristics of your audience, now brainstorm ideas for your business.
3. Look to the future.
Are you selling baby hats but think that one day you will expand to more baby items? If so, don’t be so specific in you business name that you might exclude your option to grow and add more products.
4. Don’t be the mullet.
You want your business to last for years, right? Well, don’t be a mullet. Don’t choose something so trendy that in two years it will be out of style. This is one tip you can’t spend too much time thinking about, but should just consider it. You can’t always project that it is not going to be in style forever, so just do your best.
5. Don’t be tricky or 2 kreative.
Your name needs to be straight forward and easy to spell and say. Don’t use creative spellings or numbers. People won’t know whether you used the number or if you spelled out the number. Creative spellings can cause similar problems. You want to make it easy for your customers to find you and remember you.
6. Google it.
Now that you have a list of ideas, google your list. Do some research to see if anyone is using your name. Using your hosting site, look up to see if your domain is available. (Don’t know how to set up a website? Check out this tutorial.) Now look at social media. See if your name is taken on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, everywhere.
7. Test it.
Ask a few of your most trusted friends if your business name makes sense. Ask only the friends that will be honest with you and willing to give good feedback. Not sure who to ask? Well, we’ve got a bunch of business minded women over in our Facebook group who would love to help you. Join our private Facebook group here.
Choosing a name for your business is a little stressful. I get it, I’ve started a bunch of businesses. Once you go through theses steps, you can confidently move forward and start. Don’t let naming your business hold you back. You can change your business name, so just make the best decision you can right now with the information that you have. You got this!
Now that you know your business name, go over to this tutorial to set up your website.