Are you trying to brainstorm good business names for your craft business?
Below you can read about how several readers brainstormed ideas to name their own businesses.
How I Came Up With a Good Business Name
Karen Westland, MI
We owned a small business for approximately 5 years. We started from scratch and did not have a name. Part way into the first year we decided we needed a good business name.
First, we checked the phone book to see what was popular, so our name would not be too closely related to or confused with others.
Second, we listed all the words we could think of that were related to our type of business, and then started putting them together in combinations.
We built two spreadsheets – one in alphabetical order and one in order of our favorite names. We let family members vote for their top three choices, then we made the final decision. Luckily, they liked the same ones we did!
Third, we did a web search on a site that offers packages to incorporate a business to see if any of the names were available. Once we found the name we wanted was available we took the necessary steps to incorporate, developed a web site, and designed a logo.
Our final step was to have a party to introduce our business to family and friends. We gave each one a packet designed like a bag of seeds that included a magnet, business cards, a pen and a keychain so that our name and number was always available.
A small-pet shop named Fish and Chirps caught my attention at once. I long since gave up on aquariums and don't like to cage birds, so I would not shop there, but I have remembered the name for thirty years.
If you want your name to be that memorable, you have to brainstorm. My brainstorming sessions are usually just my husband and I, or just my daughters and I.
Think about similar names. Think about mottoes or slogans or proverbs, biblical or otherwise. Think of phrases that can change their meaning with the insertion or deletion of a single letter. Most important, think about whether the name of your business could be mistaken for a different kind of business.
I blew it on that one. I named my small epublishing house Live Oak House. Very soon I started getting a large quantity of wood samples for which I had no use whatever. But I'm stuck with the name, because by the time I realized the mistake I had books posted and the name was all over the web. I should have said Live Oak Publishing House. Besides that, I didn't mean Live Oak, I meant Liveoak, which is the name of an evergreen tree found in the south. But spellcheck programs reject it and I decided not to argue about it.
A beauty shop named Paint and Polish seems to be doing well enough, but I'm less than delighted with their name. In fact, it took me six months to realize that it worked on human females rather than on automobiles.
Sometimes something simple is best. Remember Smith Brothers Cough Drops? My husband and I named our writing company Wingate & Wingate, Writers, which is about as simple and self-explanatory as you can get. At least we thought it was. But rarely does a week go by without someone calling to say "What do you do?" or ask us for calligraphy.
To sum up: Try to make it catchy. Try to make it memorable. Try to make it easy for people to figure out what you do. And then be prepared for the inevitable phone calls: "What do you do?"
When I was growing up, my parents wanted to open a craft store. So they did.
I listened to them as they came up with the products they would sell and what kinds of stuff and prices. When I first heard the name, I thought it was fun and catchy, and the store did really well.
The names were Golden Mushroom and Rainbow Gifts. Now coming up with the names they sounded catchy even to me at the age of 8. It caught on and people loved the store very much that we had regular folks coming in daily and those who would travel to our store from another place in town or out of state.
When coming up with a name you need to come up with one that is catchy and people will catch on to. The name should somewhat reflect the store but yet be one that will stand out from the rest, and people will want to shop and do business with you.
I think one of the most important things to do is talk over your business name ideas with someone else. I had many a brainstorming session with my husband to try and come up with a clever and unique name for my new business.
I think when I first started thinking about good company names, I wanted to make sure it had something to do with the type of service I was going to be providing.
At the time, I was starting my own LLC to be an independent contractor for a work at home position. I'm glad I did not stick with this idea since I've since switched my focus. Having a name focused around a certain service could have provided me with some problems further down the road. However, if you are very certain you're going to stick with your plan and like what you're doing -- then I guess having a service based named business might work out for you, beautifully.
I live in a small town and made the switch from commuting daily to opening a small business on Main Street.
I wanted a name that was catchy, people would remember and understand what services my business was offering. I ended up with a name everyone knows, and it gets lots of laughs.
When the decision was made to change careers, the business I decided upon was themed photography, similar to the Old West Saloon photos many people have taken while on vacation.
Our business has several more themes to choose from such as the roaring twenties, pirates, princess with castle backdrop, holiday themes. Since costuming is available the name I chose was "Cheesy Photos".
People love it, mention it in the store and restaurant to us, but still do not understand what we do.
While my husband and I like the humor in the name, we are beginning to think there may be better choices out there. A name should more clearly reflect what you services and/or products you offer. The name should also be flattering of your services/products.
Having the best name at the beginning helps build your reputation. Changing names of the business can be made, but it's a big decision, and you need to make sure that clients you have developed a relationship with are notified of the change and it is handled in a professional manner showing your growth and continual commitment to quality.
We had a business a few years back called The Appliance Guy. We can actually give credit to our customers on the name of our business.
My husband worked for someone else before we opened our own business doing appliance repair. Every time he was coming up to a door the customer would say, "The appliance guy is here". So it stuck and we ran with the name. Sometimes it can be that simple for a name and other times not so easy.
For a craft business I guess it would depend on the craft you are making. Like knitting you could go with the knitty gritty. I guess it would have to do with crafts so that people would get it or they would wonder what it is but never go in because its not that interesting to them to stop.
Maybe you could try something like "You're so crafty" I hear people say that all the time about me. If you really listen to the people that talk to you about your crafts, they might give you some great ideas without even knowing it.