Friday, January 01, 2021

Handmade Business Talk- Branding: Naming Your Business

Hey guys! I'm back to share with you my passion for handmade businesses! If you are thinking of starting a handmade business, I want to share some of the things I have learned along the way that will create a few shortcuts for you and hopefully take the fear out of it. This installment is about Naming Your Business.

One of the most important parts of starting your business is going to be choosing your name. This is going to be your identifier for a long time, so it's something you need to think of seriously. Something I have picked up over the years, that has proven to be true, is not to get too kitschy when you are creating your business name. 

Definition of kitschy from
Kitschy [kich-ee]
Tawdry or showy and usually appealing to popular and undiscriminating taste: 
The Old Town district is known for its kitschy souvenirs, artisanal greasy-spoon restaurants, and complete lack of parking.

Make it EASY for people to find you!! 
Let's play around with my business name. If I had chosen something fun like Bizzee Crochet, or even Bizzy Krochet, or Bizzy Crochet and Dezine. You know, just trying to be original with my name. I want to make sure mine is different than everyone else's, right? Except that when people are trying to find me on the interwebs, will they remember that I spelled Bizzee differently? Will they remember that I used a K instead of a C in crochet? or that I got creative with Design and used a Z? What if all they remember is that my name is Bizzy something? How hard have I just made it for them to find me? Kitschy sounds fun until you are a few years into your business and people are having a hard time finding you online because you spelled something different, or your name was just too different. 

If you insist on kitschy because you think it's fun or funny or you just like it, I want you to take a step back from your name and write up several variations of it, then ask for input from your friends and family on Facebook or Instagram (wherever you congregate). See what they gravitate toward? Give them a couple of options without telling them what your favorite is and see where it leads.

What if someone took your original name? 

My recommendation is that you don't necessarily have to ditch the original idea, just dig deep and come up with a solution that is different. A lot of times we land on the easiest name first and go with it. When I started blogging my crochet work back in 2005, I picked the easiest name for my blog (Bizzy Crochet) because my name is Biz and I crochet. Haha! How easy is that? Over the years I have noticed several other crafting businesses using Biz or Bizzy in their name. And maybe they were going to call their business Bizzy Crochet? They probably had to adapt their original plan because the name was taken already. 

What you come up with to start out is not necessarily the name your business will have forever. Over the years, as my business has grown, I have morphed my name a few times. My permanent name has landed on Bizzy Crochet and Design. Do I do more than crochet behind the scenes? Heck, yes. But, my business is about crocheting and crochet designs. I have an occasional knit design, but it is not my forte and rarely put my knitting "out there." I am not really interested in embracing "all the things" when it comes to fiber arts as it pertains to my business plan. But, I will explain my reasoning behind that in another article concerning products. If someone else has taken your business name- get creative and morph your idea. 

Be ready to pivot.

One last thing I want you to think about as you are creating your business name is being ready to pivot. For instance, right now you might be a personalized cup maker, but later you discover that you really like making signs and/or stationary. If your company name and logo are pinpointed to "Cindy's Personalized Cups"'s hard to pivot into a new product line and still have your full company represented. Instead of locking yourself into one thing, think about creating a business name like "Cindy's Creations" or if you don't want to use your name you could do something like "Personally Printed". Both names leave room for you to expand and/or change. 

Good Luck!!

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