There's more to it than choosing one and starting your business owner journey
**None of the links posted are affiliates or anything related. They are resources found by the owner.**
When I began seriously considering creating a small business for myself, I had a hard time choosing a name. I didn't want anything cheesy and restrictive like Cupcakes, Inc (this wasn't my first choice nor am I aware that there is a bakery with that name) but I didn't want something forgettable. I started discussing it with friends and one of them said, "Why don't you call it 'Sweet Tooth Velle'? You like sweet things, you like to bake and it has a ring to it." It stuck. I started using it until I learned that there was more to it than just putting it on business cards and setting up your store.
Here are some things I did when I seriously decided to start my small business:
Ensured the name was easy to spell
If you can't spell it, how do you expect others will be able to spell it? How are they going to find you? I know took a chance using the last part of my name but most people who I've interacted with-in person and online-have never forgotten it. It is best to keep it simple in order for the right people to locate your products and/or services.
Chose a name that wasn't going to limit me in the future
I was originally going to call it something like "Cute Cupcakes" but I realized that it was limiting. I knew that I liked to make more than cupcakes but that's what I started with. Limiting myself to "Cute Cupcakes" would keep me in that 'Oh, you do only cupcakes? What about cakes?' box. Being too narrow keeps you from growing and allows you to learn up to a certain point
Chose a name with a meaning behind it
As you read at the beginning of the blog, the name came from a friend who reminded me that I like sweet things, I like to bake and there was a ring to it. While this is true, it is also important that people know what the business is about and how to associate it. I am a southern girl at my core who is into fashion and art; I have began to include that in my business. When people think of fresh, made to order, southern inspired, fashion influenced baked goods, I want an image of Sweet Tooth Velle to appear. The name you choose should be meaningful and positively reflect to your business.
Researched, researched, researched!
Running a small business -full time or part time- is more than flour, sugar, butter and pans. It's taxes, trademarks, accounting, inventory, business structures, overhead, rent, research and more. Depending on your state, you can either bake from home or bake only in a commercial kitchen. If you can bake from home, each state has cottage laws that the home baker has to follow. You should definitely check the Secretary of State's office website to ensure that the name you choose is not similar to what you want to use that a business is ALREADY using. If applicable, you should check USPTO.gov to determine if the name you want is already trademarked. If it is, you'll have to choose another one (unless you want to be sued). Check out the Small Business Administration for resources that you may need when you're beginning; they even have resources for those who have been in business for a while. Don't forget about your local Chamber of Commerce. They sometimes have classes available. Use all resources available!
Bought the .com domain
Once I was serious about the name, I bought the .com name. No one else can use it and as a business owner, you look more like an established business. You can buy it using many domains like godaddy.com, namecheap.com, and networksolutions.com. Don't forget to claim your name on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Asked others for their opinions
I liked Sweet Tooth Velle more than Cute Cupcakes. There wasn't anything cute or memorable about Cute Cupcakes. Others said the same thing when I presented the name to them. You don't want your name to sound like something from outer space but you don't want it to put people to sleep. The name you choose should be memorable and something that people can positively associate your brand with. If those 2 don't apply, let it fly.
Said the name aloud
Saying the name aloud and sentences helped me make my decision. Cute Cupcakes put me to sleep. People remember my business name not only because of how it's read but also how unique it is. It's a conversation starter. If you want to test the name on others (I'd say 5-10 people), tell them to say the name to you and see if you perk up or crunch up your face. If you do the latter, toss it.
Made sure I actually liked the name
I definitely liked the name after I said and when others said it back to me. When it was solidified within me, I kept it and put it on all my official business documents. If you are not sure the name you have chosen is not the one you want to go with, DO NOT APPLY FOR YOUR PAPERWORK WITH THAT NAME. You can always change it if necessary BUT paying for a name change 3-6 months into business and getting clientele will have a negative impact on your business because you've not had enough time to establish who you are and what you do in customers' minds. Get it right from the beginning.
Good luck on your endeavors and I hope you find the name that will best suit your business and its goals!!