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So in part 1 of this Starting Your Candle Business series, I talked about the very first steps you need to take before starting your candle business. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you really should go on over and read it before moving on to part 2.
So, once you’ve gone through the steps in part 1-
- Buying some supplies, or a soy candle making kit and making some candles
- Testing your candles
- Having friends and family try some candles and obtaining feedback
- Deciding on whether to keep inventory or make to order
- Deciding on what kind/sizes of candles and how many to start with
- Thinking about how you can stand out, what makes you and your candles different?
Now you need to decide on your business name.
You’ve probably already been thinking about this, I’m sure, but now you need to really nail it down and set it in stone. Some things to think about when coming up with your business name:
- Do you want to use your name in it such as “Sally’s Soy Scentsations” . Using your name in the title or not, really doesn’t matter as long as it flows nicely and stands out.
- What do you want people to think and feel when they hear and see your business name?
- Does your business name give people an idea of what your product is? For example, if you wanted to do a rustic themed candle line, and that’s what you plan on focusing your business around, then you might think about a business name that conveys that idea (“Country Candle Creations”). Same if you are wanting to do modern looking candles, or all natural candles. If you are going for a variety then of course use more of a general name, but still one that would stand out. A wonderful way to find some more unique way of saying a word like “Country” or “Rustic” or whatever else you might be thinking of for your business name, is to look up words in a Thesaurus. You can find all sorts of different ways to say the same thing that might sound more interesting or unique!
- Also, you might think about the initials of your business name. Do you want the initials to form your logo? How would it look in that form? Think about the title “Work At Home Moms”, well, it is usually shortened to WAHM and most people know what that is when they see it, and it kind of has a cool sound to it. Another example, a big one, is DQ (Dairy Queen).
- Try not to make your business name too long. Short and sweet is easier for people to remember.
- Check out the competition and gleen ideas from those and of course make sure any ideas you have aren’t already taken.
- Make it creative and unique and have fun.
Another important factor to check is if the .com domain of your name is available. This is something that many overlook and don’t consider. Even if you aren’t planning on doing business online today, you just never know if you might go that way later on.
I recommend, once you’ve chosen your business name and the .com version of it is available, go ahead and purchase the domain. It only costs, at most maybe $15.00 a year, but many times you can find domains cheaper than that.
If you want to go ahead and purchase web hosting then the domain name is usually included with your account. I personally use Bluehost for this website and some others that I have and I highly recommend them.
If possible, you want the website domain name to be the exact full name of your business. People are more likely to type www.sallyssoyscentsations.com if that’s the full business name, than www.ssscentsations.com or www.sallysscentsations.com etc… They know the business by it’s full name usually, so unless you are very well known by a shortened name, like DQ, then you want to use your full business name in your web address (domain).
There are lots of domain suffix’s out there now, so why is it that I should be so concerned with getting the .com version?
Why not .net or .me or .us? Well, think about it this way….What do you automatically think of when you go to type in a website address? Yep…. .com and possibly, just maybe .net, but that’s about it! If it’s a non profit organization, then you would probably think of .org, but you aren’t non profit, so don’t even use that one lol.
Anyway, even though there are now tons of domain suffix’s out there, .com is still the very best one to choose.
What if I have an established business name and the .com version is unavailable?
Well, that is exactly what happened when my brother wanted me to build a website for his espresso business a couple years ago. He had been in business for 12 years before getting a website done, and when I went to check the domain name availability, his business name was already taken (by someone that was just sitting on it and wanting hundreds of dollars for it…..but that’s beside the point). So we went with the .net version, which was, thankfully available.
Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. If he had the money, or even if I had had the money, I would have gone ahead and bought the .com version. I think it’s that important. I wonder how many people have typed in .com to find his website only to come upon a page that says “this domain is for sale”. Some of those potential customers probably just left and didn’t try to find the correct website. Many probably typed his business name into search or tried .net possibly, but still, that is a loss of some customers that we really don’t want to happen!
So back to choosing the business name.
It’s good to make a list and just jot down any ideas that pop into your head, even if they seem silly or off the wall at the time, just write down any ideas you can think of. Look up those ideas in a Thesaurus like I mentioned above and jot down any interesting words you find there. Then you might want to just sleep on it.
Take a couple days or more if you need to and just mull over that list to see what sounds the most attractive and interesting and what goes well together. Get the list down to 2 or 3 of your favorites and then ask friends and family to choose which one they like best. If you are on Facebook or some other social website, you could have your friends there vote on which they like best!
Of course, you can go with whatever you are most comfortable with, but having others give their opinion can give you some great insight so you can make a more informed decision. Once your business gets going, it’s not a good idea to change business names in mid-stream, so make sure you pick one that you are sure about.
I’ve got my business name, now what?
Well, a good thing to do is to register your business name with your state if you live in the US. Now, where I live, in Oregon, I believe at the time I registered mine, it was only $25 and that was good for a few years before having to renew. It’s going to be different from state to state so you’ll need to check with the business department in your area on that.
Next I’ll be talking about whether or not you need liability insurance!
Anyone else have any great advice to give someone that is trying to choose a business name? How did you come up with yours? Share in the comments!