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How to name your business?


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Just something I have been wondering about. The way I see it, in the custom knife business there are two kinds of names: Ones that have a really professional kind of a feeling, like "John Doe Custom Knives" or "Alabama Knife Forge". The other category are more fantastical ones that kind of lean on the more mythical aspect of steelworking, like "The Iron Bear Forge", or "Crusader Blade Shop".

Which sort of names do you feel serve the purposes of being a business better? Do you feel that you are prone to trust the products of the "professionally" named shops more? Which generates more hits and sales?

 

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Industry pays people with post graduate degrees hard cash to sort this one out, so we can't really deny them a chance to earn a 'crust' ;-)

 

In my experience the name doesn't reflect skill or experience but rather an attitude to ones work. Some people are serious people. They take themselves and their work seriously. They are quite specific in terms of what product they manufacture. Others are more philosophical about making ' sharp pointy things' in the age of AI and revel in the unforseen customer requests and the challenges they bring.

Of course, this dualism is overly simplistic. Personal opinion ? A 'Forge' signifies just that. A willingness to hot work metal. Implied is a certain generosity towards what work 'is' or ' is not' within the owners scope. Therefore, if you like a challenge and your journey being lead by the work that walks through the door , then 'Forge' is appropriate. If you are more singular in the direction of your work then another name may be better.

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A rose by any other name smells just as sweet, a turd, just as foul. :blink:

 

Before I answer your question seriously, I need to ask a few clarifying questions.

1. What form of business entity are you planning? (sole-proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.)

2. What products/product lines does your business intend to sell?

3. When people see the name of your business, what image do you want to appear in their mind?

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Before I answer your question seriously, I need to ask a few clarifying questions.

1. What form of business entity are you planning? (sole-proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.)

2. What products/product lines does your business intend to sell?

3. When people see the name of your business, what image do you want to appear in their mind?

1. Sole-Proprietor, or the equilavent of one in Finland.

2. Miscellaneous metal work, but I am aiming to focus on knives. This won't be my day job either, just something small on the side.

3. Now, this is something I hadn't thought about for some reason. Good thing I made this thread!

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1. I don't know how it works in Finland, but a sole-proprietorship here is the same as the person. They are indistinguishable from one another (legally), so the name can change and it's no big deal. Unless of course there is some sort of business name registry in Finland that I am unaware of. Basically, here in the USA, a sole-proprietor is Joe Smith dba (insert business name here).

(dba is a legal abbreviation for "Doing Business As")

2. Well, if you want to be known as a metal worker, the name should at least try to impart a broader scope than "Toni's Custom Knives" will. If you want to be known as a knife maker, you would likely try to say something about the knives and your methods. "Toni's Custom Knives" and Toni's Hand Forged Knives" say two different things. Just something to consider. When Liz (my wife) and I were deciding what to call our business, we didn't have anything specific we wanted to tell people we did. We planned a broad range and wide variety of products and services. So something generic rather than specific worked better.

3. This is a trick question. You may not want a specific image to come to mind. You may want a name that makes people say "It sounds like they might...." or "I wonder what they do?" rather than evoke specify genre. We wanted a name that told people a little about us as artists and people. Something whimsical, slightly unknown, something that said who were are, not just what we do.

 

All food for thought.

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