Thursday, August 5, 2010

You're the Boss: Part 5

Looking for the Rags to Stitches giveaway?  Scroll down or click here.

Brand Yourself
No, don’t get a tattoo of your business name on your shoulder, but do create a logo that accurately represents yourself and your business.

Before you come up with a logo, you have to come up with a name.

Coming up with a name for my business took me weeks.  
Really?  {You're saying}  Weeks to come up with Much Ado About You???  

I know.  
To be honest, I don't love my business name.  
It is too long, too hard to tell people, and doesn't represent my product.
But my friend Corey, who is in marketing and who I really respect, told me not to change my name, so I am keeping it.  For now.

Another friend of mine {I know... I have lots of friends... I'm blessed}, Sarah from Deer Lovely has been following this series and sent me an email with some great Branding advice.  Since I am not feeling super wise in the area of branding {and since I stumbled upon an amazing designer that created all my branding for me}, I am going to defer to her for this one:

Branding "Cover your Bases at the Beginning and Along the Way"
by Sarah Dowdell

Choosing a Name
My 3 keys to a great business name

1. Make it Original
Sometimes simple is original and sometimes its quirky.

2. Make Sure it is Available
This may seem like something so simple, but make sure whatever name you choose is available.   

3. Make it Memorable
What about your business name is going to make people remember it? Maybe your logo ties it together or maybe your branding image sparks people's memory.

  4. Pick more than one... just in case your first choice does not work out. 
Advice and suggestions from friends and family could also help in cultivating ideas.

After you Choose a Name...Covering your Bases

1. DBA (Doing Business As) 
This is something you have to do if you are doing business under any name other that your personal name and  is usually just local, but I also recommend checking the surrounding counties. You want to make sure there are not other local businesses with your name. This is very inexpensive and the best prices can be found at (they do everything for you… it is pretty awesome) 

2. Resellers Permit and Business License
Once you have a DBA, then it is imperative (if required in your state) that you get a Resellers Permit. You don't want the IRS coming after you for not paying sales tax.
Also check with your city to see if you need a business license... some require it and some don't.
3. Bank Account
Get a separate business account. (Advice from my business lawyer: If you can manage get one at a separate bank from your personal accounts, this will make it easier and less likely to have co-mingling of funds in case you decide to Incorporate.) 

4. Website
You can pretty much go to any hosting site and search if your business name is available. Also make sure it is something that people can remember... your simple business name works best. For example, my previous business name was Bird Street (which I loved), but my website was because was taken. This may seem like a trivial thing to add shop, but people forgot all the time about the shop portion and I missed out on sales. Now I am changing the name to Deer Lovely (I love this too... yes I have a thing for animals) and I own

Another inexpensive option for those that want to add a personal shop on their own website is, I just found them a few month’s ago and started using them. They are only $10 a month and the owner is a stay at home mom, who started her own business and the women who work for her are super helpful. It is very simple and basic, but it’s a great starting point and they have a ton of templates to use and also a build your own. This is a great solution for those selling products that are not handmade or in addition to their Etsy site.

5. A Logo or a Look
Quality and consistency are important. (One of the things I love about Emmy's website, business cards, calendars... pretty much everything is that it is totally EMMY. The quality and look of everything is cohesive!) Order quality business cards!!! For a lot of people this may be their first impression of you. If you can afford to hire a graphic designer, do it... so many today are affordable and I'm sure both of us have a list of people that have helped us. If you can't afford it... I recommend Great Templates (including build your own), great products, and great prices.

6. INC. 
Make sure you check if your business name is incorporated already in the state you live in. This might not be necessary for all of you, but if your business grows, you will need to Inc. and if someone else has incorporated that same name (another reason I decided to change my business name) this does not mean you can't use your business name. At this point it is a good idea to talk to a business lawyer to know your options.
7. Trademark
If your name is really original and your business is growing, you need to have it trademarked. (You can also get logos trademarked.) This is important and is one of the best things you can do to protect your business. However this is the most expensive and I recommend it for people whose business is really growing and expanding.  Especially if you grow nationally. 

Thanks Sarah for taking the time to put this great posting together!


  1. I love the name Much Ado About You, but I also love Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. I just assumed it was a carry over from the event-planning days (where it makes a lot of sense!)

  2. Thanks Jen! It actually was a carry over from my Event Planning days.

  3. Wow... Thanks Emmy for the nice post. I was not expecting you to use the whole email. Glad I could share my information and I hope the links help other women business owners save some money.
    p.s. I have always loved your name and the Shakespeare reference! Your name is original and memorable... just like your amazing calendars (or in my case email log's). I am going to have to have a new one made this year since I changed my company name :)