Naming Your Company

That pesky question that plagues every start-up business what do I call this thing? February 12, 2009

I'm new to this site and was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas for a company name. I have been working as a cabinet maker for seven or eight years and have now managed to set up my own workshop. However Im really struggling to think of a clever name for the business. Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
Dunwright cabinets.

From contributor P:
Thats a tough assignment. There's lots of ways to go here, including:

- Something with your name or initials.
- A name that reflects your geographical area. Could be your town name, county, or some other prominent (or not) feature like Chimney Rock Cabinetry or Lazy River Woodworking, or whatever.
- Something that conveys your specialty. Be careful you don't rein yourself in too tightly. You might expand into other types of woodworking in the future.
- Something that conveys the type of market you're shooting for, like Prestige Cabinets, or Cabinets-to-Go.

- A made-up word like Acura, Haagen-Dasz, or Viagra.

Whatever you pick, do your best to make sure the name is not already taken. Googling it is a good start, or just typing in the name with ".com" on the end. If you don't find a match there, the next step is at the state level. Most states probably have a website where you can do a name search.

From contributor S:
Keep it simple and put your name on your work instead of making something up. I would do first and last name or just your last name plus Custom Cabinets. When I started my company, there was no question what it would be called. But then, every company I worked for before I went out on my own was named after the owner. Except one and those guys were hack finish carpenters/cabinet builders of epic proportions.

From contributor L:
A friend of mine has an auto upholstery business and when he first opened up he chose a made-up name that sounded like it came out the more optimistic end of the early 70's (it did). His business grew to the point that he was given the opportunity to buy another upholstery business whose owner was getting out. When the two companies were merged into one, my friend decided to keep the other company's name. It was a straightforward and sober name combing the region where the business was and what they do. Long story short, he found the new name allowed him to get a different kind of client. He was pleasantly surprised to find himself doing more work on Bentleys than Volkswagens.

From contributor J:
Something that starts with a A,B,C or D in it. If you can come up with a name starting with A your at the top of the list in the Yellow Pages. Quite a few people do start at the top and work their way down the list, other than looking at the larger ads with catchy designs.

One name I like is DesignCraft - it keeps you near the top of the list. One I don't really like is Artistic, or Art something but that's me. A search on the web could yield some good names.

From contributor K:
A clever name isn't always a good idea. I like contributor Ss idea, put your name on it! A few years back in a Chicago suburb where I lived there was a chimney sweep company with a most clever name, "Ashwipes Chimney Sweeps". That is about as clever as it gets but I would never call that company to park their truck in my driveway to work there.

Maybe I'm a little prudish but as clever as it is, I think it's a little disrespectful. As a one man business, my most important asset is my reputation and the image I project to the customer. If youre willing to put your name on your work and business, the first impression a customer will have of you will be your name and name recognition.

From contributor R:
I used a combination of my name with my wifes. It allows her to be an integral part of the business if you are laid up for a while and she has to cover some of the bases of the business.

From contributor S:
We used our last name in naming our business. One negative to that is you get some customers who look you up and call you at home. It can be annoying, especially since they know you have a business where they can reach you. They figure if they call you at home at night they will get to talk to you and not have to wait for you to answer your messages. If you are a professional, which you are, you need something that sounds professional. I saw a truck the other day with "suck you septic company ". That would be the last person I would call.

From contributor K:
In 22 years in the business I have never once had a customer call me at home. Even those who are close friends never called me at home about business matters. My bigger problem has been getting customers and for that matter other businesses to know my correct name, so they would find it hard to find me in the phone book. I use my last name not my first name for my business.

From contributor N:
ACC - American Custom Cabinets.

From contributor J:
I think using your name is a good idea too. If you think you may ever sell the business as a business, you may want to consider not using your family name in the business name. Prospective customers would almost certainly want to change it and that could be a stumbling block to the sale.

As a side note: you'll notice we're '& Son'. My little boy was six years old when we started this business and insisted that his name be on the business. Now for the last six years, just like clockwork the state tax commission, the workman's comp, and liability insurance folks call every year to ask about his involvement in the business. So far, they've all bought it.