Choosing a Name for Your Event Planning Business
After graduating from your wedding and event planning courses, you’re ready to start your own business! Choosing an effective name for your event planning business shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision. A great name can carry a business to success, so it deserves some serious contemplation. Yes, many of the business-greats have already claimed the punny names out there, but don’t lose hope!
We’re going to give you a rundown of everything you need to know about choosing the perfect business name. Let’s get started!
What’s in a Name?
Well… a lot, actually! They say people make up their mind about a brand in less than 30 seconds. That’s not a lot of time, so make it count! Whether you like it or not, your business name will be the first impression your potential clients receive. You’ll want to choose a name that is relatable, punchy, or interesting enough to make people want to know more.
Developing your Brand
Before you choose a business name, you need establish your brand’s values. Pick a name that fits in with your brand image. For instance, a business that stands for classic elegance and timeless decor will be named differently than a business whose focus is on fun and eclectic events. Once you have a general description of your brand’s core values, you’ll be better equipped to make a short list of possible names.
Making a Short List
There are countless sources from which you can draw inspiration for a business name. Once you have an idea of the message you want to convey, start looking for words, phrases or names that convey that message. Consider looking into:
- Proper names
- (Simple!) word games
- Words in other languages
- Clichés or popular phrases
- Names from books, mythology or other works of fiction
- Use your imagination!
Don’t limit yourself here. Be as creative as you want and write down every contender for your business name. Even if you come up with a ridiculously cheesy name, write it down. It helps eliminate it from your thought process, and writing it down can inspire further creativity. You’ll probably find it’ll take about 10-20 names before starting to think outside the box and come up with some real winners.
Once your first list is done, go through it and eliminate the names you don’t like Then, order the ones you DO like from favorite to least favorite.
Rules for Naming your Business
Once you’ve ordered your list, you’ll want to run each possibility through the gauntlet to make sure it adheres to the following rules…
Register your business name legally
Go through your list and check for controversial or illegal words. Again, you want to first ensure the names reflect your values. If you somehow come up with a name that suggests illegal activities, it’s game over!
At the very least, make sure the business name isn’t already taken. The last thing you want is to end up in a court battle over trademark infringement. It can save you a real hassle, time, and money to thoroughly check your business name to ensure it doesn’t step on any other business’ toes. It’s a lot of work now, but you’ll be glad you did it.
Note: You’ll probably have to eliminate a lot of your contenders based solely on this step. It sucks, I know, but trust me, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Keep It Simple
Many business owners try to be ultra-clever with their business name. Unfortunately, this often backfires and leaves clients wondering what the business name means. Let’s put it this way: if you have to explain or apologize about your name to clients, you chose poorly. While you want your business name to convey your core values, you also want something that people will understand.
A business name needs to be short and snappy. Think about the top brand names out there today. Are any of them more than two words long? Maybe one out of a hundred? There’s a reason for that. Consumers have a very short attention span: they might remember a word, but they won’t bother trying to remember a phrase, especially if it’s a business name!
Make sure the name works FOR you, not AGAINST you.
Consider the Spelling
Do the names on your list contain unusual words or those that are commonly misspelled? Consider how that will affect your customers if they try to find you online. This is especially tricky when you get into proper names or words from foreign languages. Even within the English language, there are variations between American and British English.
Examine your business scope. Will you just be planning local graduation and anniversary parties? Then use your local spelling variants. If you’re going to be doing international luxury event planning, you may want to consider the countries you’re specializing in. American English may fare better for your international clients!
Lastly, try to choose a name that people will be able to spell after hearing it once.
Make it Internet Friendly
By now, your list of potential business names is probably much shorter than when you just started out. Next, you’ll want to make sure that the business name can be registered online.
Ideally, your website will be “www.YourBusinessName.com”.
If you can’t get your exact name:
Let’s assume you’ve done your research and know for a fact that “Jamboree Events” is NOT a trademarked term, so there are no legal restrictions to your using that name. You find out that www.JamboreeEvents.com is already taken but www.JamboreeEventsNewYork.com is available. Or, knowing that “.com” is taken, you find that “.info” or “.ca” or “.au” or some other extension is available.
You can move forward and build your business website with these variants, but consider the side effects of doing so. Know you’ll always be competing with the existing website for visitors and traffic. And you’ll have to put a lot more time and energy into your online strategy to differentiate yourself from the competition with the same name. Customers will also typically look for a “.com” first. If you don’t own it, some customers might inadvertently end up on someone else’s website.
All in all, we recommend that you pick another name altogether. It’s hard if you’ve already grown attached to a name. But don’t bank on the idea that having a similar name to another successful company is good for business. Spoiler alert: It’s not! In the world of event planning, people want unique, personalized events. Why would they approach a company that doesn’t even have its own unique branding and name?
Having potential clients think you’re a branch of an existing business that they’ve used in the past won’t get your working relationship started on the right foot. Instead, search for other top contenders on your list that you CAN register an easily-recognizable website with!
Testing your Business Name
Once you’ve chosen your business name, you’ll want to run it through the ringer!
First, make sure your business name won’t be listed with other less desirable brands or products. If someone searches you on Google, the last thing you want is to be listed in the middle of a bunch of plumbing supplies or in between news stories covering terrorist activities! A lot of innocent businesses that were named “ISIS” decided to rebrand for obvious reasons. Although you can’t predict the future, you can at least ensure you don’t walk into that type of situation due to poor research.
Next, test your business name with your family, friends, and peers. Ask them what they think of the name: does it interest them? Confuse them? Would they give the business a chance based on that name? An impartial and honest reviewer might uncover some issues that you had overlooked.
A final word of advice… at the end of the day, be sure that you choose a business name that you like!