Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Your Business Name

“What’s in a name?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”


Well, thanks for that Mr. Shakespeare, but that didn’t really help me when I was trying to come up with a name for my videography business.

I remember researching all these successful companies with the most unique, witty, sleek, powerful names… and thinking, “How the heck am I going to come up with something like that!?”

Then I’d cry.

Just kidding, I wouldn’t cry. But I did usually pour myself a glass of wine; which resulted in millions of late-night texts to my sister, asking her advice on different business names. (Thanks Karebear)

Then, I’d go on different logo sites to try and create a logo for one of my seven business names and I’d be even more defeated when I saw all these unique, witty, sleek, powerful logo designs…

Commence wine-drinking and late-night sister texting.

Has this business name issue happened to you?

I feel like I can’t be the only person out there who struggled to find the right name for their business.

I think I tried out half a dozen (if not more) business names before discovering “the one.”

The names included:

Heart Shaped Productions

Compass Creations

Show and Tell Studios

Relic Studios

Homemade Videos

Blank Page Productions

Hollie Marie Media

I’m sure I’m forgetting about 2 or 3. I’d settle on a name, just to find out it’s already taken by some cool, awesome, successful, similar business. I was going insane.

You know what happens next.

Wine. Texts to sisters.

The worst part… I even bought website domains and business cards for some of them. Vista Print made a fortune off of me!

After a year, no joke, a year of trying to come up with a business name… I tried a different tactic.

I started reading a lot. I started highlighting words that I connected with.

Words that made me feel nostalgic or emotional or comforted.

I can’t remember what I was reading, but I remember highlighting the word “candid” and feeling a connection.

The word “candid” means honest, genuine expression, free from bias.

And then it clicked.

I knew then that my business goal and mission would be to capture my client’s most genuine expressions and honest moments.

Since I am a videographer and photographer, incorporating the word “light” just made sense, because light is one of my most important tools!

So, after a long, hard, expensive journey, I proudly arrived at Candid Light.

I wanted to share with you my “lessons learned,” just in case you are going through the same business name debacle I went through for almost all of 2017,

Here are some quick tips I wrote down so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. It will save you time, money, and your sanity.

Tips for Creating a Business Name:

  1. Do not Google “most creative business names” OR “most creative business logos” (it will only overwhelm you more)

  2. Hold off on any major investments in marketing/promotional materials until you are sure about your name. (In the meantime, there are plenty of FREE or inexpensive ways to promote your business without breaking the bank. My fav is Canva.)

  3. Read. A lot. Read from authors/people that inspire you. Listen to their language. Highlight what resonates with you.

  4. Take your time. Write the names down. Say the names out loud. In public. Have the opposite Sex say the name of your company. (This may sound funny, but I’m not kidding. I remember when I was starting my business, we talked to our accountant about steps we need to take. He said “Heart Shaped Productions” out loud and I remember thinking, ‘Ew. I don’t like it.’)

  5. Have a sister (or someone) who you can bounce ideas off of.

  6. Go with your gut. At the end of the day, you know who you are and what you stand for. You want your name to represent you. It’s something you should be proud of.

*Also, when brainstorming ideas, having wine handy always helps.

I wish you the best of luck! You can do it.