Starting something new - Part 1: Naming the business
I've been a little quiet recently as other than running The Site Doctor, we've embarked on a new venture and as we're starting a new business from scratch. I thought it might be interesting for some if I blogged about our journey which kicked off February this year (although the buying process started a few months earlier).
Where To Start
Although many will preach that you should have an in-depth business plan and concrete strategy. I've found in the past that this mostly takes a lot of time up and often results in you missing opportunities as you feel obligated to follow the original plan; instead of pivoting the business and taking a different route. So our business plan pretty much "get the stock into the country and sell it".
Late February - Choosing a Name
The first step for us was to choose a name for the business. People often stress about creating a name -and it has got harder as it's important to ensure that some form of domain name is available but it doesn't have to be that tricky.
As single word domain names have pretty much all gone now (in .com/.co.uk at least) rather than coming up with something completely random (which would be hard to remember), I think it's better to concatenate a couple of words that relate to what you're doing (hence "Crisis Cover", "TrendSeam", "Simply Gigabyte" or even "No More Nails"). Although the words may not initially very obvious to the reader, using words that are easy to spell/remember will increase your chances of being remembered.
There is also a train of thought that says you should include various specific letters in the name (and these vary according to the source from S, K, V, X) but I'm not so sure this logic applies anymore but there might be something in it.
So we sat down and wrote down all the words that we could associate with Christmas, Decoration and Trees. We came up with 50-100 words. Armed with these we then started mixing them up to see what worked and what didn't.
Once we had 5-10 combinations that worked, we then checked if the domain names were available on Heart Internet (it's also worth using domai.nr). Once we had 2-3 that worked, we then asked a few people what the names and domain names brought to mind. When asking people, try not to give them too much insight into the business behind it until they've told you what they think. Also be careful of what your friends and family members say as they're often biased. Ask on behalf of "a friend" if you can so they're not so worried about offending.
Late March - First Look At The Stock
March was an exciting time for us as we got to take our first look at the sample stock that had just hit the shores. It was great fun seeing 50 or so trees erected with twinkling lights all over them -even though it was March, it was like a bizarre warehouse winter wonderland.
Now we had the samples of the stock it was a matter of identifying which items we were going to stock. This is a process of elimination as you don't want to stock two items that look overly similar -it would be better to invest more in one to get a better deal.
Stock chosen it was about time we got cracking with the design process -but that's for another post.