What’s in a name? If the extent of my agonizing over whether or not to change my online business name is any gauge, then a name is pretty darn important!
Last month, I made a big change in my online business. I made the decision to re-brand my business using my own name, and I hired a graphic designer to make a logo that suited my business. I’m very pleased with the work my designer did for me, and I’m pleased that my business name is consistent locally and online.
I have three main reasons for changing my business name, and here they are:
My official business name, the one that I use on my tax return and on any official paperwork is “Elaine Searer, Sewing & Alterations”. I chose that name, not because it’s cute or catchy, but because it’s free. In Pennsylvania, I do not have to pay a fee to use my own name as my business name. If I choose a fictitious name (like My Grandma Sews), then I have to pay to file that fictitious name with my state.
Because I never paid to use the name My Grandma Sews, it wasn’t really mine. I had no legal claim to it, and if another businessperson wanted to go into business using that name, I would have no recourse to stop them or to protect my use of that name. I considered it highly unlikely that I would ever get into a business fight with anyone wanting to use that name, but just the same, the possibility was there that I could work to build a brand and then have it snatched from me. Some people might ask why I didn’t just register that name. I could have done that, but I’m already operating a successful local sewing and alterations business under a different name…you guessed it! Elaine Searer Sewing & Alterations. What are the chances that my local customers would ever begin to refer to my business by a fictitious name? Slim to none.
The last reason is just that the word “grandma” was not the image I wanted to portray to my online customers. I like being a grandma, but I was concerned that the using the word “grandma” would make potential customers think “old-fashioned”. While I do consider my choice of patterns and projects to be classics, I do not consider them old-fashioned!
My other concern is that while the word “grandma” seemed cute to use for a business that makes children’s items, it would not suit me if I decided to list items in my shop that are not for children.With the help of my graphic designer, I made the decision to brand myself with the business name that I already own and use: Elaine Searer Sewing & Alterations.
Some people have mentioned that they miss My Grandma Sews, and I miss that name a bit myself. I am, however, convinced that I made the right decision for me and my growing business.
If you’d like to see the rest of my new graphics, please visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/elainesearersewing and www.facebook.com/groups/elainesearer and my Etsy shop at www.elainesearer.etsy.com .