How to Name Your New Baking Business (#Goals!)

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So you've decided to launch your own cake business . (Woo-hoo!!!) Time to think about budgets, a website, real estate, marketing, product photography and .... a name. You gotta have a great name! The guidelines here will help you figure out an excellent one.

Naming Dos and Don'ts

DO Make It Clear You're a Baking Business

Obvs, but believe it or not people do get this wrong. A name that's too general, like "Melissa's Creations," won't help you with potential customers find who are searching online for a baker. "Melissa's Cookie Creations" is closer.

A good name doesn't necessarily need to contain the word "bakery," but a clear reference to cakes, cake decorating, baked goods or pastry will help your business.

DO Give Yourself Room to Grow

If you specialize in cake pops , the name "My Cake Pop Company" might sound cute. But what happens in five years when you want to add cookies and layer cakes to your roster? "My Cake Pops, Cookies and Layer Cake Company" is definitely not adorable. Don't create problems for future you by choosing a name that is too limiting.

This doesn't mean your name should be vague, though. Think about Trophy Cupcakes & Party.  The "cupcakes" part is nice and specific while the "party" part provides lots of opportunity to expand.

Another example:  Bella Cupcake Couture . This company specializes in fashion-forward cupcake wrappers but the name will still work if the company ever decides to sell other cupcake-related things. (Hey, Bella Cupcake Couture, are you listening?)

DON'T Choose a Name That Belongs to Someone Else

Even if your last name is Sprinkles and you make cupcakes, the fact is, "Sprinkles Cupcakes" has already been taken. Even if you're in a different city than another business with the same name, resist the temptation.

Not only is poaching another business's name impolite (or worse, illegal), chances are the other business has already claimed essentials like the website URL, Instagram handle and Facebook-page name.

This rule extends to things that are trademarked or copyrighted. Choose the name "Mickey Mouse Bakery" and you can expect to see some legal paperwork coming your way! 

DO Consider Using a Family Name

Freedman's Bakery, Olsen's Cake Creations, Moore's Bake Shoppe: This may not be the most creative method for naming a business, but it does get the job done. It helps if you have a cool name. For instance, in Seattle, Molly Moon's Ice Cream is owned by a woman named (yup) Molly Moon.

Nicknames can be fun, too. Baker Erin Garcia — "Birdy" to her friends — calls her business Birdy Bakes . Nice!

DON'T Use Confusing Words

It might seem sophisticated to refer to the sweets you make as as "victuals" or "aliments," but will everyone know what you mean? Uh, no.

DO Choose Puns with Care

Punny business names can be polarizing. Some customers find them entertaining, some don't. Some names start out okay but get stale fast. As a general rule, avoid puns you'll be embarrassed to utter every time you answer the phone.

Speaking of answering the phone, say your business name out loud. Does it roll off the tongue easily? If not, you risk jumbling your business name several times a day. Or worse, other people might not understand you clearly when you say it.

DON'T Be "Kute" with Spelling

Is "cupcakez" endearing? People will have different opinions, but if they can't spell the name of your business, they will have trouble finding it online. And sales will suffer.

DO Consider the Downside of Shock Value

Think of it this way: If you name your business Damn Fine Biscuits, you might lose some customers with little kids.

Prompts to Help You Brainstorm a Name

These formulas should help get your creative juices going.

Object + Product

Victrola Coffee, Rocket Doughnuts, Bluebird Ice Cream.

Geographical Indication + Business Type or Product

Charm City Cakes, Pearl Street Pastries, North Hill Bakery.

Flower Name + Business Type or Product

Magnolia Bakery, Dahlia Cakes, Sweet Pea Cake Decorators.

Baking Term + Business Type or Product

Buttercream Bakeshop, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Wooden Spoon Bakery.

Once you've picked an excellent name, you'll be on your way to an exhilarating new experience. Look out, world!

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