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So You Are Thinking About Changing Your Business Name

1. Answer these questions first:

a. Does my current business name properly represent what I’m offering customers & clients?

b. Have my artistic services changed since I first opened my business?

c. Would a new name help open more doors for my artwork and will the change be worth all the hassles in the end?

d. Am I thinking of changing my business name simply because I’m bored with the current one?

e. Is my current business name too generic?

I will go into more depth to help you answer these questions by taking each one and going through some of the thinking process behind them.

“Does my current business name properly represent what I’m offering to customers & clients?” & “Have my artistic services changed since I first opened my business?” – Say your business name is “Alex’s Pottery” and that’s all you expected to work on when you began your business but 5 years down the road you have expanded to also working on water color paintings, sculpting. In this case your original business name isn’t completely valid anymore because most people tie your name to only producing pottery so when they’re looking for a water color painting or a sculpture they don’t even consider your business as handling such work so you decide to change your business name from “Alex’s Pottery” to “Alex’s Clay & Water Colors” which gives a better idea of the sorts of services you offer to the public. When they see the word “Clay” they automatically associate your business with handling more than just pottery and “water colors” is self-explanatory.

“Would a new name help open more doors for my artwork and will the change be worth all the hassles in the end?”- Unfortunately changing a business name isn’t as simple as just choosing another name, changing a sign on the door or on your website. There are a lot of changes you have to consider when thinking of changing your business name. For example, you have to find out what the laws are in your state for changing your business name, what forms you have to fill out, filing fees for those forms, who to contact at the IRS to let them know about your name change. You have to consider the cost you’ll have when changing the business cards, website, stationary, signs to reflect your business’s new name. You also have to consider the cost of changing your marketing material and strategies so you lose as little business as possible while your name change is being accepted by the public. If you have free stuff you give to customers and clients such as free mouse pads, pens, key chains, etc. you have to take into consideration the cost of having that material changed. On the plus side though, changing your business name may just lead to increased business; if the new name you plan to use is better suited to your kind of work then that may just make all the extra work worth it in the long run.

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