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Business Naming

Hi all,
I've been getting some business help from a growth hub recently, and one of the things that has come up in conversation is website portfolios and names. Two things I'd like to ask ya'll...
Firstly, what are your thoughts on two websites; one for my 'company' (although only me in it!), and one for a personal portfolio? The idea being I can set structured prices for my target niche on my company site, but because a lot of my work is freelance, my portfolio site will allow me to charge appropriately and target other markets.
Secondly, my current name is Concept Creative - it's served me well for a while, but to be honest it bugs me. Mainly because I have a speech issue with pronouncing my 'r's which makes the name messy lol, but there are other reasons. What do you think of the name 'Forest&Finch'? Nothing really behind it, other than I live in a place with quite a few forests and I like the name Finch ;-p Silly I know, but I've been racking my head for a good, creative, professional name.
Any thoughts are good. Cheers!
Jonna Healey said:
Secondly, my current name is Concept Creative - it's served me well for a while, but to be honest it bugs me. Mainly because I have a speech issue with pronouncing my 'r's which makes the name messy lol, but there are other reasons. What do you think of the name 'Forest&Finch'?
Sure, but doesn't that name still have the 'r's pronunciation you wanted to avoid in 'forest' ?

As for the two sites you would be charging different rates? Would that be publicly displayed on both sites? Would the sites be connected in any way? Just remember it's a fair amount of work to get one nice website up and running, so make sure you have time to maintain both sites.

Sean Lee-Amies

I have found that it is in everyone's best interest to put thought and consideration into your business name, rather than just picking your name or the thing that comes to you first. If I could start over then I would have probably just branded myself with my own name with the aim of starting up some sort of agency/studio under a company name in the future. I think this is a good strategy because it allows you to build your own reputation and to get your name out there which makes everything a lot easier when you're trying to convince someone to hire you or work with you in some way.
Alex is right about the r's and personally I don't think it should matter if you have difficulties in pronouncing certain words, but I understand that it can cause difficulties when telling someone the business name. Perhaps it would be best to think of a name that you like that doesn't have r's in! When it comes to naming the business, I think you really need to consider what type of clients you want to target, how you will be looking to differentiate your business services from similar people/companies and what sort of design/personal style you're looking to utilise. Because really, you need a name that reflects all of those and if you don't get it at least half right, you're going to be wishing that you could change the name a year or two down the line, and it will take considerable time, effort and money to do so. I don't know what processes you've used but it certainly seems like you're just trying to pick a good name out of thin air! Much like in design, it's a lot easier when you're working to a brief.
Thanks for your input guys. It's true, the 'forest' does have that issue slightly, but it's mainly because of the 'pt' in concept meeting the 'cr' in creative. Hard to explain without you hearing it. It just sounds slightly lazy when you hear it.
I've had a pot at a few good names, but to be honest most of the .com/.co.uk and twitter names are taken, which I think matter when branding. So it's has *kind of* got to a random name stage, although still wouldn't choose names that aren't right or that sound just weird.
I've thought about branding with my own name, but that would open up my name to general searches, and would pull up all kinds of profiles - not that I've got anything to hide! I'll add! But you get what I mean, family pictures might come up etc. So that's why I went down the company name root.
The idea I was told was have one company site that shows set packages geared towards a niche, say B&B's (it's the Lakes), giving a good competitive price, and a personal portfolio without prices for freelancing jobs at which I'd be able to set more realistic prices. They wouldn't be linked directly, and would probably have different addresses maybe. But to be honest this has sounded too complex from the start! So I probably won't go that route, just wanted to know what peoples thoughts were and if anybody else does this.
Cheers again!

Sean Lee-Amies

I've never argued for a brand to have a random name, I think a lot of people do this and I think it's wrong, lazy and unprofessional..! I think there are a lot of brands that might seem random, but if you were to inspect their brand and their marketing, you would begin to see how everything is linked and completely the opposite of random. Of course you do get companies that just think what the hell, let's use a dancing leopard as our company mascot... but we don't talk about them :D
I may be interpreting your use of random name incorrectly, apologies if that is the case, but honestly I would start some sort of process to document how you want to run your business, what you want from your career and everything I said in my previous post to see if you can't come up with your own unique brand.
I think have multiple, entirely independent, websites is a good idea, although I'm not entirely sure how that's going to work with taxes etc. For example, I wouldn't want to tell a company to pay their invoice to the LA Designs business account if I was approaching them from My Awesome Design Agency... If one is an LLC then I suppose it doesn't matter too much but then if you're at that point, you've probably got enough work coming in and don't need two websites.
I think using your name is a really good idea, especially if you've got loads of other profiles and you have nothing to hide. Just make sure you don't put up ultra sensitive information and you'll be fine, if anyone does search for you they'll be able to see how awesome you are. Although if your name is quite common, there's not much gain to be made here.
I agree that thought should preferably go into a name. I decided not to use my name and go with something else because I had reasons. I have some good friends in the industry who aren't quite ready to start up on their own yet, but need the portfolio work. So sometimes, I will offer them something. I would like to think that one day my friends will join me and so I didn't think my name would be appropriate.
It's taken about 2 years to come up with a name. It needed to be personal to me but still sound professional. I've always liked the names of big publishing houses and wanted something similar. Where I live, there are many little design agencies and freelancers and I wanted to stand out as a professional in a small town. Family is important to me and I don't see most of them because they live so far away in the middle of the South Atlantic. So I chose 2 names that run in my family and put them together. One of them was too long so I cut it down (Augustus to August). And now I work under the name of August and Bailey. Also I have always loved everything about the month August and it had a ring to it. I put it forward to family members and friends and everyone agreed they liked it. Especially in comparison to previous name suggestions which were really quite meaningless and generic.
I am happy I waited so long. This name now is the right fit for me and my plans as a designer. I think using anything other than your name needs great thought. :)