How to Name a Business

I lost the vote to name our dog  Brinkley from You’ve Got Mail.

The men won with Apollo.  This originated with Apollo Creed from the Rocky films.

The name fits both our dog and our business.






Apollo is referred to in Greek mythology as the God of many things including music and healing but he is alternately referred to as the God of Light and the God of Truth. (1)

I like it. What are your thoughts?

Let’s talk about naming your business.

I’m going to cover the following:
Generating Ideas
Success Stories
Naming Your Business
Real Life Examples
Next Steps

Our Process for Generating Ideas:

1) Location

Street name, city, state – this is a common theme for Tree Farms and Nurseries. In our case, a quick internet search eliminated city and state as an option. The street wasn’t an option as our business plan includes expansion and selling our trees out of our new location.

2) Family Name

The Bondie Tree Farm and Nursery or Bondie and Sons Tree Farm and Nursery.Neither fit for us. Our sons don’t share our last name and we are hoping they decide to keep things going after we move on.

3) Product

Whether it’s Oaks, Maples, Pine Trees, there could be a name hiding in there.

One of my favorites is Twisted Tree Farm but the name is already taken – Twice.

Remember to do a search on the internet to ensure you aren’t competing with your name.

4) Action

Grow, Growth, Shade, Planting, Pruning, Finish Grower, etc. Create an action name that suits the market you are working towards.

5) Outcome

Landscape, heirloom, a family treasure, remembrances, etc. Do you have a specific use your marketing will address? Shade trees? High-end landscape design? Wholesale?

6) Phrases

One of my first fails was The Bees Trees (a play on a Bees Knees) this is currently a rock band.

7) Something Meaningful

Does your family have a historical quote or a favorite word that would be relevant? “Try Harder” is our son’s favorite phrase. We didn’t think it fit at the time, although, after losing a crop we should probably rethink that.

The task of naming your business is not always easy. The goal is to have a name that not only feels right but drives the most traffic and, ultimately, sales.

A name helps us visualize our desired outcome. Once you know you are going to be a business, a name feels like the natural next step.

The best part is, it’s fun, and you get to try the names on with family and friends.

When you finally find that perfect name it can feel like you’re truly becoming a business owner.

It’s really real.

“Hello. I’m (Enter your name here), Owner of (Enter your business here.)”

Success Stories:

Nike™ – Marketing genius or accidental fortune?

According to Business Insider, a bit of both. It seems the struggle to name Nike™ was not much different than our experience with our Nursery and Farm. They needed a name. Everyone on the team threw in ideas from things that were relevant, the product, or similar marketing campaigns.

The final choice came from Jeff Johnson, who ran the company’s East Coast factory in Exeter, NH, after reading an inflight magazine. “Runners World contributor Matt McCue documented how Johnson came up with the name after reading the article about great brand names, such as Kleenex and Xerox.”(2)

“They had no more than two syllables and at least one exotic letter or sound in them with a Z, X or K,” writes McCue, paraphrasing Johnson. Nike™ is the Greek winged goddess of victory.” (3) Very appropriate after all these years.

Apple™ –  What did you do today?

That’s how Apple™ became a household name that doesn’t involve a snack or a fruit. According to, Steve Jobs said he was “on one of my fruitarian diets.” He said he had just come back from an apple farm, and thought the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.”(4)

A true success story from a marketing perspective. Ask anyone if they have an apple and their response will be about their cell phone, tablet, or computer; Unless you are my two-year-old grandson.

Naming your business:

1) Generate a list of ideas.

Consider your products and services. Most importantly: Understand your market. The Dead Tree Scrolls might not convey the message you are hoping for if your product is landscape trees. It’s perfect if your product is firewood or decorative wood.

2) Search the web.

Make sure you aren’t encroaching on trademarks, copyrights, or established businesses. 

See what related topics people are searching for. Does your name fit? “Cooking with Nancy” wouldn’t answer the question of where to find landscape-ready Japanese Maples.

5) Consider length and advertising.

Does your name fit on signs, logos, business cards? 

How will you answer the phone?

Who will checks be made out to?

What will be the name on your bank accounts and legal documents?

6) Does your business name have longevity?

Will your business name meet the needs of your business as it grows? 

Envision your business plan (we’ll cover this in more detail in another post).

Where do you see your business going? It’s hard to be certain during start-up but it’s worth considering some options while choosing your business name.

3) Narrow your list.

Time to start tossing out names until you have two or three that feel like they really fit.

4) Try your business name(s) on.

Use your favorite names in conversation with friends, family, co-workers. 

Write it down several times over a couple of weeks.

Envision answering phones and filling out orders and documents.

Order online or print magazines using the name(s) to see how it looks coming back to you. I really like Nursery Management

Sleep on it. Depending on where you are in the growing process, trees take time to grow. Use the time to find the right fit.

Real-Life Business Examples:

Plumper Pumpkin Patch & Tree Farm

One of my favorite examples is my Brother-in-laws’s Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm in Portland, Oregon. When he started his farm, Plumper Pumpkins, the name said it all.

He eventually expanded to include Christmas trees, cut flowers, petting zoo, events, and more.
Plumper Pumpkin Patch & Tree Farm

You can’t consume everything in your name, but with a catchy name, you can drive the business forward.

His business name has grown too; Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm LLC. with the same website URL:

Precision Pavers & Landscaping

Another example, from another Brother-in-law, is Precision Pavers and Landscaping. They do what their name says.

Brick paving is their specialty but landscape, yard maintenance, and snow removal are all part of the services available.
Precision Pavers & Landscaping

Unfortunately, the preferred URL is not available and their current site is located at

They drive most of their traffic via word of mouth so this isn’t critical, but for a young business trying to compete as a start-up and/or a small operation this could be a crucial determinant of success or failure.

Digital Visual Solutions

When I started my second business, “Digital Visual Solutions” back in 2003, the name selection process had a different playbook. The market was on the verge of going entirely digital but I still needed to follow the phone book and print marketing strategies to reach my client base; this was not a tech-savvy market. 

ID 152585864 © Mwiens |

I specifically needed to ensure my client base understood my services. Start-up services included photo and film (8mm reel and VHS) transfers to digital media. I wanted to be close to the top in phone books.

Now that cell phones are directories, the location, website design, and search engines drive the traffic you need. 

Does your name drive the traffic of your target market?

This is a great time to make a list of who you think your customers will be. Save it in your notebook. You’ll need it along the way.

You Have your Name, So what’s next?

  1. Secure your domain name. 

  2. File a DBA, LLC, or S-Corp to own your name.

  3. (Check with your CPA to ensure the right venue)

  4. Create your logo.

All of these will be covered more in-depth in future posts and Linked back here.

All of these topics will be covered more in-depth in future posts.


  1., Web accessed January 11, 2020.
  2., Web accessed January 11, 2020.
  3., Web accessed January 11, 2020.
  4., Web accessed January 11, 2020.
  • The Dead Tree Scrolls is an actual company in the UK specializing in products made from dead trees with a scroll saw.

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