Tips for Naming Your Art-Based Business

Naming your business is an important step in developing a recognizable art-based brand. Here are some tips to help you find the “perfect” name!

1. Be clear about the product or service you offer

Every see or hear a business name and have no idea what the company actually does? Be careful with creating a name that is hard to directly relate to your business. Many artrepreneurs choose a descriptor word that follows the core business name to help give customers a hint about what they do. For example: Creations Film or John Doe Design. Others select names that play on the product or service provided. For example: The Sound Station or Artist’s Cafe.

2. Reflect your brand

In this article, we talked about building a brand around your art that acts as the core to your business image. Keep your brand in mind when developing a business name. Does your proposed name fit with the messaging style that you’ve decided on?

Some artrepreneurs name their business first, and then build their brand around that name. This is a slippery slope that can cause you to lose sight of the value you’re trying to offer. Instead, think about the value you’re providing your customers and how your business name can help to enforce it.

3. Be original, but easy to remember (and even familiar)

Originality is often praised in artrepreneurship, but Derek Thompson, author of the book Hit Makers, makes the argument that originality on its own is not king. People are more drawn to things that feel original AND familiar. Familiarity makes a business name easier to remember and creates a positive feeling in the hearts of consumers. So when naming your business, think about names that are somewhat original, and somewhat familiar or recognizable. This meet-in-the-middle method will help you create a business name that is preferred by most consumers.

4. Do your research

So you’ve gone through tips #1-3 and think you’ve found the perfect name for your business. Before you get too attached, make sure you do your research to confirm that the name is not already in use. There are 4 main places you’ll want to visit:

Google

A simple Google search can tell you right away if your potential business name is already in use. Is there another business or blog that floods your search results? If so, you’re going to have a hard time getting to the front page of Google, and a harder time becoming the very first search result that people will see. Check out what already exists online so that you can get an idea of the plausibility of your new business name.

NameCheckr.com

If you don’t see any competing online presences that might threaten the success of your new business name, it’s time to check out NameCheckr.com. This site allows you to simultaneously check all top-level domains and social media sites for your preferred business name. For example: You might want to name your business: Artist’s Cafe. On NameCheckr.com, you can see if that name is available for a .com domain, and as a username on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Using this kind of resource helps you to think about name consistency across your many digital presences.

USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office should be your next stop. Here, you can search all trademarks to understand if your potential business name has already been trademarked. You can search all US trademarks here (search for “Basic Word Marks”).

NOTE: Trademarks rely much on the “Likelihood of Confusion.” If your trademark is too similar to another in your same goods or services category, you may get denied. However, let’s say there is another “Artist’s Cafe,” but the associated goods and services category is Clothing. Since you want to open a Coffee Shop, this other trademark will not be a problem, because it exists in a completely different industry.
But, if there is a trademark registered for “Artist Cafe” in the Coffee Shop industry, you might have a problem. “Artist’s Cafe” and “Artist Cafe” are too similar, and are considered to have a high likelihood of confusion for consumers–so you will most likely be denied a trademark under that name.

State Business Entity Search

The last place you’ll need to visit to confirm the eligibility for your potential business name is your state’s business entity search portal. This search engine will populate any competing business names in your state. If another business has already filed a business license under your potential name, you’ll need to choose another. To find your state’s business name entity search, go to Google and type in: ‘Your state’ business entity search.

Here are the Business Entity Search Portals for both Nevada and Oregon:
Nevada Business Entity Search Portal
Oregon Business Entity Search


Naming your business is one part heart and one (large) part strategy. Work through tips #1-4 as you develop the right business name for your art-based business! Remember: There is no formula for developing the perfect business name, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to find the perfect one. Once you find a name that checks off tips #1-4, stick with it and get started on building your very own creative business!

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get more straight-to-the-point information that will make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Peace, Kayla

You and Artrepreneurship

Here at Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of a strong business model based on a need that your potential customers have. But here’s something we haven’t talked enough about: YOU.

The probability that your business vision will actually become a successful business, without you, is 0%. Someone might do something similar, someone might even pursue the same model based on the same need, but they aren’t going to do it just like you. You’re the artrepreneur in artrepreneurship, so it’s important to evaluate yourself before, and as, you pursue your artrepreneurial journey.

Strengths and abilities

What are you good at? What are you not so good at? Understanding your strengths is important in using your abilities to their full potential. You must understand what you can do, so that you can decide what you will do. Look for fit between your strengths and abilities and your business vision.

Think about your weaknesses, too. Will you need to balance your weaknesses with others who have strengths in those areas? Will you work on improving those weaknesses so that you don’t need to? These are important things to think about as you develop a plan for moving forward with your artrepreneurial journey.

Financial readiness

Your personal financial situation will affect your artrepreneurial journey. If you have a slow start, do you have emergency savings to back you up? If you decide you’ll need outside funding to start-up your business, are you in a good position to be lent money? (Good credit score, solid amount of personal capital, etc.)

In order to build a successful creative business, you’ll need to be able to handle the business’s finances in a strategic and responsible manner. Doing so with your personal finances is the best kind of practice.

Emotional readiness

When there are struggles with a business’s finances, the emotional side of being an artrepreneur is usually hit first. In fact, there are all kinds of things that are going to affect your emotional rationale: unexpected mishaps, uncertainty, rejection, failure. As many of have stated before, artrepreneurship often resembles a rollercoaster–good and bad times following each other over and over again. Do you feel prepared to deal with the emotional effects of building a successful art-based business?

Your network

Considering your network is an important step in preparing to build your own creative business. Think about who you know, and who they know. Think about who you don’t know that you should. Evaluate the strength of your current network and make a plan for how you can expand it. Who can you learn from? Who can help you test your business vision? Who might become a potential customer?

You may want to work on expanding your network appropriately before starting your business, or you might do so while starting up your business. Either way, networking is one of the most important ways to build your brand–and its centered around YOU and your ability to communicate your value to others. Don’t forget to focus on others, too–networking is most successful when you work on recognizing the value that other people bring.

Your desire

Your dedication is going to be the driving force behind your success as an artrepreneur. However, the desire we’re discussing now is your desire for yourself and your future. What are your long-term goals with this creative business? What would your ideal future look like? What do you really want, really desire, for yourself? This vision for yourself will be what helps motivate your dedication. It’s also a way to measure your artrepreneurial success in the future. Write down or draw out your desire. Keep it with you as a “postcard” for the destination you’re trying to reach.


I’m dedicated to giving you straight-to-the-point information about how to be the best artrepreneur you can be. It wouldn’t be right to NOT bring YOU up in one of our discussions. I hope you’ll take some time to have honest dialogue about yourself, with yourself. Doing so will help you understand the fit between who you are and the creative business of your dreams. Finding this fit is one huge step toward becoming a successful artrepreneur.

Peace, Kayla

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The Importance of Being Different

Being different makes all the difference.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi from Pexels


In both art and business, the importance of being different cannot be overlooked. In artrepreneurship, we call what makes our creative business unique, our differentiator. Understanding what your differentiator is affects how you market yourself, how you run your art-based business, and ultimately, the success you’ll find within your market. There are a few ways you can differentiate your creative business:

Differentiation in your product or service

This kind of differentiator is focused on the actual product or service you’re offering. In this case, your offering is so different that no other company is providing what you provide. Customers can’t get what you’re selling anywhere else. This means that if customers want what you’re offering, they must come to YOU.

For example: The Game Crafter is a super popular creative business that allows people to design and print their own high-quality board games. When the company entered the market, they had no real competitors. Now their trade-secret software and process allows them to maintain their competitive advantage by making it tough for other companies to duplicate their service offering.

Differentiation in the way you deliver your product or service

Maybe you provide a fairly common product or service, but the way you deliver your value is totally unique. This can become an important differentiator for your creative business. Delivery can include how customers order, receive, or even use your product.

For example: Before Netflix become the streaming giant that it is today, it was mailing DVDs to customers. The movies they sent were not unique, but the way those movies were delivered to customers was. People loved being able to order online and pick up their DVDs at their mailbox. During this time, Netflix found a way to differentiate themselves through their delivery.

Differentiation in your brand

Finding a differentiator within your brand is all about sharing your value in a way that stands out from your competitors. You might find that in your market, many business sell their products in the same way. Brainstorm ways to brand your creative business in a way that’s unique, eye-catching, and relatable to your target customers.

For example: Betsey Johnson is a fashion designer and fashioin brand that has been wildly successful in the fashion world. Betsey Johnson sells clothing and accessories like many of it’s competitors. But Betsey Johnson has a very unique brand that is known for its bright patterns, whimsical joy, and female empowerment. In the world of high-fashion, Betsey Johnson was able to stand out by being different.

How do you know if something is truly a differentiator?

Competitor analysis, aka research! You must know what’s happening around the market to understand if what you’re offering is unique or not. Start with Google. Find out who your competitors are and what they’re offering. Do not offer the same thing as those who are successful. Offer something different, or offer it in a different way.

Remember: You must be honest with yourself.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when looking at your own differentiation is honesty. It’s really easy to think that we’re providing something super unique because of a small detail that might not really matter much to customers. Try to view your creative business from an outside perspective so that you can truly understand whether or not you have achieved the differentiation you’re looking for.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When thinking about differentiation, it’s important to consider how duplicatable your differentiation is. When another artrepreneur sees your creative business, how easy will it be for them to copy your strategy? The goal in any creative business is to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. A competitive advantage is only sustainable if it’s hard or near impossible for others to mimic.

Thinking about differentiation can be a long-term process. One of my favorite quotes reads: “Direction is more important than speed.” If you can build a creative business that has differentiation in one or all of these categories, you will be one (huge) step closer to becoming a successful artrepreneur.

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet so that you can stay up-to-date with the latest information about how to make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Your Artrepreneurial Journey Isn’t Going How You Planned… What Now?

It’s time to step back and evaluate.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

It’s been a month, 6 months, maybe even a year, and your new career as an artrepreneur isn’t working out how you thought it would. What do you do now?

It’s time for rest and reflection. If you’ve already said goodbye to your other sources of income, you might not have time to rest, but you MUST make time to reflect.

#1 What’s going RIGHT?
#2 What’s going WRONG?

Because every artrepreneur’s situation is different, I’ve listed a few possible scenarios below. These scenarios are meant to be an example of how you might go about evaluating what’s going right, and what’s going wrong, with your creative business.

NOTE: Throughout this article, you’ll see many links to this article (and others). Revisiting your business model is one of the most helpful ways to evaluate your situation and make necessary changes. I would suggest that you visit this article and conduct an evaluation of each part of your business model. This will give you a comprehensive view of your art-based business.

Scenario 1

Maybe you’ve secured a few customers, but not as many as you hoped for. Where did these customers come from? Did you already know them? Did they find you via social media? Through word of mouth? Think about the communication you’ve had with them to understand whether or not the channels you’re using to advertise are actually working.

Secondly, who are these customers? Do they match the target market profile you created when you first started out? You might find that your real customers are totally different from the ones you assumed you’d have. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers about how they found you, why they chose you, and how their experience was when working with you.

Scenario 2

Maybe you’ve gotten lots of engagement online. That’s great! Look at the kind of content you’re posting and see who’s interacting with it. By doing this, you’ll be able to tell what kind of content is of interest to whom, and that will help you better focus your time as you continue on.

But perhaps you still aren’t booking customers, despite your positive engagement rate online. Are potential customers reaching out to you, then backing out once they learn about your prices? This might be a sign that you need to restructure your pricing model. Are people not reaching out at all? This might be a sign that although you post engaging content, your value or the service you offer isn’t clear enough. Or maybe customers don’t know how they should contact you if they’re interested. You might need to revisit how you’ve written or worded your messages to understand if your value is clear.

Scenario 3

Maybe you’ve developed a solid business plan and have created a cool brand, but you’re getting no interest at all. This could be a sign of a few issues:

1) The market doesn’t exist. Maybe the need that you believe you’re filling just isn’t really there, or maybe it doesn’t exist on a large enough premise to sustain a sustainable creative business. Consider conducting more research to understand if this might be the case.

2) You’re way off target in regards to who your target customer is. You might be sharing your awesome value with all the wrong people.

3) The way you’re sharing your value isn’t resinating with people. Your branding might be fogging up the true value you provide, leaving people disinterested or unsure about what you’re offering.

4) You’re missing the strategic partners you need to make your business model complete. Maybe you’ve created a product and have been trying to sell it online through your own website, but what you really need is a retail partner to help sell your product at the rates you want. Or maybe you don’t have enough credibility to secure the customers you want, so you need a strategic partner who will back you.


There are all kinds of potential factors that might be contributing to the slow growth of your creative business. It’s your job to take some time to reflect about all you’ve done so that you can identify these factors and make adjustments to fix them.

Whatever you do, don’t give up... UNLESS:
If you find that there might not be a big enough market for you to serve, or that you’re value is already being provided in the same way somewhere else, or that you don’t have the passion to push past your slow beginning… it might be the right decision for you to throw in the towel and start pursuing something else. In today’s world, people are chastised for “quitting.” But sometimes, quitting is exactly what you need to do to find success elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to move along in your artrepreneurial journey by dropping an unsuccessful business model and picking up a successful one. Your artrepreneurial journey is not limited by a single business idea, but by how you evaluate that business idea and ultimately find a successful way to share your art with the world.

Now is the time to take a step back and evaluate. If you run into questions during your reflection, please leave a comment below so that I and other artrepreneurs can help you work through it! Good luck!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get more straight-up information that can help make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Growth company vs. Lifestyle company: Which is right for your art-based business?

Understanding the differences between a growth company and a lifestyle company is critical in building your art-based business, so let’s dive deeper into what each is and which is right for you.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

So you want to start a creative business in order to start making money by doing what you love. You want to become an artrepreneur! But what kind of company do you want to create? The topic of growth and lifestyle companies has been critical in this blog, so let’s dive deeper into what each is and which is right for you.

Growth companies vs. Lifestyle companies?

Think: Disney vs. Your favorite local business

Think about how a company like Disney differs from a locally-based, small company. Their target market is bigger, operations are geographically spread, and costs to run the company are huge. The more people who watch their movies and go to their theme parks, the more money they make. However, a common misperception about these types of growth companies is that they are always super profitable, which isn’t the case. As a smaller company, your favorite local business has less costs to cover and more direct access to the local market. Which one is more profitable depends on how much revenue each business brings in, in comparison to the amount of money they spend.

For example: A growth company might make $100 million dollars in 2019, but perhaps they spent $150 million in the same year. This growth company is not profitable. On the other hand, a lifestyle company might make $500k dollars in 2019, and only spend $50k in the same year. This lifestyle company is wildly profitable.

In deciding if you should pursue a growth company or a lifestyle company, scalability is the most important consideration. Scalability refers to how big and widespread your company can potentially grow. If you’re a painter who provides super-large, high end murals to wealthy customers, you might only have 10 clients a year. And since you are your product, meaning that its your skillful art that is being paid for, you can’t hire just anyone to complete the client’s request. Your goal here isn’t scalability, its to make more money with every client as time progresses. Maybe you start with charging $10k for a mural, then $20k, then 40k, and so on until one day you are making $500k per mural. That’s the ideal kind of growth for a lifestyle company.

A growth company, on the other hand, often includes a product of some sort that can be duplicated and reproduced as many times as the number of customers wanting it. Think about Disney again. The more times people watch one of their movies, the more money they make. Or think about authors. The more copies that are sold of one book, the more money they and their partners make. These are examples of businesses that become ultra-successful based on scalability.

For example: If you’re starting a comic book company, your growth is going to come from numbers: how many copies or subscriptions can you sell? Unless you create custom comic books as gifts for hundreds of dollars… In that case, you want to scale up your paycheck, like the muralist we just discussed–you want to pursue a lifestyle company. Not surprisingly, this creative business is meant to support you, and your lifestyle.

NOTE: It’s important to understand that lifestyle companies can become growth companies in the future. In fact, you should always be thinking about opportunities to create a scalable aspect of your business. By doing this, your business can make money that’s not directly related to your amount of working hours. Now, your company can work even while you don’t, and can potentially transform into growth company.

For example: Imagine if, in addition to high-end custom murals, the muralist decided to create mural duplicates that could be applied to walls via adhesive by the customers themselves. The muralist could create 5 designs and then try to sell as many as possible via an online store or offline retailer. The more duplicates the muralist sells, the more money they make. This would be an interesting way to add scalability to their creative business.

So why is this so important? Because it’s going to set your expectations and help you understand how to create the appropriate business model for your future creative business.

Start thinking about lifestyle and growth companies, and try to decide which would be best for you and your artrepreneurial vision!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to make your artrepreneurial journey easier!