…wouldn’t sell for nearly as much on Valentine’s Day. Ask anyone who grows any other flower. And that’s what today’s topic is about – your name.
No, it’s not just YOUR name, it’s about your business’ name, and your web site’s name and coordinating them, so that you have something that’s easy for people to remember and can fit on one side of a business card. This is a two-part process, that I ran concurrently. Neither part are complicated, so doing them at the same time while having a [insert favourite drink here] in your hand won’t be much of a challenge. But it is something you need to think about and plan out, rather than just jump into. After all, this is how the world will come to know you. And do you really want your upstanding company to be known as www.davez2kewl4skewl.com*?
Here’s what you need to do, and fortunately, for photographers, it’s pretty easy. You really have two choices: either a standard business name, or use your name. In photography, personal names are pretty acceptable for businesses and sites. Very few people recognize the name “Group f/64”, but almost every photographer worth their lens knows of Ansel Adams (Mr. Adams was one of the founders of the group).
If you decide on a stylized name, think about what style you want to go with, before you jump in and get a name. Nobody’s going to hire you for wedding photography with a name like “Hot Tub Photography”…well, you might get one or two adventuresome couples, but not enough to pay the bills. Running your ideas past people you know in business (ones who will give you blunt, honest opinions) will really help, here.
There are many domain registration sites that will let you register a domain for cheap. I won’t go into a big, deep comparison between them all (as there are many other sites that have full pages devoted to that already), but the one I went with was Go Daddy. I went with them because the hosting site I am with had a nice, easy set of instructions on cname entry for Go Daddy specifically, and since the price was good, and the reviews were pretty good and they have domained email hosting too (so I can receive emails at a kyledwardsphotography.com email address…for a little bit more money, of course), I went with them.
Once you have found a site name that you like and is available, my suggestion is to register it right away. It only costs about $10 USD plus tax for the site name. It comes to a little more with the extra junk, but it’s still cheap.
Next, go to the Government of Canada Business Registration Site, and run through the lookup process. It’ll ask you for your SIN, so have that handy, if you don’t have it memorized (I don’t either, so don’t feel bad). Then go through the entire process, make sure that your name is okay to use, register it, and you’ll get your business number and all that good junk! Congrats, you’re now. quite literally, in business!
Note: they say on the business site that, if you’re registering your name only, that you don’t have to do so. Whether that means I could have gotten away not registering “Kyle Edwards Photography”, or if that would have only applied to “Kyle Edwards”, I don’t know, as I’m not a lawyer, but for less than the price of a memory card, I wasn’t about to risk it.
*As of publication, these are just fictitious web sites and companies, and no, I’m not wasting my money to register any of them. Except, of course, for Kyle Edwards Photography. It IS a real site and company – it’s mine. 🙂