How to Choose the Best Name for Your CNC Business

How to name your cnc business

by Paul Savidge

You got a CNC router, CNC laser, CNC plasma cutter, or some other CNC machine with the intention of starting a business. 

Now you’re thinking about a good name for it. You toss around [insert your name] Janes Crafts, or Tom’s Workshop. You like them because they are who you are. After much mental debate, you settle in on Jimmy’s Wooden Crafts. Perfect!

But are you going down the right path with choosing this type of name?

Let's Talk About How to Choose a Name for Your CNC Business

Choosing a company name for your CNC business can be kind of stressful.  Its just like your personal name. Its with you for the rest of your life. Or in this case, your business’ life.  It takes parents months to name a child, and naming a CNC business is no different.

I would suggest that the process of naming a business can be made more complicated than it has to be.  In this article I will show you some methods and tricks to make the process easier.

The first thing you want to do is take “YOU” out of the process.  What do I mean by “YOU”? Names like “Johnny’s Sawdust”, “Mary’s Workshop”, or “Father & Son CNC”, are YOU. Although it may sound good to you, what does it tell your potential customer? It is better to come up with names that give the customer an idea about what you make.

There is a couple of ways we-soon-to-be business owners can do this.  We can bounce our business name ideas off friends and family. Sounds like good advice, but is it?  The world over your mom is probably the worst person to ask…  she simply has a bias, and will ask something like “Which one do you like?”

Family, and friends will have the same bias. Or, they may offer fun, or cool suggestions. But they are not your customers. When naming your company, you want to take an objective approach, because you want it to appeal to the person that wants what you sell.

An approach I use professionally, and personally, is to hang out in a coffee shop for a few hours with a little paper tent that says something to the effect of “Your Opinion Wanted” or “Help Me Name My Business”.  As woodworkers, our “Ideal Clients” are probably the very people that regular coffee shops, so the opinions from this group are far better than those of our friends and family.

Let Data be Your Guide

Another method, and a process you should be using in conjunction with option #1 and #2 above, is letting data guide the choice.  A tool such as https://namechk.com/ shows available URL’s – AND – available Social Media usernames. This step alone will direct your efforts to naming a business to naming a BRAND.  A consistent BRAND across as many platforms as you can get is 90% of the battle.  We can see that our test name “Imakewoodenspoons” is available as a URL, but is kind of spotty with Social Media.

Having a URL that shows up in Google is one thing, but having the ability to have a consistent BRAND across FaceBook, Etsy, eBay, Instagram, Pinterest, and others, makes YOUR job as a business owner, and YOUR customers’ job as buyers EASIER.

In this process, you can go 1 of 2 directions.  As Garrett, from IDC Woodcraft, lays out in the video “Naming Your CNC Business“, he targets a specific niche.  There is nothing wrong with this, until you bring the idea of longevity and expansion.  

If you are content with creating wood spoons for years on end, then by all means go this route.  If you even THINK you might add forks, salad bowls, or napkin rings at a later point, you should be looking at BRAND.

To understand the idea of BRAND a bit better, I suggest looking up “Pillar Content” on Google and doing some reading.  The absolute basics of the idea is to have a website, YOUR website as the hub, and then spokes of social media emanating from there.  In our case ( CNC based business’ ) we want to include Sales platforms, IE Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, and more than likely Pinterest ( if PayPal buys them out ). Even if you don’t plan to use these platforms, you want to be set up to do so anyway. Because new CNC business’ sometimes switch products, simply because the market (your customers) are buying your other stuff far more often.

The one and only driving force to you listing a product, and selling it, is TRAFFIC. If you have just a website, you will spend endless hours getting traffic to your website.  Websites simply are not a build it and they will come type of thing.

There is an easier way.  There are many ways to sell product:

  • Yard sales
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • eBay
  • Facebook/Instagram Store
  • Etsy
  • Retail Outlets
  • Your Website

I have those listed specifically in the order of lowest first to highest last in terms of percentage of profit that can be made.  I am sure it is pretty obvious that I have left out Amazon.  Amazon is in my opinion the hardest platform to sell from in regards to handmade crafted products. With inventory storage and shipping cost, and return rate it is also the most expense to sell from.

Looking at the list above, what happens if you have found a name that is consistent across all platforms, and your potential customer does a Google search looking for you?  Your Website should appear in the listing, Your Facebook profile should appear, Your Etsy store should appear, If the retail outlet you are in posts anything on their site, or social those should appear.  Getting a listing in the top 10 of a search result is good, getting 3, 4, and 5 listings in the top 10 is even better.

Built To Cut, Made To Last

I have those listed specifically in the order of lowest first to highest last in terms of percentage of profit that can be made.  I am sure it is pretty obvious that I have left out Amazon.  Amazon is in my opinion the hardest platform to sell from in regards to handmade crafted products. With inventory storage and shipping cost, and return rate it is also the most expense to sell from.

Looking at the list above, what happens if you have found a name that is consistent across all platforms, and your potential customer does a Google search looking for you?  Your Website should appear in the listing, Your Facebook profile should appear, Your Etsy store should appear, If the retail outlet you are in posts anything on their site, or social those should appear.  Getting a listing in the top 10 of a search result is good, getting 3, 4, and 5 listings in the top 10 is even better.

There is a little SEO secret…  Your niched URL ( or your store name ) will only get you so far.  Google we all know to be a search engine, but so is Etsy, and eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. These search engines do not rank your SITE, they rank each individual page.

Using Imakewoodenspoons.com as an example, if someone searches “wooden spoons”  it might appear.  BUT so will yourbrand.com/woodenspoons.  There is more long term upside to BRAND, than niche – and in terms of Google the 2 are both search friendly equals.

There is a little SEO secret…  Your niched URL ( or your store name ) will only get you so far.  Google we all know to be a search engine, but so is Etsy, and eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. These search engines do not rank your SITE, they rank each individual page.

Its the page name, or the product name that does all the heavy lifting in SEO.  The URL itself can do a bit, but the use of Categories and sub categories in the page URL is just as effective if not more so effective.  Again using the example Imakewoodenspoons.com adding the product name Imakewoodenspoons.com/woodenspoon and you start stacking keywords. There comes a point real fast that Google frowns on this, and what’s ment to help you is actually going to hurt you.

I believe when going through the process of naming your business / BRAND we have a tendency to be a bit literal or functional with our name choices.  Look at the big brands of today… Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft…  Nothing literal or functional at all.  The only huge Brand i can think of that actually is a bit functional is Tesla or The Walmart brands.

A question you need to ask yourself, is where do you see yourself with this business 5 years, 10 years from now.  Is it just a hobby and you want to earn to play, or is there more to it?  Do you have aspirations of employees and expansion?  If you are in the earn to play camp simply using your name is a very viable option. Something as basic as yournamewoodworks com. In a the “handmade” craft world, there is actually something to be said for this.

If you see yourself going beyond the one man shop, then you might want to shy away from the self named company name. A name other than your own might be better at telling your Brands story.

Spend some time, think outside of the box…  regardless of the name, think for a moment, Would <insert name> look good on a shirt?  From there, talk to friends and family, and maybe spend an hour or 2 in a coffee shop. 

Garrett Fromme - IDC Woodcraft

Are you ready learn & grow on your CNC journey. If you have any qustions or want to learn more about something, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m here to support you!

Learn more Garrett Fromme. Have Questions? Contact Me.

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