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[00:00:00] There are a few different places when you’re trying to start your personal chef business that it’s real easy to get stuck. And one of the biggest places I see people get hung up is naming their business. On our last monthly group community call in the personal chef association, I had a long time experienced hospitality pro who was stuck here and it was to the point where his wife was even telling him to get on with it.

So I made this video to help you get on with it and just as important to help you avoid some of the mistakes I see people make when they’re starting and naming their personal chef business. Hey there, Chef Shelly here. I’ve had a successful personal chef business for over 15 years and I help passionate cooks just like you start your own personal chef business, whether you want to do meal prep services, a.

k. a. personal chef services, or small caterings because you can absolutely get [00:01:00] paid to do what you love on your own terms. So let’s say you’re at the point where you’re trying to name your business, or maybe this has just been in the back of your head for a year as you’ve been dreaming about this, right?

But you’re kind of going in circles and you can’t commit to something. Number one tip, keep it simple. A lot of people come up with these really clever and catchy names, but then what ends up happening is Regular potential client people can’t spell them, don’t understand them, can’t remember them. And then they can’t find your website or your social media or wherever you want them to go to take steps to hire you.

Cause let me tell you, People have zero attention span in 2024, right? And if someone tries to type in your website name a couple times and they can’t find it, they’re just gonna move on and forget all about it. [00:02:00] We have got to make it easy for the people. So keep it simple. Make it easy to pronounce. Make it easy to spell.

I’m telling you, clear beats clever every single time. And in case you have a really long, beautiful business name picked out full of alliteration and clever food puns, and I’m breaking your heart right now. It’s okay. Remember your legal business name can be different than the name you market under. For instance, if you get an LLC, that can be a simple, quick business name, and then your marketing can have all that fun stuff as a tagline, right?

With your food pun and everything else. But for. Keeping it simple and everything is really important for things like telling people your business name so that they can [00:03:00] find you. So this is just one thing and if a checklist you feel like would help you move on to the next step after this you can get my free personal chef business startup guide.

There is a link right below It’s a checklist that will walk you through step by step It’ll keep you focused on moving forward and not getting stuck on something like naming your business Number two It’s all about great to like include your style or your specialty or like your brand vibe, all that good stuff.

And what I mean by that is like if you name your business something like Chef Jane’s Country Kitchen or if you’re more high end and you want to name it something like Epicurean Eats Personal Chef Service. I worry about the word epicurean, that’s a tough one for people to spell. But you get my drift.

You can absolutely [00:04:00] use a short, easy, clear business name to kind of reflect whether you are a comfort food style cook, a high end style cook, even a vegan or gluten free or specific dietary thing. That, you can absolutely put a little of that flavor in your business. name. Just keep it simple. Third tip about naming your business is do your research and this is a big mistake that business owners do before you file for an LLC or even a DBA or buy a bunch of business cards.

Check out if the domain name is available, check out the social media handles. Even I have a co on my website instead of com. That’s on chefshelly. co. Even on my personal chef business website, I had to get net and the [00:05:00] pisser is these people aren’t even using the websites because this is what some people do is they just buy up domains and then try to get hundreds and thousands of dollars for them.

So darn domain squatters. So anyway, I have social media handles that are Chef Shelly and then I have some that have to be Chef Shelly B. So, you can do it and you can make little tweaks like that, but the more consistent you can make them all the same, again, the easier it is for people to find you and the easier it is, too, for SEO to tie all your stuff together.

So. When it comes to that, though, something you don’t need to do is a full trademark search, okay? Unless you are a hundred percent sure on your business name and You are a hundred percent sure you’re going to build an empire and by an empire I mean if you’re going to do a [00:06:00] business where you are going to try to go nationwide with a food product or You’re going to build a huge catering company or something like that And you want it under the name that you’re gonna start with now Then you need to check and see if there are any active trademarks, and you’ve got to be careful because even if the name isn’t trademarked, if somebody out there is operating with the same name already, they can trademark it out of spite and give you a cease and desist, or they might be in the process of getting the trademark and you won’t even know it.

So, To put this in like more specifics, imagine that you do have a food product that you are going to have nationally distributed. And then you get served from a letter in the mail, an attorney with a cease and desist that there’s a company who already has this name trademarked and they’ve been using it for years.

You’re going to have to change your name, pay to change your name legally. You’re going to need to change all your [00:07:00] signage, your food labels, your marketing material, whatever you’ve done that has that name on it. And I don’t want that to happen to you. So if you know it, search for active trademarks. But if you’re not going to do that and you’re going to be a regular old one person, personal chef business.

Well, something you should do is just kind of search around and see if you see businesses already operating under that name. Even if they’re in a slightly different industry or they haven’t trademarked or whatever because if they started out using that name then they might go that direction. And again, you don’t want to get caught up in that or even worse there might be someone locally who’s already using that name and then in that case you definitely don’t want to use the same name.

So, again, just to recap, keep it simple. Clear beats clever every time. You can add your own flair if you’re more of a home style or more [00:08:00] fancy or you have a very specific specialty. But remember, the place for all the alliteration and the explanations and the facts Food puns is in your tagline or in your marketing materials.

It doesn’t have to be right in your business name, especially not on your LLC. And here’s another side note. You can have your business name for your LLC be one thing, and then just get a DBA. A DBA means doing business as, Basically what you’re doing is saying, Hey, this is who I am, but I’m going to be marketing under this name.

Like if your name is Carl Motive and you want to do marketing under Chef Carl’s Kitchen Capers or whatever. So then where I am, again, this is one of those little funny local things. You’ll need to check where you are and that’s run through the county and it’s not very expensive. So you just want to take care of yourself and make sure you’re protected, even if you’re not going all the way [00:09:00] for something crazy like a trademark.

So the final one, don’t forget, do your research. If you’re not going for a trademark, at least look around locally, make sure that no one’s already using the name, check the website domain that you want. Make sure it’s easily spellable and short. People are not going to want to type in a whole bunch of crap.

And another tip, go for a QR code if you’re going to do business cards, because then people can snap it and it’s super easy peasy. And the easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to contact you and hire you. So, One last note I want to leave you on, and I, this might be devastating to hear, but if you are doing your business as a one person personal chef business, like doing personal chef services, aka meal prep services, nobody is ever going to remember.

Your business name. Your clients will not know it. When they refer people to you, they won’t [00:10:00] say it. They just know your name because you’re their personal chef. So again, just another reason to not spend a ton of time trying to come up with the perfect business name because clients are out there and they’re hungry for what you’re cooking and they’re waiting.

So get done with this stuff and get on to the fun part, the cooking and getting paid.

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