What’s in a name

After deciding what platform to sell the physical products. The next challenge is giving the business a name.

Giving your business a name is a big challenge. It would start off fun and loose for the first couple of names, but I would quickly become trapped in a mind numbing list of gibberish.

It also depends on how you deep of a niche that you would like to go into. For example, if you are planning to sell coffee. You can call it bossleecoffee.com like what I did for a coldbrew project. However, that could limit what you can be selling in the future, say you intent to move into tea. The brand Bosslee Coffee might not resonate so well with selling Tea.

 

Here’s another example:

In the case of Bosslee Canvas, the business is selling photo canvas so it was relatively quick to have a name for it. We wanted something close to the personal brand of “Bosslee” and a name to leverage on for SEO, hoping that if someone is searching for “photo canvas” then Bosslee Canvas will show up.

However, mid way we decided to sell notebooks and stationery. Are we going to change the name? We have already purchased the domain name and also secured the Facebook username. Plus there are some traffic towards Bosslee Canvas.

Initially, we did think of changing the name. Either to Bosslee WoodCraft or Bosslee Notes but after thinking it through, we decided to keep the name Bosslee Canvas.

 

Do not be too caught up with the name because if you keep thinking about the name, you will not end up getting any work done. Because you need to remember that ->

We can change the name, when we are ready.

 

Yes, like Grab used to be Grab Taxi as the business moved toward private hires, they changed to Grab.

Apple used to be known as Apple Computer. Now it is Apple Inc.

Starbucks used to be “Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice”

 

Of course, it would be best that you do not have to change your business name but what I’m trying to put across is that sometimes people tend to get caught up in “getting a good name for the business” and end up not doing any work.

 

If you are in the midst of naming your business. Here is my personal guide.

  1. At the first glance, the user / customer needs to know what you are selling. For example: LemonSays Consultancy, even if you do not understand the reason behind LemonSays, you at least understand that this business provide consultancy services
  2. It might be something closely related to you, have a story behind it. For example: Bosslee Coffee, Bosslee Canvas. We are going to sell notebooks and stationery for Bosslee Canvas and the story behind is simple; Canvas is an extremely durable plain-woven fabric used for making items for which sturdiness is required, we aimed to do the same for your stationery.
  3. If you are having a hard time getting a word, tech startups love do this. They take a random word and make use of it. The benefits are many you can get your desired Facebook, Twitter, Instagram handler. For example: Intraix is one of the example. It does not means anything. The name came from a random name generator. We put in the keywords of “tracking”, “energy” and “insights”. “Google” is another example of this.

If you are running your business, I love to know how do you get your name?

What was your naming process like?

Which selling platforms to sell on

img_2627-1

The last email, I talked about all the research I have done but no particular action. We discuss and decided to take the simplest and free approach.

Update: 9 Feb 2017

There are the platforms we are going to focus on and start building up the brand name.

  1.  Facebook page with Shopify Iite integration
  2.  Carousell
  3. Shopee
  4. Instagram

Facebook Page with Shopify

We are taking a bet on Facebook page because we believe that in the future, people will get used to going over to Facebook page to do reviews and perhaps buy stuff. Currently, the search is on Google but personally I’m starting to go over to Facebook for search. To find the company that is providing the service and to message them there. Although there are risk to “renting” the platform but it’s free and a good validation group. Furthermore, with a Facebook page, we cannot do any Facebook ads.

As for shopify lite, we need it for the payment. It’s the cheapest shopify plan and gives us an opportunity that is one day the business grow, we are able to shift it to a full working e-commerce site.

Facebook page with Shopify lite is shit. The integration is an issue. Sometimes when you change the price for your Shopify products, the price changed does not reflect on Facebook. I have changed the a basic Shopify shop. The running cost is $29USD per month.

Carousell

It’s free. It’s a good validation ground for a product idea. It’s easy to start. Although the search feature is so-so, it helps if you can have some “keywords” in the name of your product in a proper manner. Check out my carousell account.

Traffic is good and as long as you write clearly the item description. You will get less of Carouhellers.

Shopee

It’s free too. Much more features with payment integrated, which I love. But they have less traffic than Carousell ( I Guess). We love the systematic way of upload products and the features to choose shipping options. It feels more like selling up a e-commerce store as compared to Carousell, which is more of personal selling.

This is bad too. No traffic and if you are not logging in, it will keep prompting that your account will be remove. The question here is, if you have no traffic why do I have to login? As a small time seller, we are busy with other stuff.

Instagram

In this day and age, we are selling physical products, how can we be not Instagram. The challenge here is what account to use? Personal or Business? I started a business account but I’m having issues with naming.

Naming

What should I call this new business?

Initially, I started off with bossleecanvas but is it too niche? Then I move to bosslee woodcraft, does not sounds right still 🙁
Naming is driving us nuts.
What do you think? How did you get your business name?

Other stories here

LB68 – A brand new year

2017!!! Happy New Year everyone!

How was the New Year celebration for you all? For me, it’s more of a stay at home “family time”. It’s been a long time since Chris and I do up a show. So since we are free, we decided to a show together.

The topic of the show is “Past, Present, Future”. We talk about our past, the present and how we see the future. Here are a list of topics that we talked about.

  1. Find out what crazy decision I made in 30 Dec 2016 and what I’m looking to do in the coming year
  2. Find out what is Chris’s goal for Sphere in this brand new year
  3. Chris and I predict tech trends
    1. Live streaming
    2. AR/VR
    3. Chatbots
    4. Insurance Tech
  4. Arc Board EV: Chris got a Arc Board EV, produced by a group of Singapore. It is a kickstarter project. And you got to give them a hand because they are not doing this full time. The maple wood material is amazing.

Thanks for supporting us all these while, we love you guys.

sorry the sound of my fan

Bryan 🙂

Getting Started is hard

In the last letter, I shared that we (my wife and I) decided to sleep over the idea of starting an online store.

During this period of time, I’ve spent all my time researching and dreaming. You might think that I’m researching if it is actually viable to start selling on Facebook and if there are actual customers that wants the canvas.

Well it is wrong 😩

I was spending time researching on tools.

  • What email service provider? Mailchimp or Drip
  • Is it alright use to use Facebook Page without Shopify
  • If yes, what about SEO? There are reviews that shared that Facebook page have poor SEO. Moreover, you run a risk when you are selling on a platform that you do not own. Having a Facebook page is like renting a store online. Facebook can bring down your page if they do not like what you are doing.
  • What about payments? How do I collect payments? Internet Banking? Paypal or Stripe? or even COD? In the US, you can collect payment straight from Facebook, but not in Singapore.
  • What about shipping? Singpost, Ninja Van or 3rd party logistic?

Leon shared with me that using Shopify is easy, plus you have control of your own brand. ie you own the domain name and it is your property, no one can take it away.

Personally, I also have been exploring Carousell and Shopee. Both apps look pretty much the same and getting started to sell on both platform is easy. The interesting part about Shopee if the ability to take payment on the platform which I think it makes it easier for us sellers and it also have a more defined logistic integration.

shopee-logistic

Needless to say, the thought in my mind was to list my products on every platform but that would also mean that there are lots more things to manage and take care of.

As you can see, up till now most of my discussions are still on “what platform to use” which the exact reason on why starting is hard. Simply there are too many things to consider.

In fact, we should be spending more time on doing user research to see if people are actually interested in our stuff. No point setting up all products on these platform but no one is buying. If no one is buying, this is not a business at all.

Or should I fall back to Woo-commerce?

What! Another service? How many services are there?

Yeap. There are tons of services are there, the ones mentioned here are the common ones.

I use woocommerce for Bikeroger in the past. It is build on top of WordPress and most importantly it is free. But if you need other services or plugin, you need to pay. The good thing here is that it is free to start but as you grow bigger, you might it a pain just to pay for every other thing. Which is also why it leads to my thought of just using Shopify at the start. You pay monthly and you have everything. You just focus on selling.

Up till now I still have not make the decision on what platform to use. I have to do something other than conceptualize forever and ever, endlessly.

What should it be? Hmmm…

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First, there was a problem

A story of our experience setting up an online store and selling physcial products in Singapore
If you wonder if you can ever be making a living by selling online? These series of story will be helpful.

If I could remember correctly, the problem occured when one of my friend was getting married. He wanted to get some of his pre-wedding photos printed on canvas.

He placed an order online but towards as delivery draws near, he got an email that the printing was unable to deliver. I think it was two days before the actual wedding. I used to work event company and they have those large format printing machine. So I called in and ask for help and these prints were born.

bossleecanvas

So I thought maybe there could be an opportunity for me to sell these canvas printing online. Plus my wife was into digital marketing. She can do the marketing, I can do the production, we can run the business together.

not sure if a husband and wife team is a good fit for business, I will keep you updated

The next thing I did was to buy a domain name, set up a Facebook page and we are ready to sell.

But is it really that simple? What if we don’t sell anything? We don’t know anything about what it’s like to be an e-commerce business! What if we mess it up?!?

So we wait…

Get this letter in your inbox. Launchbyte Letters #01

Resources: These are some of the questions we have in our mind during that period of time. 

Where can you get domain names?

You can either used Namecheap or Godaddy. These are the common domain name providers. I’m a big fan of Namecheap because I’m used to the interface. It is up to you to choose.

What should you go for? .Com or .SG?

For us, it is .Com

A .Com domain is much cheaper and although there are lots of debates, I personally thinks that .Com offer SEO impact. Plus if you are planning to sell overseas, people might not be used to .sg too.

Should I set up a Facebook page to sell or a real e-commerce store?

We were not sure if we really wanted to do it but since we have gotten the domain name. We might as well set up a Facebook page to test out the idea. Setting up a Facebook page is much easier than setting up an e-commerce store, for sure.

How do you come up with a good name?

This question calls for a blog post itself but here is a short summary. We anyhow come up with the name. I have a similar idea for bossleecoffee.com; which I used to sell cold brew with a group of friends so I think bossleecanvas.com will be quite cool, plus no one is taking that domain.

 

Welcome to Wash Wash!

This is my “dunno how many donkey times” trying to start a vlog. Finally I discover that there is no better time than doing it while washing dishes / laundry! 

This is the article I share about in episode. Survive

While doing this episode, I realised that I cannot multitask because usually I wash my dishes quite fast but if I need to talk, it seems to pull my attention away.
Take away for this episode:

  • You hate your job and you envy people who are starting their own thing and are able to make a living

  • You are concern about making a living if you are starting your own thing

  • Stability is like a drug -> dunno who told me but I believe it is true. 

  • In life, there is always trade off. You are using your time as the bet for trade off.

  • How are you managing your time?

BSN07 – Let’s talk Rubbish

Warning. This is an episode of me talking to myself.

IMG_2016-09-07 15:22:32No interviews, no specific topic. I talk about why BSN episode 7 came so late and how I got my motivation back.

When I was doing this episode, I was recording this on Bigo Live too.

 

LB67 – Are we at PEAK SaaS?

This week Chris and I talk about SaaS. We take reference from this article here about the opportunity of Sass and the possibility in the change in business model for Saas.

We shared our views on the following:

  • The return to desktop apps
  • Self-hosted cloud applications
  • Pay once web apps
  • All-in-one
  • Micro SaaS built on bigger platforms

Pick of the week

Bryan: A wooden desktop stationery rack from Taobao. Cheap and good. Kinda of copy Muji in design, but it works great.

Chris: If you support local, this is a project that you should be supporting too. These guys from Arc Boards EV are building the next cool thing that you can use for city commute. The best part is that they are using their prototype to catch pokemons now.

BSN06 – Let’s talk Aerial Yoga with Nicole Lee

This week, let’s talk about Aerial Yoga with Nicole. She is a very charming lady and this is how she describe herself, “I am living life with a relentless thirst. I am an aerialist, a yogi, a pole dancer and everything in between. I love being in the air. I relish extreme sports and live vivaciously through travel.

So who else better than an aerialist to share about Aerial Yoga? 😛

Nicole Lee

Show links

BSN05 – Halftime!

This week, I’m on a break but I have a story to share and the title of the story is “Don’t quit your job”. Plus in the podcast, you get to listen to next week’s trailer and I’m sure after listening you will be super pumped to find out what is the topic for next week.