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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Starting a Production Company


I recently gave advice to a new film production company that was looking for a good name, and I realized that actors may benefit from this advice as well. In particular, this brainstorming advice is perfect for actors who plan to start a production company to produce their own work:

There are a couple of things to consider when brainstorming for a company name:

A) What kind of feeling do you want to evoke when someone reads the name? What kind of message are you trying to send? When I created my coaching company, The Actors' Enterprise, I wanted to make sure that people would know that my company deals with business, creativity, and action, and is specifically for actors. I then went to the thesaurus and looked up synonyms for "business" and "entrepreneur" and came up with Enterprise.

B) Is the domain name available? If not, go back to the drawing board and pick another name, or a variation on that name. Make sure you can get a .com or .org name. 

C) Look up your competition, or companies that are doing the work similar to the work you want to do. Put all of the names in a list, and then try out your name in that same list. Does it stand out? Does it sound like any of the others? Then, alphabetize the list- where does your name appear? It it toward the top, or toward the bottom? When companies are listed in directories/phone books/industry sites, they are often listed in alphabetical order. How do you feel about that? I list my name as "Actors' Enterprise, The" whenever I submit my info to directories so that I can be at the top if at all possible.

2 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

Nance L. Schick, Esq. said...

Erin, as always you give excellent, no-nonsense advice. :) I'd just like to add that if you are REALLY attached to a name that is already in use, consider who else is using it. Obviously, an actor is a little more limited here, but your production company client might benefit from contacting the other business with the similar name. If they have compatible, versus competing products, they might find that a strategic partnership will give both of them broader access to potential customers--or more strategic partners. There is, of course, such thing as over-exposure and undirected marketing that confuses the business' message, but sometimes the best way to avoid the infamous "cease and desist" letter regarding IP infringement is to bring those you want to watch closely to you. :D

Erin C. said...

What a fantastic comment- thanks Nance. It's always good to have a lawyer and fellow business owner reading your blog... =)

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