Business Name?


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Dec 1, 2004
New Westminster, B.C. Canada
So I am in the (mental at this time) state of formalizing my framing business. Right now I am working under a friends business name and tax # but that needs to end as I am getting more framing to do.....I have been struggling with a good name for my basement framing business that is completely run by word of is what I have come up with:

Phoneguy's Framing
Phoneguy's Custom Framing
Phoneguy's Phraming (nah to goofy to look at)
Foneguy's Framing

I kind of like the first or second one as they address my roots and history. It ties into what I have done for a living for the last ~20years and plan to do full time until (at least) I am pensionable in 7 more years. It also can act as a conversation point to personalize someones experience with me (if they care to ask). Also my presence on the internet (gaming, other chat sites, Geocaching, EBAY ...) all have Phoneguy as part of my user name....

What do you respecable people think? Should I try and pull something more framish into the name...Should I loose the Phoneguy part?
Thoughts, jabs, barbs?


My only advice is to keep framing in the name.

I have had a lot of moulding reps and customers tell me how important it was to see that my name conveyed what we do and what we carry.

Classic Framing & Gifts for me said it all.

Personally I might drop the Phone Guy part, when you get bigger it might seem like framing is something you do on the side after your phone company job. Whatever predjudices people have against the phone company may be projected against you and I don't know if I would use someone that only did framing (or anything else) part time when there are full time people out there. Ie, a barber, surgeon, President, Proctologist etc. ( I could go on but thought better of it)

Good luck and much sucess!
The name you chose for your business should appeal to the type of clientel you wish to attract. I think you should lose the phoneguy image. I don't think it would inspire much confidence in your potential customers. What about Framing by James? It tells who you are and what you do and has a nice, more upscale sound to it.
Anne's right. You don't want to be a "phony" framer. Please excuse the pun.

It's best to have a company name that helps customers relate to your business. A name containing a word such as "framing" makes a lot of sense.

But I think it's important to avoid confusion, as well. It would be different if phones and framing were somehow related, but "Phoneguy" has nothing to do with framing, and framing has nothing to do with your almost-previous career.

More to the point, framing customers might surmise that for "Phoneguy", framing is only a hobby. Even if that is true, I suggest you don't advertise it. If I were a customer, I'd prefer to take my projects to a professional framer.

Also, a name like that might cause you to get nuisance inquiries and solitications completely unrelated to telephone or cable installation/repair/supply.
J.Abott Custom Picture Framing

James Abott Custom Picture Framing

Abott Custom Picture Framing (This would get you top billing in the Yellow Pages if you ever decided to advertise there.

But by all means, I would lose the Phone Guy part.

I'll echo the others by saying, "drop the phone" part, but keep the <u>two</u> words, "Picture Framing" in your name

If you do a telephone book or internet search with just "framing" you'll get a bunch of folks who put up studs and dry wall for building contractors.
I know what you've done all your life is important to you, but I've gotta go with the others - leave that career off from this one. "Now" it might not matter, but at some point you'll wish you had.

I really like Mike's choices. They sound very upscale. The one bit of advice that I give to all craftsmen is: you must market to the people who can afford what you do. And NEVER set your prices based on YOUR budget.

All the suggestions above are better than "Phoneguy".
I'm a retired Phone Guy. I guess we look at it from a different angle or something, but a name like "Framing By The Guru of Framing" immediately makes me think of really expensive work. Which, unless I was enormously wealthy and 'cost was no object', I'd be inclined to look at all of the listings, and visit the ones that caught my eye.

"Phoney Framing", for instance, would arouse a certain curiousity in me. I'd be more inclined to check that shop out than the names that allude to expensive framing.

I think, sometimes, that framers tend to forget that every customer that comes through the door is not necessarily highly educated, re: framing, and have big bucks to spend. That doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a bunch of phone people as customers(you could do a LOT worse, as you know!). A very small portion of the population LIVE for spending as much money as they can. They love to show their framing and make sure everyone knows that they paid top dollar, because it bolsters their ego for their peers to think their money is unlimited. Most customers just want quality work at a good price.
I too would lose the "Phoneguy" as attached as you are to your roots. Folks with phone problems would probably call you all the time.

My Ex and I used to have a Coffee House (late 60's) and we called it "The Blue Bus." ("the blue bus, is calling us...")

We received a LOT of calls from folks who wanted to know what the bus schedule was or if the bus was in from Toronto, etc. I guess folks were color blind because the bus line at the time was Grey Coach!!!

If you are so doggoned hooked on calling your business "Somethinguy", maybe we can work out a deal!!

I would be up for "renting" my login name to you for say, a dozen chocolate chip cookies/per month with one month paid in advance and a non-refundable security deposit of a carrot cake. You would have to sign a minimum 3 year contract and substantial late "fees" (say, a half pound of black walnut fudge?) would apply on all rent payments after the 5th of each month.

Whatcha think???

Call me. Let's talk. :cool: :cool:

Wow, what a bunch of good answers. I definately had to check the size of my thinking hat! I am leaning towards Abbott Custom Picture Framing now ... Thanks Mike! Good points about yellow pages placement....hard to imagine that now but you never know!
It is nice that people are willing to help each other out....Thanks everybody.


BTW I am suprised that no one asked me about GeoCaching....are there any other cachers out there?
Gee, I'm glad you asked. Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt, happens all over the world (over 200 countries) and has tons of people doing it. Basically you need a GPS (Global Positioning Sattelite Reciever) and an internet connection.

Point your browser to

Essentially people (including myself) hide caches in places of interest, or just to be challenging. Once they are logged on to the web site other players go and try and find them. A typical "traditional" cache usually consists of a rubbermaid type container, perhaps camoflaged, filled with dollar store trinkets and other junk. They also contain a log book. My kids love the trade. First of all we have to research the cache location (internet). Then we go and find it (read go for a drive / walk). I actually bought my GPSr to take out in the woods in my new (to me) 4x4 truck after a buddy and I got turned around and had a discussion about which fork in the road to take now, seeing as it was getting dark. Shortly after buying it I heard about geocaching and one Sunday afternoon I suggested to my wife and kids that we try it out. Found a couple caches withing a few miles of home and went for a walk / search. The first cache we ever found was a "keychain" cache (trade keychains). The kids were very excited and we found a new forested area to walk in that we had never been to before in the 14 years we have lived here. My wifes comment was "I can see we are going to be doing a lot more of this eh." (canadian for huh). Kids wanted more so we did two the first day. For me it gives me an excuse to get outside, and leads me to places I might not go to otherwise...check this one out:

didn't even know this place existed before! There is no requirement to trade but it keeps it exciting for the kids. For me it is about getting out there, and solving the puzzle. I even took my youngest daughter and one niece on Christmas day while the bird was cooking...Miserable raining weather, got soaked and everybody had fun and a smile on their faces, and better yet managed to shake off the cobwebs and get some fresh air.

GPSr's start at about $120Can and go up from there. I have a unit that retails for about $400.00Can that I can download maps into. Definately a nice feature if you can afford it.
In Febuary we are going on a family trip to Hawaii and I have found ~30 caches on Maui that we may try / or not...Just reading the descriptions gives you an idea of some of the beautiful areas that are off the beaten tourist track.....I could go on for while about this...lets just say it gets me out and entices the kids to go with me
Instead of putting your street name and number you could put your long and lat!

Don't cache, but used to use a GPS all the time! (95-00) When it really was nerdy to drive with a (bag) cell phone and laptop c/GPS in your car!
Your name could incorporate the phone world by going with C-Bell Framing. Campbell Frames or use an abbreviation that meant something then and rework it! I think FUBAR Frames is taken however! (Might make a good LLC anme and then DBA as Abbott Frames.....

For me the disability computer world was left behind when I entered this world. So I don't use AAC Frames or anything like that in my name.

I used to set up people's workstations and work sites to be "accessible". My own computer set-up and workstations would make the "old me" run out of the building they are so inaccessible!
No matter what you name your shop, I would strongly suggest to keep it short. My shop name is Mil-Road Frame Studio. There is only one L because it is short for Military Rd. It fits the fact that I have the business in my home on Military Road, but is very long when it comes to answering the phone, or giving out information. My logo, all my business cards, letter head, and outside sign, have this name on I'm stuck. Hindsight is always 20-20 and the cost to change it is way to high to bother after all these I just answer "Mil-Road."

Just remember; your shop name is a little like a lifetime contract....and it can be really expensive to get out of it once you decide to sign on the dotted line. Good luck.
When I named my company in 1988, these were the selection criteria:

1. Starts with "A"
2. Visually catchy; memorable & recognizable
3. Easy to reproduce attractively in any size
4. Copyright available for my ownership

ARTFRAME is all in capital letters, and I designed the name into a distinctive, hand-lettered, rectangular logo.

Anyone who sees the logo on my company van as it goes down the freeway, can read the logo & understand what we do at a glance.