Business Cards

Biz_card
Don’t let its small size fool you.  Your business card may be one of your most important sales tools.  If you don’t think of your card as anything more than a way to give someone your phone number, you might want to reconsider. 

Of course, it does give the recipient all the important contact information for you and your company.  But it does much more.  Probably most important, it conveys an image of you and your business.  Is your card neat and clean or is it cluttered with unnecessary information?  Is it professionally printed with raised type or is it obvious that you made it yourself on your computer from sheets of perforated card stock?  Does your card say "I’m a professional business person."  Or does it say something else?

Will the person who gets your card put it away in a safe place for future reference or will they chuck it into the trash can as soon as they’re out of your sight?

Think of your card as a mini-ad that has the potential to stay around for years or to be passed along to someone else who could become your customer.  My daughter recently bought a new car.  As she was doing the paperwork with her salesman, another salesman stopped and asked her if she didn’t work at a particular restaurant, which she does.  The second salesman couldn’t believe it.  His brother works with my daughter.  "Hasn’t Jim ever given you my card?"  No, he hadn’t.

This isn’t a post about family relationships.  The salesman and his brother have to work that one out themselves.  But it does show how important that little 2" x 3.5" piece of stiff paper (or thin card stock) can be.  In this case, a two cent card could have made the salesman a commission of several hundred dollars.

Here’s the thing.  Whether you have relatives that are willing to hand out your cards or not, you and your staff certainly will hand them out.  Most of us collect hundreds of the things over the years.  Yours needs to stand out.  Forget the "make your own" software programs.  No matter how well they work, they’re never going to produce a professional-looking card.  You need good card stock and raised printing.  Your PC and ink-jet printer just aren’t going to cut it.

Forget the "Free Business Cards!!!" web sites.  While some of them are probably legitimate, many are just a way to get your personal information.  Think about it.  You’re giving a stranger all of your contact information.  Even the quantity of cards ordered can be valuable to a spammer, giving them an idea of how big your business really is.  Unless you’re just wanting to fill up your in box with ads,  don’t fall for the "free"  offer.

Find yourself a good, local printer.  Have him (or her) help  you lay out a card that  gives all the information someone needs to get in touch with you.  If you have a web site, list it.  If you have a blog, list it too.  Give your email address and cell phone number.  If someone finds your card in a drawer five years from now, will they be able to tell exactly what it is that you do? 

Is your card visually attractive?  Is it something that people would like to save?  Is it something that they might pass along to a friend?   If not, you need to work on it.  This isn’t the time to be cheap.  Spend the few extra dollars to get the best printing, the best ink, and the best stock possible.  When the customer needs your products or service, your card represents you.  With two business cards, side by side, most people will go with the one that looks the most professional.  How can I trust you with a major purchase if your card looks like something that was made on the copy machine?

Finally, and this may seem contradictory, keep it simple.  You may be tempted to cram everything you can think of into that tiny space but  don’t do it!  Keep the text to a minimum and replace it with either white space or a graphic.   Remember, a picture’s worth a thousand words. Don’t forget the back of the card.  Modern printing techniques make two-sided cards very practical. 

Last but not least (which apparently comes after "finally"), the best business card in the world it completely worthless sitting in a card holder on your desk, or in your pocket.  Get the word out.  Make sure that every person you meet walks away with your business card in their pocket, whether you meet them in business or you’re riding with them in the elevator.  The more of them that are out there, the more of them will come back, with a potential customer attached.

One Response

  1. We do portable Vacuums and Central Vacuums and they each have there own card. A friend years ago told me a contractor didn’t care if I sharpened knives and suggested I get a seperate card. I did and it looks much cleaner on both cards not to have so much on them.

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