Get the Most Out of Your Business Card

The old saying “you only get one chance to make a first impression” wasn’t said about business cards, but it could have been. Even in this age of astounding technology and far-reaching social media campaigns, Entreprenuer states that a business card is still one of the most cost effective marketing tools you can have. However, it’s only effective if people keep it. A poorly designed business card will probably go into the first available trash can just minutes after you placed it in a potential customers hand.

What’s Not Good for Business

With all of the options available for business cards, many entrepreneurs are still getting it wrong, but today when business card printing is so fast and easy, there’s no reason to keep a poorly designed card. Check out this list of design “don’ts” and see how your card measures up:

  • Don’t be a copy cat. A card that looks like every other card that every other professional in your field uses is bound to get lost in a sea of sameness.
  • Don’t be cheap. Unless you’re actually in the gold business, you can skip the genuine 14-karat gold trim, but opting for the least expensive paper or scratching out an old phone number so you can finish up the box of cards is no way to instill confidence in clients.
  • Don’t leave customers scratching their heads wondering what you do. Cards that are too cluttered to read or too minimalist to be clear are definite losers.
  • Don’t get too big. Those oversized cards may seem like a good idea because they stand out from the crowd, but they also stand out from fitting into anyone’s wallet.
  • Don’t forget the essentials. An effective business card should include your phone number, email and website.

What’s Worth the Extra Charge

Getting the most out of your business card requires focus. Some bells and whistles are worth paying extra for if they actually relate to your business or brand. For example, a day-glow card makes sense for a paintball company and might be worth the extra cost, but a dentist probably wouldn’t benefit from the same feature. Here are a few business-card upgrades almost any entrepreneur should consider:

  • Logo. If your company doesn’t already provide a corporate logo or image pay a designer to create one for you. Even a one-person start-up will benefit from corporate branding according to Chron Small Business.
  • Texture. A card with texture will stand out visually and may encourage a tactile response – which may then encourage the holder to look more closely at what’s in his hand.
  • Photo. Your face on the card may help a contact remember that nice conversation or your helpful response to their questions.
  • Multipurpose. If it’s appropriate to your business, a card that also serves as an appointment reminder or a discount coupon may increase customer traffic.
  • Something different. Vertical printing may draw second and third looks. Bi-fold or tri-fold cards can double as mini-brochures.

The one feature you should always be willing to pay extra for is quality. Have your cards printed on the best card stock you can afford. Of all the statements you want your card to make “I’m successful” may be the most important.