Even in today’s technological age, don’t overlook the importance of having a good quality, branded business card. There will always be occasions when you meet potential clients face-to-face whether you are giving a quote for a service or talking to them at a trade show. When you have made your best effort to impress them and to explain in detail why your company is the right one for the job, it would be a crying shame to let them walk away empty handed – they will simply forget your name within 10 paces and by the next day will be a little hazy about the name of your company. Don’t take it personally – people have such busy lives it’s a surprise they remember anything!
This is where the beautiful simplicity of the business card comes into its own. It is primarily a physical aide memoire for your customers so they can remember who you are and which company you represent.
As a minimum, your business card must display your company name and logo, your name and your position within the company. By including your personal and general contact details, you can be sure that interested clients know how to get hold of you. All of this information must appear legibly on the business card which should be the size of a credit card – this is still the preferred size simply because it slips into a wallet and is easy for the customer to keep hold of.
But a perfectly formed business card can also be used to deliver far more than just the company’s contact details. It can be designed and created to become something memorable and so visually appealing that people want to get their hands on it. Of course this entirely depends on your business. If you deal in divorce or offer funeral services you may wish to opt for a formal and traditional approach: corporate colors, tasteful logo, and simple font printed professionally on a great quality card.
However if you offer graphic design, photography services or even sell coffee, the sky is the limit when it comes to designing your business card. There are many creative business cards in circulation and if you want one too, then do your research. There are coffee companies whose business cards are in the shape of a coffee cup, photographers whose card looks like a camera and barbers who have cut-out cards in the shape of scissors. If you want a really creative business card to capture the essence of your company, then work closely with the graphic designers and print house to get something that sums you up nicely.
And talking of graphic designers and print houses, don’t even think about cutting corners – the design, the type of card used, and the printing of your business card must all be completely professional. Skimping on the quality of the final card just won’t do whether it’s a simple card or a fancier cut-out. This strategy is doomed for failure because clients won’t be impressed to receive a flimsy, amateur looking card when they have just been given a glossy, snazzy version from your main competitor. Following their logical thinking that the company with the best business card is the most trustworthy and financially secure, you are unlikely to ever see or hear from them again.
Once you know the kind of design you want, hire a professional company to turn your dream into reality. Let them advise you on the card weight, the robustness of any cut-outs you may want and whether embossed gold font or plain black will better suit the overall look.
When you have your nice new cards, then it is merely up to you to distribute them. Some people prefer to hand them out to customers only after they have had a meeting; others believe it is useful to display them in store or at a trade show so interested people can pick them up and take them home.
However you decide to use your business cards, make sure they look professional, have all the pertinent details on them, and are fully branded. Keep a supply with you at all times because you just never know when you might meet a potential new client.