A business card is an important marketing tool for any sized business. This card is what you carry around with you and hand out to potential new customers, hoping they will give you a call when they need your service or product. In order to keep your business card out of their trash can, you need to create the perfect business card.
Make the Most of Your Limited Space
The average business card is 3.5 x 2 inches. This does not give you a lot of space to work with. Your key is to make sure you use that space effectivly.
Use Both the Front and Back
Most printing companies will allow you to use both the front and the back of your business card for what is normally a small charge. If you have a lot of information, spend a little extra and take advantage of this option.
On the back of your business card, you can put useful information such as a map to your place, a menu of your most popular dishes, a qr code (we will get into this later) and even another business card.
Let me tell you a quick story about a client of mine. This client owned a rental store that rents two categories of items. He rents wedding and party and then he also rents equipment for contractors. In the past he always created two different business cards with both having nothing on the back. This year, he has 708 Media design him business cards. What we did was create a design for the front and listed his wedding and party information on it. We then copied that same design for the back and listed his equipment side of the business. The cost for 2,000 business cards was around 60 dollars after shipping. Of that 60 dollars, only 10 dollars was the price for printing on the back. This client saved money by creating a two sided card that feature both sections of his business, rather than having to handle two different orders.
Only Put Important Information On Your Card
You are limited on the amount of information you can place on your business card, so why would you waste that limited space with non essential information.
When I created business cards for 708 Media, I looked at what was important and what was not. For example, with 708 Media, my clients have no need to ever mail me anything. My office is a home-based office. Because of these reasons, I did not feel there was a need for me to list my PO Box address on my business card. The only time anyone would need to know this address is upon being invoiced for work, at which time the address would be on the invoice itself.
Going through the information you are going to provide on your card is necessary. When you put to much on, your card will look cluttered and will make it to the trash can.
Make An Eye Catching and Unique Business Card
This is a key factor in great business card design. The old fashion plain white card with black embossed ink just will not do anymore.
Make It Colorful
Do not be shy when it comes to colors. Your business card is your canvas for your artwork. You want to use eye catching colors that will stand out and avoid using all white backgrounds. When someone gets home and empties their pockets, your business card should scream, “file me away in your roledex.”
When using colors, you can be as bold as you want. If you feel you want a bright orange background, feel free to use it. Be sure to mix and match your colors correctly. Overuse of color can cause your card to look as if it was developed by a kid. Remember, a few nice bold colors will look great but the entire rainbow might be a tad to much. A new trend in business card design is using a light color or a white on the front and a dark color on the back.
Also, match your colors with your business type. If your in an industry that caters towards men, using pinks and purples may not pan out for you as much as using blues, greens and oranges. A great way is to match your card to your company colors.
It used to be that you had very few choices in card stocks to print your business cards on. With new trends and styles, you have many different papers and materials to print on.
I have seen business cards printed on transparent plastic, metal, wood, cloth, rubber and many other materials. When it comes to business cards today, the sky is the limit.
Be prepared for a higher cost for the creation of these types of cards. Also, you will have to look around for the right company to create your business card. Most print companies do not have the proper equipment to print onto metal or even wood.
Custom Shaped Business Cards
The standard rectangle business card is becoming something of the past. You are starting to see more and more custom die cut business cards.
These custom shapes will help your business card stand out from the rest. Depending on which print company you use, you have many options to choose from. Some have pre-shaped cards while others will allow you to custom design your own shape. Be prepared to pay a higher price for these custom shaped cards.
Use Of QR Codes on Your Business Cards
The QR code can contain all of your important contact details in one small image that is scan-able by most smart phones. By adding a QR code, you will encourage this person to scan your QR code on your business card with their phone and instantly be able to add you and all your information to their contacts. Adding a QR code to your business card can be very valuable, however I will not get into that in this article. To read more on this, please read my article, How To Create A QR Code Business Card With Ease.
Don’t Cheap Out
This is one of the most important steps. After taking all these tips above into account, be sure you finish with a bang.
Your cards need to look professional. This means, you need to find a professional print company to print your cards.
Sure, you can goto the Office store and buy a Avery business card template to print your cards off your inkjet printer at the office, but I would highly recommend against that.
Getting your card printed does not cost a lot. I use UPrinting.com for all of 708 Media’s printing needs. I have yet to have any issues with them and their product comes out looking great. The best part is their pricing. I can get 2,000 business cards printed in color front and back arriving at my doorstep for around 50 bucks. They are not the only print shop out there, but be sure you find one that is not some fly by night printer. If you are skeptical, most printing companies will allow you to order a sample stock of their paper to help you decide what paper and finish you want to use.
With most printing companies, you are paying for the setup fee. This is the highest cost of printing. Once the print company has setup your job, the ink and paper stock does not cost much. For this reason, you will find that 250 business cards will cost around 20 bucks, while 1,000 will cost around 26 bucks. Why not pay the extra few bucks for a thousand business cards? The more you have, the more willing you will be to just throw them out at every chance you get. If you limit your self to just a few, you may find yourself holding back. My business cards cost about 2.5 cents per card. The way I look at it, if I throw around 200 cards, it will cost me 5 dollars. If I get even one client from that, I have gained upwards of 100 times as much. Now if you were to order just 250 cards, your cards would have cost you around 11.2 cents per card after shipping. This makes your costs for handing out your card almost 5 times as much as my cards which were ordered at a higher quantity.
I can type many words trying to explain what kind of business cards will look good, but how about I show you some examples. Check out this blog entry, Custom Shaped Business Cards: 32 Sexy Samples. This site will show you 32 different business cards that follow many of the tips we have provided in this article.
Chad A Windnagle says
So I agree with the premise, having an important business card is great. However with more and more business connections being made with people you’ve never met and may never meet, how could the concept of having a great “calling card” be portrayed on the web?
Chris Edwards says
Excellent question. I would venture to say is that not what Linkedin is really for? Some could even say Facebook, however I look at Facebook more for personal connection with friends and Linkedin for my professional connections. Another idea is creating QR code business card that you can put into your email signature (which is what I use at work currently).
Chad, do you have any ideas on how to do this effectively? I have seen simple websites that are basically just glorified business cards which is one idea….
Steve @ 2010 Taxes says
I got some free cards online from both Vista Print and Overnight Prints and love the results. Overnight Prints were better but Vista Print also did a really good job of helping me design the cards online and getting them to me quickly.