The humble business card, the cardboard doorway to your business soul.
A bit too poetic? Ok, but you know what I mean.
Your business card is normally the first impression you give to someone about you and your business.
It can say a lot about you so it’s important to get it right.
Think about that last networking event you went to. People dishing out business cards left, right and center. So you start giving yours out, how does your card reflect you?
Maybe a bit disheveled, been in your pocket for a while, bit dog-eared maybe. Or how about that palm sweating moment as you hand over your lovely card, and someone hands you one back – exactly the same but for a plumber instead of an estate agent because you bought it on line one of those deals, 100 cards for £4.99…
Or Is it something to be proud of?
It’s not just how it looks that’s important too. I recently took a card from a potential new customer. He wanted a written quote for some items. He handed me his business card so I could send him the details he wanted. We were talking and I never really looked at the details until I came to do his quote a couple of days later.
Snag one. No email address for me to send a written quote to
Snag two. The web address was unfinished so I struggled to track it down.
Snag three. The business he wanted the items for was not the same as the business the cards were for, that was something completely different so I couldn’t even google it.
In the end I had to text the prices, I’m not sure if the number was right, I couldn’t really elaborate on the quote and it all seemed very unprofessional. No surprise, I never heard back from the potential customer.
My point being, making sure you have the right info on your business card is more important than you might think.
The Basics :
Your name – sounds obvious but if it’s not on there, in two months time when that person is ready to make contact will they remember your name from the 30 people in the room?
Contact number – one that’s correct and that someone will actually answer.
An email address – it’s the technology age. Most people choose email over talking on the phone.
A web address – most people like to investigate, see what you do.
Company name – bit of a no brainer.
Company logo – just because your company name is on the card – there could be 20 people with the same name, so people need something to recognise you by.
Your qualifications – show them off, you worked hard enough for them. For professionals, people need to know you can do the job you say and you didn’t just decide to give it a whirl a few weeks ago down at the pub.
Address – if people need to get to you then it’s essential, or they may just prefer local’ so your address on the card reminds them you were only down the road not on the other side of the country.
Your position – are you the boss, the sales guy, the accounts lady, the bloke who cleans the loos…
What you do – people seem to think that once a card is handed over you know every in and out of the business. Unless your company name is Kev’s Plumbers it might not be obvious what you do. Putting a short strapline or company description on your card can help people remember. How often have you gone back to “your pile of cards in the top drawer, the one in the big rubber band that you collected at that networking do 4 months ago” looked at the cards and thought who the hell was that?
To take it to extremes, I have a customer that does counseling and coaching. She put “working with phobias and personal development” on the first version of her card. She got so tired of being asked “do you do…?” that she listed everything, every phobia, every fear on the back of her card. It not only stopped the questions but people started to call her that didn’t realise anyone could help them.
Don’t use your business card just as a business card, think of it as a mini brochure. It’s true that there is a lot of information to potentially get on there but that’s where the skill of a good designer comes in. Someone who is a master of packing, that can get it all on there and still make it look good.
When they are all done and they arrive in their little box, all neatly cut and bursting with information, look after them. Show them a little respect and let them work their cardy magic.