Lately I have been working on a new design for my business cards. I ran out a while ago and haven’t had any customer meetings planned so I have been putting off getting new cards. Every time I go about printing new business cards I make sure I take a good hard look at my business card design to ensure it still conveys the message I originally designed it to.
Everyone knows that first impressions can make or break a deal. Business cards are not usually that first impression, they are more of a lasting impression item. Something that a client or potential customer will take home with them. Your business card will be more like a tome or a reminder of you. Of course a bad business card can be quite the opposite, it will either be tossed out or it will end up reminding a customer not to call you.
A good business card has a couple of common attributes. It is unique, it is memorable, and it is discoverable. I will cover each of these important attributes in detail here.
All good business cards need to be unique. This does not necessarily mean being wacky or otherwise unprofessional. What it means is that when a client looks at your business card they are looking at a business card that is distinctly yours. If your buiness card looks exactly like everyone elses card then all you have succeeded in doing is providing a piece of paper with your phone number on it. Actually a piece of paper with a phone number is likely more memorable to a customer than a crappy business card. Make sure your business card is different than the millions of other cards out there. A company logo can help, some graphics that represent your company name or your business process can be useful. Just avoid using a basic business card template unless you are doing something to it to make that card yours.
If your customer doesn’t remember you or your business card then you might as well not exist. A business card is a physical lasting impression that you give to your customer. If all they do is look at the card and then throw it away you haven’t accomplished anything. A customer remembering you and your business card is really the ultimate objective of a business card. To make your card more memerable you will need to know a little about what your customers desire. Sometimes putting a discount coupon on the back of your business card can be a way for your customers to remember you. Other times you need to make your card more unique, options can include improving the design and using a different material (plastic, foil, hologram). Obviously what you do will depend upon the industry you are working in. Sometimes just having a business card is memorable because the others in your industry do not.
If a customer cannot figure out who you are and what you do from your business card then why do you have one? A business card that takes more than 3 seconds to find your name is not a valuable business card. Do not waste your own valuable money and your customers valuable time providing a business card that doesn’t have your contact information. A business card should always clearly display your name, phone number, and e-mail address. If you have a fixed business location to meet customers at then include that as well. Do not waste space on your business card with useless information. Always include proper and correct contact information. If your contact information changes, print new cards, never save a couple of dollars at the cost of an unprofessional image.