Business Cards

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For all the entrepreneurs out there, we know how risky it is starting up a business. When meeting clients for the first time, it’s a make or break time. They want to get to know about you and your company, and most importantly get your information. This ties in with your marketing, but how many have thought about what makes a good business card?

Designing a good business card is an integral part of any good marketing plan. For its size and cost, it’s probably the most powerful part. Of course, you can’t expect your business card to tell the whole story about your company. What you should expect it to do is present a professional image people will remember.

Choose a card style that’s appropriate for your business, industry and personal style. When crafting a design, start with the style that best supports the business image you wish to project. To help you get started, here are five different card styles for you to consider:

  • Basic cards. A basic card is usually printed in black ink on plain white or cream stock. This is a good style to choose when utility is all you need. It’s a no-nonsense approach that can appeal to clients and prospects who would not be impressed by fancy design features-the people who want “just the facts, ma’am.” The design is simple, and the information is clear and concise.
  • Picture cards. Having your face on your card-whether it’s a photograph, a drawing or a caricature-helps a contact remember you the next time he or she sees you. Images representing a product or service, or a benefit your business provides, can help you communicate your business better than dozens of words. A splash of color (rather than just black and white) is often helpful on a picture card, too.
  • Tactile cards. Some cards are distinguished not so much by how they look as by how they feel. They may use nonstandard materials, such as metal or wood, or have unusual shapes, edges, folds or embossing. Tactile cards tend to be considerably more expensive than regular cards because they use nonstandard production processes such as die cuts. But for some businesses, this more unusual card may be worth the price.
  • Multipurpose cards. A card can do more than promote your name and business-it can also serve as a discount coupon, an appointment reminder or some other function. It may also provide valuable information that the average person may need. For example, a hotel may include a map on the back of its card for any guests who are walking around the local area. A card of any type can be made multipurpose by adding any of these types of features.
  • Outside-the-box cards. A wildly original, fanciful or extravagant presentation can draw extra attention. Creativity knows no bounds-except the amount of money you wish to spend. Some examples are cards made of chocolate or that folded out into a miniature box to keep small items in.

One Big Tip

Though this may sound like obvious advice, include the essentials when designing a good business card. This means your name, title, company name, address, phone number (or numbers, if you want to include your cell), e-mail and web site. If someone wants to contact you after receiving your card, you sure as heck want them to be able to.

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