However much you rely on emails to communicate with your customers, you still need something to physically hand out to a prospective client when you meet them face-to-face. This is where the modest business card puts in its appearance. No it’s not a nice, shiny new gadget with lots of fascinating buttons, but it is essential for any business.
Your business card is all about being remembered. Some people would forget their head if it wasn’t screwed on so tightly, so you can be sure that they will have forgotten your name the day
after they met you for that interesting discussion about your product. If however, they received a business card, they have information about who you are, what you sell and most importantly, how to contact you, on one single source of information.
As a minimum your business card must be printed with your company logo, your name and position in the company, and contact details: email and phone number, all to fit on a card designed to slip into a wallet – as this size continues to be most useful for customers. These essential details must be clear to see and you may opt for a classic approach, particularly if you are hoping to work with more formal clients. Use a simple layout with a traditional font – at a size that even people over the age of 40 can read without using a magnifying glass!
But don’t overlook your creative side. The modest business card also provides an opportunity to create an impression and make a strong statement about your business. There are hundreds of creative business cards out there: business cards in the shape of the company’s product, such as a coffee cup or a camera lens; a divorce lawyer whose business card is perforated so it tears down the middle; and many with interesting cut-outs including ones that have your photo, cleverly cut out to stand up proud from the rest of the card. These are good examples of choosing your business card to suit what you are selling: if coffee is your business, nothing will speak louder than the coffee cup; if you are selling a service, your photo is important to create a personal touch, to remind people that they will be dealing directly with you. This is particularly useful for an individual, such as a consultant who is selling himself.
This leads on to how you distribute your business cards. Some believe they are only to be handed to someone you have made a quality connection with in person. Others think a well designed business card catches the eye and can be left on a table at trade show, or at your store’s check-out for anyone to pick up. Both options have advantages: the first because the person will remember the connection and is probably already thinking about reconnecting with you. The second is more of a ‘cold call’
approach as they haven’t necessarily spoken to you, but they have been intrigued enough by your card to pick it up and take it
with them, with a view to making contact in the future.
When producing your business card, use good quality card and a professional printer -absolutely no cutting corners here or you will be giving out completely the wrong impression. Nowadays some companies are using clear plastic cards, which are unusual and have a modern flair, but don’t forget the fundamental aim is to show your contact details clearly– is it always easy for the client to read the information on a transparent background?
Whatever you choose, make sure it suits your company, sells your message and will be attractive to your target market. And be sure to carry a supply with you at all times as you never know who you might meet round the corner.