Business Card Tips for Small Businesses & Start Ups
With the increasing popularity of online print design and ordering, it is now a relatively simple process for an independent trader or a small business to create their own Business Cards and other stationery items. But if you’re new to it, where do you start?
More than just a card…
As a small or start-up business, your resources are probably limited and you probably won’t have access to the business strategists, marketers and designers who devote their time to the art of business communication. But don’t be tempted to rush-in and buy your Business Card without first giving it some thought.
All printed communications must create a conversation between the business and the recipient/reader, but a Business Card has a unique and important role to play. In a face to face situation, it can be used to ‘break the ice’ when opening a conversation, given as an aide memoir following a discussion, or it may perform both of these roles in one meeting…
Try creating your own ‘Business Card Brief’. Here are some useful pointers:
Who are you targeting?
This is the most important thing to think about. Think about the needs of your customers / clients – can they be separated in to groups with different needs? If so, do you need a different business card design for each? Make a short list for each of your customer’s needs – e.g. what do they need to know about you and your business? How do you want your customers to feel? What do you want them to know about you and your business?
Where and when are you going to use your business card?
Will it be at the workplace, at exhibitions or sales pitches on the road? Will you always hand it out in person? Is it likely to be distributed without the benefit of a personal interaction? If so, does it need to say anything different?
How do you want people to contact you?
A business card is a personal form of communication, so include the contact details that are best for you and your customers.
If you are more comfortable making phone calls from your landline than emailing, then prioritise those details. Don’t put your mobile number if you know you never answer it, or at the very least, make sure you have an appropriate answer-phone message to greet your customers for the times you can’t answer the call. Equally, if you feel your customers are more likely to email than call, prioritise those on the card design.
If you are in a small team with different job roles, also make sure you include your name and job title so people know what to talk to you about.
If you have a website, placing the website address on the business card may allow your customers to get a better idea of your business before they decide to call or email.
Look and Feel?
First impressions count, so it’s important that your Business Card doesn’t let you down and gives the right message to your customers.
Will your Business Card be used alongside other marketing materials like leaflets, flyers and letterheads? You should look professional and give the right message at every opportunity. It is important that your business card design looks consistent with your other marketing materials. Make sure you use the same company logo, colours, fonts, and graphics. Then consider how they make your customers feel – are the most important details clear and easy to read? Is it clear what your business does? If you are stuck for ideas, use an online print service that can offer a range of easy to edit templates for your business.
Once you’ve settled on your design/s and content, double check to make sure all details are correct and then choose on the type of card.
For a good balance between luxury feel and value, premium quality, 400gsm card is the best weight card to choose. If you want a slick appearance, choose gloss finish. For a more understated feel, choose a matt finish.
Finally…what do you want your business card to do?
The obvious answer to this question for most of you will be…to make more sales!
Plan the design of your Business Card right. If you use it well, it is can be an extremely valuable, low cost business tool. This can lead to the beginning of lasting business relationships and sales.