What kind of response do you get when you pass out your business card? Do potential clients glance at it quickly and stuff it in their pockets?
When Kirk Gaines, president and owner of Gaines Production, a Philadelphia-based graphic design company, hands out his cards, eyes open wide.
“When people look at it they say, ‘Wow, now that’s a biz card,’” says Gaines, whose company designs logos, brochures, newsletters, annual reports and Websites for small and large businesses. “Once I was talking to some corporate executives I wanted to do business with and they were trying to brush me off. But when they saw my business card, their whole attitude changed. They established eye contact and started asking questions about my company.”
On the front of Gaines’ card is displayed the name of his retail project, Visual Funk, a science fiction magazine, and an illustration of a science fiction character from one of the magazine’s short stories. On the back are listed his services and a brief mission statement.
Business cards are one of the most effective networking and marketing tools you can use for your operation. But many don’t generate much business for their owners because they aren’t created properly.
Some business cards are too flimsy, while others are filled with too much information. When creating a business card, everything from card stock to content should be considered. After all, a business card is more than just a piece of paper that lists your company’s name, address and telephone number. It’s a reflection of your operation. If the card is poorly designed, people may question the quality of your product or service. But if it’s crisp, clear and creative, it can attract a lot of customers to your company.
When building your card, consider the following factors:
- Size/shape. When creating a business card you want it to stand out, not stick out. The average size of a business card is 3.5 by 2 inches. Avoid creating a card that is larger or oddly shaped because it won’t fit comfortably into a wallet or Rolodex.
- Color. Most business owners choose white, but there’s really no limit to the colors you can use. It depends on the type of image you’re trying to project. If your company is conservative, you may want to use ivory, gray or beige to give a softer look. But if your business is more progressive, you might consider bolder colors such as red, yellow or green. But avoid color schemesthat make the card difficult to duplicate on a copier or hard to read.
- Content. Your business card should include information that clearly indicates the type of business you operate and how customers can contact you. List your name, title, company name, address, telephone number, fax number, Website address and e-mail address. You may also want to include your company logo and your products or services. Don’t list prices. Cards that indicate fees become outdated very quickly.
- Keep in mind that although your business card is meant to advertise your company, you can also use it