Play Your (Business) Cards Right!
It’s one of the first decisions you make when setting up a business, and is usually decided in a rush but what should be on a business card? And do you need business cards at all in the digital world?
Do you need business cards at all?
Let’s answer the second question first. All kinds of apps and tools have been developed to help us exchange contact details by simply firing them out through Bluetooth at each other, in one case simply by “Bumping” phones. Yet rather than heralding the start of virtual business cards, the Bu.mp App turned out to be short lived. The physical act of handing over a business card is still a meaningful, physical gesture. Finding one in your wallet or seeing it propped up on your desk is a powerful reminder to get in touch with the person who passed it on to you.
What details should you include on your card?
So, what should be on them? At the very least, you want to make sure they are clearly branded with your company logo and carry your basic contact details. This means including the Company logo and tagline, your name, at least one phone number, email address and a short URL for the best page on your website for a potential new customer to land on (not necessarily your homepage). You might also want your job title or main function in the business and a postal address if people will come to your physical location to do business with you. If you’re active on Social Media, and it’s relevant to your business, add those links too, but not too many.
Be as direct as possible with the contact details. If you can include your mobile number and direct dial, do. Use the name you actually go by. If you’re a Dave not a David, why put the name you’re only called when your mum is angry on there and have to introduce yourself a second time? Bear in mind how many you’re having printed, and how soon you might change role. Not including a specific job title can save money on reprints, and prevent wastage of cards if you don’t really need it.
How do I design a really effective business card?
Have the card layout designed professionally, or ask us to help. Your business card really is your calling card. It needs to match the branding of your business and present you clearly and professionally. Clearly spaced text, a legible font that matches your brand and colours that provide clear contrast between the branding and the information itself are crucial. Space for the text to “breathe” is important and no one should need to squint to read the phone number!
How do I choose a card stock?
The final decision is what to print them on and what shape to make them. Business cards, like most things in life go through fashion trends. We’ve seen funky shapes, cards so small you lose them, a particularly clever cut out which looked like an F for Facebook one side and T for twitter the other, super thick cards, transparent cards and everything in between.
When choosing a card stock, the main thing to think about is whether or not you want to be able to write on them. In companies where many of you share a business card, you might want to write on your own name or message. If you’re doing that, use a silk or uncoated card and not laminate or you will be forever looking for a Sharpie. Talk to us also about the weight of the card, you don’t want it to be too flimsy but you also want to be able to carry a stash around. If you fancy something a little flashier, we can add foil blocking, spot UV, rounded corners, cut them to a bespoke shape, or ensure they look, feel and are eco-friendly – whatever matches your company style.
Do all business cards have to be conventional?
If you’re in the creative industries and want to go crazy, there may well be a wilder idea that could work for you. Unconventional business cards can really help you stand out if you’re in the right line of work. Let us know if you have a more off the wall idea, and we’ll try and help.