It has become a common practice to exchange your business cards with people you meet or to pass on to someone who you would like to meet, although in the UK it is not considered rude if you don’t have a card to hand over, it is definitely more professional if you do.
Remember a business card is as much as a first impression as you are, but will last longer than your presence with your clients and contacts. It says a lot about you and your business; you want it to do so in a professional, engaging and useful way.
What should you have on your business card?
You should have your:
- Full name
- Full address including postcode
- Telephone numbers
- Fax number
- Email address
- Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn pages.
Also, if you have any honours don’t be shy to show them off. Not everyone can tell your profession just by the name of your business or your title, so if in doubt put it on your card, tell them you are professional deep tissue sports masseur or a chauffeur.
If your profession has many parts to it you can always use the reverse of the card to give more information, however try not to make it too busy as a busy business card can look unprofessional and cheap.
Pictures are fine, just as long as you remember these are business cards and not flyers or leaflets, the idea of the business card is the first contact, your brochure or website can have the nice photos.
How your business card should look
The appearance and style of your business card is key, only a cheap suit looks worse than a cheap business card.
Other design tips
If you want to design your own business card, don’t try and design in Microsoft Word, get the correct design programmes such as Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign or use some design online templates, alternately you can pay between £20.00 – £40.00 and have it done by an expert. Solopress also offer some free business card designs.
If you are printing your cards on your home printer, make sure you buy decent quality business card paper and don’t use less than 300gsm; it looks bad when passing over a flimsy, faded business card that has been cut using fabric scissors. Cards printed on less than 300gsm are not robust enough and will dog ear very easily.
A perfect size for your business cards is 85 x 55mm (credit card size), These will fit into all business card holders, wallets, purses & pockets. Think have you ever had a very funky but over large/ small card that does not fit into your Rollodex or business card case, because it does not have standard business card dimensions – what do you do with t it keep it or discard?
How many business cards should you order?
It’s a saying you have heard many times before, but it’s true. It’s better to have too many than run out.
Always order more than you need, most of the time the difference in cost is minimal, that’s not the case however when you have to reorder 6 months later.
How many should you carry?
If you think 10 is enough take 30, it’s always best to have a stash, they don’t take up much room so don’t leave yourself short.