Create a professional looking business card
If you have recently started your own business one of the first things you will need is an eye-catching business card. Successful marketing requires communicating the right image of your company to your potential customers, and then continuing the relationship after the initial purchase. A business card is an integral part of any business, no matter how small. For its size and cost, it is probably the most powerful part. Your business card will be the first point of contact for a large number of your sales. Your business card won’t be able to tell the whole story about your company, what it should do is present a professional image that people will remember.
You could always pay a company to design and print your business cards, but why not try it yourself? It’s not difficult and you will achieve a personal touch unique to yourself and your company, not to mention they will work out a lot cheaper.
There are many available programs with ready made templates such as Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word and many others.
Firstly, you will need to choose a card style which is appropriate for your business type. For example, if you are a funeral director, it’s not a good idea to have brightly coloured cards with cartoons on them! If you are a car mechanic, whose speciality is converting old Beetles, you could always cut the card out to make a rough car outline.
There are five different card styles you can consider for your business:
- Basic Card Design
A basic business card is usually printed in black ink on white or cream stock paper. This is a good option when utility is the most important factor. It is a no nonsense approach that can appeal to clients who would not be impressed by fancy designs or bright colours and just want the plain basic facts! This design is simple, clear and concise.
- Picture cards
If you have a picture of yourself on your business card, whether it’s a photograph, drawing or caricature, it will help your client recognise you the next time they see you. You can also have an image representing a product or a service, or a benefit which your business provides. A picture can also communicate your business much better then 1000 words. A splash of colour will also attract attention to your business card and will encourage people to take a look.
- Tactile business card
Some business cards are distinguished not so much how they look, but by how they feel. They may use non standard materials, such as metal or wood, or have unusual shapes, edges, folds or embossing. The downside to tactile business cards is the cost, they will always be considerably more expensive then card or paper and you will be unable design or print them yourself. For some businesses though, the unusual card design may be worth the higher price.
- Multipurpose business card
A business card can do more than just promote your name and business; it can also serve as a discount coupon, an appointment reminder or another function. It can also provide valuable information that the average person may need. For example, if you run a hotel you could include a map on the back of the card for any guests who want to walk around the local area. A card of any type can be made into a multi-purpose card by adding any of these types of features.
- Outside the box business card
An amazingly wild original, fanciful or extravagant business card will certainly draw attention. Creativity has no boundaries, except for the amount of money you wish to spend. Some crazy examples are business cards which are made from Chocolate or cards which fold out into a miniature box to keep things in!
After choosing which type of business card you want, you will then need to get designing! Nearly all publishing programs offer a basic business card template which you can add text, colour, borders, graphics and photographs. The font you use should be clean cut and easy to read.
Once you have finished designing your card you will need to print it out! Make sure you have some good quality card at hand, this can be either gloss or matt, which ever you prefer. Most professionals tend to go for a matt finish as it looks more sophisticated.
Printing your business cards will use up quite a lot of ink, so you will be better off opting for remanufactured or compatible ink cartridges, these cost a lot less then original brand ink cartridges and they will often contain more ink! You will also be helping the environment and smaller businesses in doing so.
Once you have designed your card and printed it out, you can shape your business cards to make it stand out in a crowd. This includes rounding off the corners, slanting the edges or creating zigzagged edges. As long as the cards are still wallet sized it is absolutely fine to add this personal flair to your cards!