There’s no arguing that technology has been highly beneficial for small businesses. The right technology can help you cut costs and streamline communications by connecting you with clients and colleagues all over the world using teleconferencing and webinar services.
Technology also allows you to access online training and other information that can be used to learn from and grow your business. However, there are still some areas where small business owners should hesitate to let go of the traditional and using business cards is one important example.
Here’s why paper business cards are still important tools for your business.
Technology Vs. Paper
The ability to exchange contact information at meetings, conferences and networking events through smartphones, QR codes and other touch devices and apps is great but should be used in addition to paper business cards. Here’s why:
- The act of handing over a physical business card can be a powerful point of contact that can strengthen first impressions
- Business cards are still expected in professional settings as a way to round out introductions
- Even though paper business cards are not trash-proof or immune to being misplaced, they’re not susceptible to a glitch in technology that will prevent your information from being retrieved later
- A business card can provide an uncomplicated way to access all of your important contact information and lead people to your website
- You can include a business card in physical mailings and promotions
- A good business card can be a highly effective part of your brand, engaging recipients and making them want to learn more about you
- A paper business card is harder to forget and can continue to make an impact long after the first meeting
Crafting an Effective Business Card
A business card is only as effective as the information it contains and there are literally thousands of way to format one. Here are some tips for ensuring your business card supports your brand and functions well:
- Keep it Simple – If you try to put too much information on your card, you will lose the recipient’s attention because of information overload. Include only enough information to make it memorable and pique the interest of the recipient
- Make Sure it’s Legible – There’s a time and a place for fun fonts, but your business card usually isn’t one of them. Fonts shouldn’t be too small, too fancy or distorted in any way. Any of those will make your card difficult to read. Add interest with your logo design and keep the text simple and straightforward
- Avoid Full Coverage – It’s common to have full-colour text and designs on both sides of your business card but avoid covering every white space on it in a dark colour and/or a high-gloss finish that will make it difficult to write on. Leave room for your recipient to jot down notes
- Have Them Professionally Printed – Do-it-yourself business cards may not make the best first impression. You can save a moderate amount of money and be able to update your information easily by doing them yourself, but the impact of handing out homemade business cards just isn’t the same as when you have them professionally printed
- Design With Your Audience in Mind – If you have more than one business, you may consider using the front of your business card for one of your enterprises and the back of it for the other. If the two businesses complement each other or are connected in some way, this could work. However, two opposing identities need to have their own business cards to avoid confusion and speak directly and appropriately to each separate audience
- Use Special Finishes Wisely – When it comes to design there are so many ways to make your business card stand out, such as rounded corners, die cuts, holes punched through, unusual sizes, embossing, foil accents and folds that can turn a business card into a mini-brochure. Just make sure you select a finish that’s relevant to your business and brand and not just something fun to try
- Consider a Call to Action – While it’s recommended that you keep your business card simple and streamlined, it doesn’t mean you can’t use some of the space on it for a special offer or other call to action. You might craft a short message that offers a discount, directs the reader to your website or provides a tip that will be useful to the reader. You can make your business card instantly memorable and generate more leads if you hit the mark with a particular call to action or other helpful material
Your business card is frequently the first impression that a prospective client has of your company. How it looks will ultimately determine whether it gets tossed or kept for future reference. You have only one chance to make a great first impression, so invest in the best business card design you can.