Business cards are essential to pretty much any business. It allows you to quickly share your business details to customers or other businesses. People say that business cards are rendered obsolete by online media however it is far from it. As good as online advertising can be to share your details with another, nothing beats physically giving them something to look at and keep there and then. Also by distributing a few to each person it allows them to give them out also. Think about the most powerful marketing method is history? Word of mouth, now if you can have something that helps that method like a business card so people are not forgetting your business details when they pass on the information then it’s even more powerful.

At the end of the day it all depends on what line of work you’re in for whether business cards would have a positive effect or not.  The majority of businesses they would come in handy but for some it might not be the way you’d get work for your business, you should already have an idea of whether your business would benefit. It’s true that fewer businesses are using them and less people carry wallets but it is still worth considering.

What to include?

Business cards can show anything and it’s not up to us to decide what you should have on them as we don’t know the message you want to share or your business you’re advertising. Some will have the standard contact information or just a memorial message.

The traditional information would be the following:

  • Business name
  • Email
  • Logo
  • Slogan
  • Your Name
  • Address
  • Company positions (Owner, manager etc)
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social icons
  • Services / Products
  • Opening times

Business cards are basically an extension of your brand. It helps people distinguish you from others they’ve met, say at a conference or just out working. With it being physically available and not hidden in a smartphone or on a website is helps derive a conversation from it and helps to share it by face to face interactions. Like nay marketing type you need to execute it correctly for it to have a good enough impact.

Below are points to remember when it comes to using business cards for your business.

Design

All offline and online advertising comes down to design. It needs to be clear and display the message you want to show, don’t clutter it. The font and colours are important, make sure it matches your branding. It needs to grab the user’s attention and be nice enough for them to keep. Many businesses are doing smart and unique things with business cards these days that can help you have an edge over competition. Get your design done separately before you get them printed, remember to include a 1/8 bleed space around the business card. Make sure your design is custom, there’s nothing worse than a design you’ve seen before or a boring word art type design. Don’t go cheap, higher quality and not having a company’s signature on the back to get a cheaper price. Don’t incorporate QR codes, we’ve read a few places recommend this, we have no idea why?

Size & GSM

The standard dimensions for business cards are 3.5 x 2 inches, try and keep it to that size as it will be easier for people to store in their wallet and prices will be much cheaper. GSM stands for grams per square metre, the standard for business cards is usually around 400gsm. It’s good to have a good thickness to the card to emphasize quality, It will be stronger so it’s less likely to crumble.

Always be carrying...

Make sure to always have your business cards on you, whether that be in your wallet, car or office. Make sure they’re everywhere, that way they will always be to hand when you need to give them out. That brings me on to another point, give them out whenever you can! If you’ve just finished a job or a customer has just purchased a product from you be sure to give them a few business cards.

Testing

Be sure to get a few designs of business cards and test them out on different people, see what they think, get their feedback and adjust your cards before printing. You can get samples of different types of business cards from online printers so you can check out different designs in person and check out different gsm and finishes.

Business cards have gotten quite creative with divorce lawyers allowing them to be split to each take a side, little cheese graters to advertise dairy products and a garden maintenance business card that’s actually a packet of seeds, check out our slideshow further down the page. Business cards don’t even have to be cards these days, Lego employees give out little Lego people that look like themselves which has their details on them, Incredible!

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of business cards:

Advantages

  • Allows you to quickly share business information anywhere
  • Low cost

Disadvantages

  • Slowly becoming outdated

Price

Business cards are very cheap when compared to other hard copy advertising. You can normally get 500 for around £25. The price increases for extras like colour printing, double sided, gsm, finish, faster delivery etc. It’s recommend to get all the extras except for faster delivery, go for the cheapest delivery you can, ignore the delivery times as it’s normally way of the expected delivery date.

Where to buy?

There are tons of places to buy business cards just like you can with leaflets. You can get them done at local printers or online. You’ll find the best deals online at places like Instaprint and Vistaprint. Remember that some don’t include vat and other taxes and then charge extra for delivery, Vistaprint especially likes to do this. Go to Freelancer, Fiverr or another designer and get a customer design made. Once you’ve done that head over to instaprint or anther printer and upload your custom design. If your design is unique and needs special printing like a wink design or embossed this will cost more and some printers don’t offer these services.