Insights from The UPS Store
It’s no secret that a great business card is an essential tool for any small business owner. Whether you’re handing one to a contact in a networking situation, or attaching it to a new customer’s order in the hopes of generating repeat business, the ideal card conveys valuable information about your company, and expresses something about its personality.
Of course, not all business cards are created equal. Some are a cut above, displaying relevant details while also being unique and creative. Others, however, fall victim to several common mistakes that can diminish the overall message. Concerned your cards might be selling you and your company short? Take a look at this list of business card blunders and make sure you’re not an offender.
Too much information/Illegible text
It’s tempting to cram as much text as you possibly can onto your business card, so anyone who takes it can get all the information they may be looking for. The problem? Your finished card is liable to end up looking cluttered, or has a font size too small to read comfortably. It’s best to stick to the basics: your name, title, the name of your business, and basic contact details such as a telephone number, email address, and website info. If you’ve still got space to include a mailing address, and think it would be a valuable addition, go ahead and include it. A more valuable choice for many businesses, however, are your social media handles.
Be careful what you put on the back
Business cards have two sides for a reason, so make the most of both of them. Some printers may offer a discount if you allow them to put their logo or information on the reverse side. However, this could lead some recipients wrongly assuming you are connected or affiliated with that company, which isn’t what you’re looking for. Resist the temptation to save a few dollars on printing costs and keep the back of your business card your own. Use it to include information that didn’t fit on the front, such as social media contact info or the address of your brick and mortar business, a brand promise or tagline, or simply a space for notes – new contacts may want to jot down a few words about you after receiving your card to help them remember you later.
Too many fonts and colours
It’s okay to use more than one font for the text on your business card – switching them up can help certain parts stand out. Any more than three, however, and you run the risk ending up with a busy, distracting mess that may look unprofessional. It’s the same story with colours – it’s a business card, not a rainbow. More often than not, simple is the safest choice. Learn more about ideal business card fonts and designs here.
You don’t have to break the bank on high-gloss, heavy card stock for your next batch of business cards. Just don’t print them on paper that feels cheap and flimsy – it’s not the message you want to send about your company’s commitment to quality and excellence.
Don’t be boring
Even if you’re not an accomplished graphic designer or don’t have the money to hire one, your business cards don’t have to be bland and boring. Consider using a free or low-cost online design program such as Canva or Logojoy, or one of the free templates provided by your preferred printing company to give your cards extra personality and pizazz.
Inconsistent brand imagery
Chances are you’ve already spent valuable time and money designing a logo for your small business, and incorporating that imagery and colour scheme into your company website. So why would you deviate from those when creating business cards? One of the things your card should do is help establish the identity of your brand. Using different imagery and colours on your business cards than other branded materials may lead to confusion. One exception to this rule: steer clear of colours that are hard to read, or don’t offer enough contrast. Dark coloured text on a light background is generally best.
Don’t forget to seek a second (and third) opinion before you print
There are few things more embarrassing than a business card that contains a mistake. After you design your next batch of cards, make sure the mock-up is checked by at least two different sets of eyes before being sent to the printer. At least one of the people should be someone from outside your business. Besides looking for any typographical or grammatical errors, and ask for honest feedback on the response the card generates. Is it too busy? Too plain? Easy to read? Most importantly, is it an accurate representation of your brand’s image?
Don’t leave home without them
Your business cards won’t do you any good if they’re left sitting in a box on your desk or stashed away in a drawer. Make sure you always take some with you wherever you go – you never know when you might meet a new contact. Finally, always remember to be polite and ask for the card of anyone who accepts one of yours.
The UPS Store can help you design the business card that best represents you and your business. Contact your nearest location to learn more.
Featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com