What about the paper your details are printed on?
Today’s technology allows anyone to design their own business cards, and because there are so many template options, e.g. Vistaprint, the average price of business cards has come down greatly. To keep their prices low, however, companies such as Vistaprint choose thinner, poorer quality paper for their cards. Whilst they do offer a range of paper options, heavier paper and certain finishes come at a premium.
It’s laudable to be conservative with your business spending if you’ve recently started up, but there is such a thing as ‘false economy’. Whilst Vistaprint et al are fine for hobbyists and certain small businesses, if you’re looking to boost your professional image or you want your company to appear a certain size, you should aim to impress. The few pounds you save by ordering cheaper paper/card and opting for an easily-identifiable-template-design may cost you much more in the long run if established businesses feel that you’re ‘small fry’, inexperienced or…cheap. It gives the perception that you may cut corners with the service you offer, that you don’t take your business seriously, or that your company is struggling.
Your aim, when handing over your business card, is to be remembered. If you impress the person you’re giving it to, this is much more likely.
Quirky business cards, therefore, can often work well – particularly in the design/marketing/PR industries, where image is everything – however, be warned that there’s a line where ‘imaginative’ turns into ‘daft’.
Good examples include: a business card for a divorce lawyer that is perforated so it could be torn down the middle (the company’s details were included on both halves); a yoga instructor’s card that was made out of the same material as (and looked just like) a yoga mat; a personal trainer’s ‘card’ that was made out of strong, stretchy rubber, and which had to be pulled to read the trainer’s details. All three of these businesses’ cards are likely to catch the eye of recipients, and they also indicate, in a fun way, what the business does.
It’s a competitive world out there and making a good first impression can be key to winning business. Your business card is not simply a piece of paper with a practical purpose, it’s an opportunity to connect with the person you’re giving it to. If this is by making them smile, by impressing them with the quality and calibre of your card, or instantly defining the benefit of your product/service on something they can keep in their wallet/pocket/purse, why wouldn’t you?
When starting out in business, some things are worth spending your money on, some things are not.
Not worth it: a flashy car, a large office.
Worth it: your website, your branding and your calling card.
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