When looking at a business card what do you notice? Generally the name, address, email, and phone number is what a typical lay-person will look for. Then why are people spending a hundred plus dollars on designing and printing business cards still in the world today? The reason is the misconception that the small business owner needs to look and act like the “Big Guy.” Not a good idea for the “Little Guy” to follow the “Big Guy,” especially when it comes to wasteful spending like business cards.
Business cards serve one purpose to take a place in another persons roll-a-dex. That’s it! A card can still be classy without having to spend money on high quality embossing, really good card stock, and photo images all over the card. Now in some industries, like photo or studio business it is understood to show off your work on the business cards in a descent fashion. But, if you’re a simple store on your main street you don’t need over the top business cards. It would be better for you to focus on your storefront.
First, check out all of the business cards you have collected in the past. This is will let you get a feel for what people in business are doing. Do you see any cards that are almost identical in style? Now look at the ones that stick out and are related to your industry. Feel the material and look at the design. Measure the pros and cons and see if you can imitate the card effectively. Now take those cards to a printer and see how much they would cost to print if they were tweaked a little more. This will give you an overall feel for your budget if your trying to be just a little better than the average bear. But, keep in mind that Vista Print is just a click away to help you save more.
The price you checked are sure to be inflated a bit that is why I recommend using a place like Vista Print or another online printer. They offer customization in anyway, ship quickly, and all for a low low price. You are more or less cutting out the middleman by using their service. Places like Office Depot outsource their printing to other printers. It still takes 3-5 business days just like Vista Print. The quality is just as good from what I have seen throughout my experiences. These savings will allow you to free money to be spent on things like web design or promotional products.
The style of the card is always an interesting toss up. You can have your card done vertically to be different, but then people read the card upside down in their business card holder. If you do the standard horizontal shape you fit in like the rest of the crowd. If anything change the edges on the card and get a decent card stock. The feel is more important to the card than the look. People get the card and throw it in their pocket. If it feels like everything else you aren’t differentiating. Look at the quarter for instance, it has rugged edges and is a little larger than all the other cards. So, make a card with interesting edges that stand out when in the pocket.
The content of any business card should be properly placed to key in the reader. People in the USA read from top to bottom and left to right. This means put the most pertinent information in the top left corner. This is the hottest spot on the card generally. The edges below and to the right are the next hottest spots. Then the body area is the next focus. The corner is where the logo or trademark should be to stick in the mind of the reader.
Lastly, make sure the content is spelled correctly and images are not distorted before sending the template to the printer. Also, make sure the email is proper along with the phone number. These two contacts are the most widely used, so make sure they’re right! Before you send it to the printers make sure you show it off to a few people to get their comments to see if the card is going to be effective. If they have trouble understanding the message or finding information then so will many others. Always get a second opinion in business. It cost more to fix a mistake than taking the time to make sure it never happens.