Business Cards 101 An old marketing motto goes something like this: "He who has a thing to sell And goes and whispers in a well Is not as apt to get the dollars As he who climbs a tree and hollers." Most business cards whisper. If they speak to your prospect at all, they do so quietly. Many don't say much at all. And because of that, a potential customer never learns about your award-winning service department, or your extended hours, or your playroom area for the kids. Instead, your card is tossed into the wastebasket and your competitor's card is carefully tucked into a Rolodex. First Impressions are most important when approaching a new client or customer. Presenting a professional image is critical in securing and retaining customers. Having a high quality business card is the easiest and the most cost effective way to make a lasting impression. It is imperative that your clients remember your contact information. Business cards are a valuable tool in providing that contact information. Regardless of the nature of your business, you will always be in a better position with carefully designed, high quality business cards. Carefully designed business cards not only convey the essential and necessary information about you and your business, they are also capable of giving you the edge you need over your competition. There are three different aspects to properly designed and manufactured business cards. 1- Content. 2- Design, layout and visual appeal. 3- Quality of the material used in production. Within the next few pages, we try to address each of these issues. Content First and foremost, your business card must be able to clearly communicate some basic and essential information about you and your business. These include: Name of your business Your business’ phone number Your business’ fax number Your business’ mailing address Your business’ physical address (if needed) Your email address Your company’s website URL. Your personal name Your position or title Your extension (if applicable) Here is an example of a simple and basic card that meets these requirements. You can have one thousand of this basic business card printed at your local print shop for about $35.00 to $ 50.00. John’s Auto Service John Smith Owner Voice: 555-222-1234 Fax: 555-222-1235 123 Main Street, City, ST 12345 Despite the fact that this simple design seems to be adequate in conveying the basic information about John’s business, substantial improvements can enhance John’s opportunity in attracting more business. Here is another version of the same business card. John’s Auto Service John Smith Owner & Master Mechanic 25 years of experience Imports & Domestics Voice: 555-222-1234 Fax: 555-222-1235 123 Main Street, City, ST 12345 Even though both versions cost exactly the same it is evident that the second example is more likely to attract customers. It is a fact that many business cards end up in the wastebasket. It is also a fact that you can take active measures in reducing the chances of your business card ending up in a wastebasket. You can accomplish this by giving the customer a reason to keep your business card. In other words, if you include value in your business card, then the customer is more likely to keep it. Here is an example: John’s Auto Service receive 25% off your next Present this card and John Smith oil & Lube! Owner & Master Mechanic 25 years of experience Imports & Domestics Voice: 555-222-1234 Fax: 555-222-1235 123 Main Street, City, ST 12345 The customer is more likely to keep this card as he/she can receive a 25% discount by presenting the card while visiting John’s Auto Service for an oil & lube job. Again we have accomplished more but have not increased the cost of printing the business card. The bad news is that enhancements without additional costs are limited. The good news is that the additional costs for additional enhancements are very affordable. Thus far our designs have been limited to a small portion of the design spectrum. Introduction of graphics, pictures and colors can tremendously enhance the image projected by your business card and cause phenomenal boost to the perception projected for your business. Just as an example consider the following example: John’s Auto Service receive 25% off your next Present this card and John Smith oil & Lube! Owner & Master Mechanic 25 years of experience Imports & Domestics Voice: 555-222-1234 Fax: 555-222-1235 123 Main Street, City, ST 12345 We trust these step-by-step enhancements have been able to demonstrate the effectiveness of content and better design. Next, we would like to demonstrate the impact of introducing color into our design. Consider the following example: John’s Auto Service receive 25% off your next Present this card and John Smith Owner & Master Mechanic oil & lube! Voice: 555-222-1234 25 years experience Fax: 555-222-1235 Imports & Domestics 123 Main Street, City, ST 12345 No doubt this most recent design offers the most punch and attractiveness. This card uses powerful red to attract attention, gives reason for the customer to retain the card and conveys the basic information about John’s business. Next let us consider the fact that there are two sides to a business card. There is no reason why a savvy business owner should not utilize the back side as well. Many more enhancements can be achieved while we double the size of the real estate available on a business card. Here is yet further example of this improvement. Bring this business card & receive 25% off John’s Auto Service your next oil & lube! John Smith Owner & Master Mechanic Weekdays: 7 am to 6 pm Saturdays: 8 am to 4 pm Free towing with service! Voice: 555-222-1234 25 years experience 90 day guaranty on all repairs! Fax: 555-222-1235 Imports & Domestics 123 Main Street, City, ST 12345 Front Back We have seen this business card evolve from the start when it was nothing more than a few lines on a piece of paper, to the most recent 2-sided with full color inviting prospects to become your customers. Quality of production: Imagine handing a flimsy and poorly designed business card to a potential customer. Then imaging the difference you can make by handing a business card that is printed on heavy stock with the luster of gloss and vivid colors appropriate to your business. Quality production not only does not cost you more, it will in all probability make money for you. It is a fact that if you were able to secure just one customer your investment of $50.00 or $60.00 on a professional image will more than reward you for that investment. 5 costs associated with non-professional business cards Some businesses owners use perforated paper they obtain from their local stationary store and use their home or office deskjet printer to make a few business cards. Some others look for the least expensive print shop in town and order a few business on the least expensive stock available. Some even get lured by the low cost of raised printing. The fact is that in most, if not all, cases, even one customer pays for more than the additional investment of $50.00 or $60.00 required to have top quality first class business cards. This additional cost is truly negligible when you are serious about growth of your business. Further, consider the 5 hidden costs of using cheap business cards 1- First impression No matter how many wonderful services you offer, if your card brands you as unprofessional, you lose business. 2- Holder attention A savvy businessperson knows that adding marketing-oriented text to a business card in addition to contact information pays off. 3- Valuable real estate on the back of your business card Utilize this space to your advantage. 4- Brand awareness Help your business stand out over your competition by promoting your brand. Generic business cards do not give you that advantage. 5- Image True, business cards do more than convey the information that's printed on the card. A card that's ugly, dirty, printed on perforated paper or full of corrections screams loud and clear that you're an amateur. On the other hand, a clean, creative, professionally printed and visually attractive card conveys a positive first impression that lingers long after your initial meeting.
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