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Creating Successful Business Cards: Tips for the Discriminating Business Owner
What's in a name: Name recognition is incredibly important for the success of your business. Make sure your company name stands out. Use a large font for your company name. The name of your company should be set in at least 12 point type. (This document is written in 12 point type.) Use an easily read font as well. Many people make the mistake of using wild fonts trying to be clever or "artsy." You want to make sure your potential client can easily read the name of your company (and the rest of the information presented for that matter.) Generally, it is a good idea to use a slightly different font for the company name.
Picture perfect: Using a graphic or a logo is a great way to create a more visually appealing card and this will also help your customers and potential customers remember you. Use the same logo on all of your marketing materials: brochures, flyers, signs, web pages, etc. Your logo should be simple and easily recognized and should have some association with your business. You may really be into frogs and want to put a frog on your business card. But, what do frogs have to do with massage therapy? Will the customer think of massage therapy when they see your frog logo? Unless you use frogs in your practice or your name is John Frogley, then probably not. You want to make sure that name recognition and logo recognition can be associated with one another and that they make sense. If you don't want or don't know how to design a logo, hire a graphic artist.
Show your true colors: Although plain black and white cards can be rather dull, color may or may not be effective depending on how you use it. Make sure the colors you use are esthetically pleasing and have enough contrast without clashing. You don't want people to squint when they look at your business cards. Make sure the type stands out from the background color. Two colors are usually sufficient. Keep it simple! You don't need to use every color in the Crayola box.
Paper chase: While you don't want to spend unnecessary money on your business cards, use the heaviest, nicest cardstock that you can afford and have your card professionally typeset, printed and cut. Although there are many great computer programs to help you design a business card, you don't want your cards to look homemade, cheap and flimsy. You want your business cards to last, so the heavier cardstock the better. Check with your local printer for examples of cardstock that you can use.
Spaced out: Just like a resume, good formatting of your business card is essential! Make sure your card is easily read and the spacing of information is consistent and esthetic. Keep it simple yet concise and utilize the space. Too much white (or dead) space is a no-no. Speaking of which, use the back of your business card. You're missing out on a great marketing opportunity if you are not utilizing the back of your card. Put your menu of services, benefits of massage, health tips or even put a few testimonials. Put something valuable in that space that will give your customer some quality assurance.
3-2-1 Contact: Make it easy for your customers to contact you. List every way that you can be reached. Your card should include your phone number (with area code), your fax number, your e-mail address and web site (if applicable) as well as the physical address of your business (unless you are strictly outcall.) Also, don't confuse your customer. If you have multiple locations or also use a P.O. Box, decide on which address you would prefer to list. Too many options may confuse or turn off a customer.
Blow your horn: Now that you?ve got a card make sure you use it! Dr. Rita Webster, a business coach states, "Business cards bring credibility to what you do by demonstrating commitment to your business. They're valuable exchange tools in that they allow you to make greater connections with prospective clients. A business card is an invitation to a relationship and relationships yield business." So make sure you are actively inviting people into a relationship with you and your business! Pass out those cards!
Posted by Victor Maritsas, National Director of Career Services