6 Dos and Don’ts for the Perfect Business Card

small business cards

One would think that the business card would have been among the first casualties of an increasingly paperless world.

One would be wrong.

Despite all odds, business cards are still going strong. Attend any conference or trade show and you’ll come back with a towering stack. They’re traded in elevators, across boardroom tables and in the bleachers at your child’s basketball game. “Here, take my card” is a social construct that has withstood the test of time.

But what makes a good business card? What sets it apart? And how can you ensure that your card ends up in a wallet rather than a wastebasket?

Yes, business cards are still relevant, but as with everything else, they’ve evolved. So if you want your card to be effective, here are our best dos and don’ts.

DO Make Them Memorable

A divorce lawyer who makes a perforated business card so each half of the not-so-happy couple has his complete contact information. A bike technician who turns his business card into a multi-tool for small, on-the-spot repairs. A business card printed on … beef jerky? All of these are examples of very real, very memorable business cards.

We’re not sure about an edible business card. (Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?). But the fact is that a creative and/or useful business card has a much longer shelf life than a boring, run-of-the-mill piece of card stock.

DON’T Use “Cutesy” Fonts

While creative is great, there is a line, and that line is drawn at “unique” fonts. Script fonts don’t translate well to small spaces and can have your recipient squinting themselves into a migraine. Fonts that try to appear handwritten end up looking anything but. Comic Sans should only be used for a child’s birthday party invitation — and probably not even then.

Your business card itself should be unique. The font, however, should be readable and professional, even if that means it’s typical.

DO Include Social Media and Website Information

It would be cool if you handed someone your business card, and an hour later, they strolled through the front door of your shop with a fistful of dollars in their hot little hands. But that’s not usually the way things work.

Many potential customers are going to head to your social media pages and/or website before they do anything else. Thus, make sure that information is as visible on your business card as your phone number and physical address.

DON’T Overuse the Space

Your business card should generally include a reporter’s version of your information: the “who, what, when, where and how.” In this case, that means your business’s name, a short description of what you do (for instance, “master shoemaker” or “small engine mechanic”), your business hours, your physical location and ways to get in touch with you.

And that’s it. No life story. No motivational quotes. Generally, the more white space you have, the more your vital information will stand out. If you really need more room, business cards have two sides. Use both of them.

DO Spring for a Professional Design

Anyone with a word processing program can download a template, buy some card stock and print their own business cards from the comfort of their own home. Some small business owners do just that. But to (badly) paraphrase Jurassic Park’s Dr. Ian Malcolm, “Those small business owners were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

They shouldn’t have.

Your business card is an extension of you, and as such, it deserves a professional touch. Now is not the time for DYI!

DON’T Leave Home Without Your Business Card!

You never know when a potential customer will cross your path, so don’t go anywhere without your business cards. Opportunity can present itself in strange ways; don’t be caught unprepared!

Business cards aren’t going anywhere, and if you don’t have a stack on hand, you’re missing out on plenty of potential business. While it’s true that they’ve evolved with the times, they’re still an essential component of your small business marketing toolkit!

Not sure how to get your marketing message across? For business cards and beyond, Mischa Communications can help! It only takes a few seconds to get in touch.