Business cards are often the only thing someone has to jog their memory once they’ve left your presence. And it’s not through lack of attention, it’s just that business life has become more frenetic and we’re all networking hard and consequently meet many businesses.
So, what does your business card do for the person you presented it to?
It should tell them your name, your company, your role, your contact details and better business cards deliver further marketing for you, the owner of the business card.
Your Name On Your Business Card
Your name needs to be printed. Not hastily scrawled on. Not even printed on through a business card print program. Anything that smacks of cheap instantly downgraded your value in the eye of the receiver. After all which business is unable to afford to buy business cards for the staff who mix with other businesses? And obviously the answer is, "those that are about to go bust, or cut corners!"
Lack Of Contact Details
Conventional business cards tend to carry landline number, mobile number, less often fax number, company address, web site and email.
If any of these expected details are missing that business card is shouting out that the owner is a one man fly by night operator who wont be around and be available if the going gets tough or they don’t deliver on their promises.
Business Card Phone Numbers
I’ve come across a number of cards that still only have a mobile number on. That tells me you’re running your business from the kitchen table. Nothing wrong with using the kitchen table. However no landline makes me less likely to choose you over someone else who appears to be setup with a landline too. It tends to indicate that they intend being around for a while.
Using The Wrong Email Address
Email addresses that aren’t the same domain name as your web site or blog tend to make people question whether you intend keeping going. Also using Google mail/Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail whilst very convenient shouts out that you’re not a "proper" business and again raises the question as to whether you’ll still be there tomorrow.
Badly Designed Web Sites or Parked Domains
If your contact sits down with your business card to check your site out will they see a well designed site? Or will they see a home-made mishmash or possibly worse a domain that is parked?
When your site is on your cards you need to be confident that it continues to support your message when you’re not around.
I speak from personal experience as I put up a site when I first started in business (about 5 years ago) meaning to get it designed better later and then within 3 months moved to using my blog as my site. However, I didn’t redirect my site to my blog. That meant that as time went on my hastily created site became more and more old-fashioned and out of step with my own business. And in fact cost me business.
No Business Address Speaks Volumes
It tells your contact that you don’t have business premises. If you’re selling products that might need to be returned that is a massive blow to your contacts confidence in you. If you’ve missed the address off as you work from home realise that few people are going to call round on the off-chance of seeing you.
I have an office in my house and I’ve never had anyone drop by unannounced. Just as well as my insurance doesn’t cover business visitors! Instead we go to a nearby hotel which has lovely on-tap coffee all the time, plus WIFI.