You can define a a business card to be – a small card identifying a person in connection with his or her business, given to a client, potential customer, etc.
Business card in some parts of the world is also called a visiting card. It is one of the most important elements of a business. A business card introduces you to the others. It informs the others about your name and the activity you are involved in. A business person cannot live without a business card. It is the most important and elegant way of introducing you, your services and or products to the others who may be interested in what you have to offer.
Now there are two types of business cards that are available to you. One is the print business card and the other is the email business card. The print business card is used in the real world where you do meet people in person and give it to them. In the virtual world, that is on the Internet too you pass on your business card and it is called the email business card.
So how do you go about getting yourself a print business card? The best way is to have a designer design it for you. Where do you find the designer? Look in the local yellow pages or get onto the net and do a little research. You would find one. Though the professionals suggest that an entrepreneur should seek the help of a designer, a cash-strapped individual may not be able to afford one. So what is the other alternative?
The solution is you should observe the business cards of the others. You must have come across plenty of business cards over the years. Go through them. Write down the best features that you find on those cards. Make note of all those features that in your opinion you should incorporate in your card. It may not be always possible to have all those features on your card for various reasons. It depends on the paper stock, the number of fonts, their size, the ink colors used and the size of the card itself, leave alone positioning it. Business cards come in various sizes and shapes. They may be vertical or horizontal. It could be a simple card, a two fold card or may be even a three fold card. Some times there could be something struck on the card itself. The so called simple card could also have some content on both sides of the card.
Now what should go on your business card? The name of your business of course. Along with the mission statement you have coined after considerable thinking. Now look at the elements that should go into the card.
The first thing is obviously your name. This should ideally be given with the designation / title. You can also indicate your academic qualification right next to it. For example:
Joe Bill, B. Sc – Sales Executive
You could mention your affiliations if any here along with your other professional and or academic designations.
- You will also mention the department / division name followed by the name of the company.
- You will give the full and complete address of your company along with the postal code.
- You will also mention the land line numbers along with cell/mobile phone numbers.
- You will provide the company url along with your own email id.
- Of course you will also present the logo. In fact it is the most visible item on your business card.
While you can choose a simple single card and provide all the information on the one side, an innovative way of using the blank space would be to provide the address along with a street map or driving instructions on the other face of the card.
If you have a partner you can both share the same card. This is ideal in case of a wife and husband team. You both can use the same card giving out the details on either side of the card. In these times of recession it is only ideal that you save money where ever and whenever possible.
An innovative insurance sales person pasted a dime to his business card just so as to remind his clients politely, ‘you are never broke’ with my services.
It is helpful, however, to have something besides your name and location-just not too much. This distinguishes you from the competition. A minimum number of different typefaces should be used. A card should be simple in design yet eye-catching without being gaudy in color. Study other peoples cards to see which combinations present themselves best, and consider them for your own.
When you are making your calls make sure that you are fully prepared with ample business cards ready at hand. Keep your card where you can easily whip it out. Do not put them in your wallet or stash them in your briefcase. There are business card holders that would help you hold a number of cards. They keep the cards clean and in shape. They help you avoid giving out dog eared and or soiled cards. Put this card holder in your suit or shirt pocket. You do not have to dig it out of your back pocket while you are seated.
Try to find innovative ways of exchanging business cards while you are at parties or get to gathers, meets, conferences. A business card exchange need not necessarily happen at a formal business meet. When some one asks you where you live, pull out the card and give it.
At a restaurant or when you go out for a lunch, dinner let a card be there on the table. It would help someone reach you. Once in a while leave a card at the bank when you are filling in that deposit slip. Leave your card on the counter.
This little story appeared in a magazine. When this visiting British person, while in a Malaysian Hotel, asked a Japanese person in the swimming pool, “what do you do?”, the enterprising Japanese person, pulled out his business card from the trunks he was wearing and held it out.
With a little bit of searching on the net you can get some excellent free templates to help you create your very own business / visiting card.