The 10 Things That Must Be on Your Business Card

Business Card Info Checklist.

Make sure your business cards will work for you. After all, that is usually the very first piece of marketing collateral that you give to people. So, make a good first impression. Toward that objective, invest a few bucks in a quality, professionally printed card. You may think that it’s cheaper to produce them on your desktop printer, but you may leave your prospective customers with the wrong impression. A flimsy card or a perforated edge says “I’m not really serious about business.” Equally important: Proofread before your copy goes to the printer and after you receive them.

Below is a ten-point checklist that will ensure your first impression business-wise is the one you want.

  1. Your Name.  “Well of course, I’ll put my name on it,” you may be thinking. But hold on… How often have you seen a business card with a person’s formal or legal name, but no hint as to what they like to be called? Why not say “William “Bill” Smythe?” Let people know what you like to be called, without them having to assume that it’s okay to address you as Bill, Cindy, or Deb, etc.
  2. A Title that describes what you do. One of my favorite examples is that of a colleague who calls himself “Chief Potential Officer.” When you see that, you would be more inclined to ask for more information about his company, wouldn’t you? It also better describes what he and his company are all about than “CEO.”
  3. Your Company Name – clearly spelled out in words, not just your logo. With my first business venture, only the logo was on my card. You cannot imagine the interesting guesses – that were close, but not quite it – that arrived in the mail. Furthermore, as the use of automated data capture expands, you want to help prospective clients to save your correct information.
  4. A Street Address for mailing. Your business is home-based? So what? If you’re concerned about looking too small, then add a Suite number. Get a P.O. Box for Accounts Receivable payments, if your mail at home comes late in the day. It’s worth the $6 to $10 average per month to have your cash available a day or so sooner.
  5. Your Contact Phone Numbers. – office and cell phone should be included, if you truly want to be reachable. Also, get a second telephone line or an IP phone, so you know how to answer incoming calls. Forbid your minor age children from answering your business line, unless they are on your payroll and properly instructed.
  6. A Fax Number should be included, because people do still send faxed documents. You also should be e-faxing documents to yourself and others. More about that in another article.
    An electronic, toll free fax number can be had for about $10 per month. If you want to save a few trees, this is a good way to help.
  7. Include your E-Mail Address, at your company domain. If you’re concerned about spam, then set up spam filtering on your e-mail account. There is no rule that says you must give a business card to everyone who asks.
    There is also no excuse for not having an e-mail account; there are too many places to get them for free. A domain, with e-mail forwarding or a web account can also be had for less than $25. Get one. Do it now.
  8. Your Company Tagline, or a few words about what you do. It’s better if people don’t have to rely on their memories days or weeks later when they need your product or service.
  9. Lay the card out in a Standard Font, with nothing printed smaller than 8 pt. Please don’t make us squint to read your card! As for font choice: Use Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or any other crisp, widely used font – with or without serifs. Again, help the automated data capture process. If your prospective customers must manually correct errors that OCR software was supposed to read, you may miss out on business.
  10. Include White Space.  At least have some on the back of the card. A clean, uncoated, light-colored place to jot down a few notes is truly appreciated by savvy networkers.

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