In two cafes, two entrepreneurs meet potential clients for the first time. They finish their meals, shake hands and prepare to exchange details. One of our entrepreneurs swiftly produces a stylish yet attention-grabbing business card with their details clearly printed. The other grabs a wrinkled piece of paper with a barely legible email address scrawled on it. Which gets the call?
It's obvious really: the professional business card receives the future business, whereas the piece of paper gets tossed in the next available bin.
They say that success occurs when opportunity meets preparation. Well, one of the entrepreneurs was prepared with a tiny little piece of card and one wasn't, so one was successful and one wasn't. One will see huge returns while the other will see a quiet phone and an empty invoice. Being prepared to promote your brand at a second’s notice, throughout the day: that's the essential importance of a business card, and yes, it needs to be of a high quality.
In the age of mass email marketing and search engine optimisation, sharing a coffee with someone and having a chat about what they need is still the most effective way to advertise. It's something that has happened to all of us, often at a chance meeting. If it goes well you can present your business in a stylish, confident and erudite manner, and if your business card does the job, it will continue your hard work after the meeting has ended.
No matter what people say, a stylish business card isn't just a luxury or showpiece, even in the digital age. Whether the CEO of a major company or a savvy tradesman, anyone who wants to make an impact needs a clear, eye-catching cardboard commercial ready and waiting. A business card can be an introduction picked up from a stall or a reminder pulled out of a wallet. The first impression of your brand. The shop window for the recipient.
The crème de la crème of business cards don't just include information about the business; they carry a little bit of creativity along with them. Something original that leaves a real impression. There's the cycle shop card that doubles as a spanner and torque wrench, there's the photographer's card that says "I shoot people" across the top. Even something simple like a selection of colours and rounded corners can prove memorable (we get ours from moo.com). But for every one of these smart designs there have been dozens of black-on-white expanses of blandness. We’d tell you about them, but the details are too fuzzy to recall.
Author: Jamie Smith