Successful businesspeople like Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet may have extremely unique business cards (you can view some of the more interesting ones on Entrepreneur.com), but you can follow their lead and find the key to creating a unique design to market your startup.
Why Business Cards Are Important for Startups
As a startup, you’re looking to build up your business, and your business card is one of the tools to help you do so. According to Alliance Group International, Inc., your business card serves as your introduction when you do marketing mailings, your way to be remembered to those who visited your booth at a trade show, and whenever you are asked about what you do, whether you’re riding in an elevator or attending a business luncheon. Your friends, business associates, co-workers, and clients will also pass them out to help get the word about your business out to those you don’t know and may not meet yourself.
Because your business card is a reflection of you as well as your business, it is important to carry professional-looking cards that include your name, company, job title, contact details such as phone and email, and website, if applicable. Extras such as your logo, slogan, links to your social media profiles, and even your picture, can make you and your card more memorable, especially when you’re starting up. From the point of view of the person who you might be handing your business card to, if you don’t invest adequate time and money into your card, are you likely to invest in your business itself?
Make Your Card Memorable
According to the Startup Weekend blog, to encourage potential customers to follow up once they’ve met you, include an incentive on your business card, such as a promo code that will entitle them to a discount on a product or service that you offer. Or include a QR code that will link your contact directly to your website when they scan it with their smartphone.
Some ways for entrepreneurs to make their business card novel include dressing up the back of the card with some trivia about their business, fun facts about one or more of the products they sell, or a testimonial given by a satisfied customer. Every business card has a back, so why not use it to full advantage by printing some unique information there, such as the company’s mission or a tagline?
But remember, people aren’t always used to seeing something on the back, so all your critical information — company name, your name, and contact information — should remain on the front.
Keep Some Things Traditional
Many businesses, startups included, go with the tried-and-true Ogilvy ad layout formula that features a horizontal layout with the company logo displayed prominently in the upper left corner or top of the card, their name printed below it, and their contact information in the bottom right corner.
Although startups should always try to make their business cards unique and stand out, some of the more traditional practices still apply. One is to keep your card the standard size of two inches tall by three-and-a-half inches wide. You could try rounded corners instead of square, but, according to Entrepreneur, unusual shapes (such as round, triangular, or oval) may grab someone’s attention initially, but when they don’t easily fit into wallets and common business card holders, they may end up in the bottom of a drawer or worse, in the trash.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Jan Hill is a freelance journalist writing for VistaprintDeals.com, offering coupon codes for business cards and other personalized marketing products for startups and small businesses around the globe. Jan has also authored an eBook on networking tips and has covered marketing topics for trade publications and newspapers.