Are business cards dead? Do you have your own set to hand out to potential clients? Why not? You could be making a LOT more sales! But what about if you already have a set and want to take a new approach to using them? Let's have a look at that too. . .
There are many different options when it comes to business cards. Should you choose colour, or black and white? Plain card or glossy? Single sided or double sided? The list just goes on and on! However, let's simplify these and then decide which would be best for you.
These are the basic standard cards that every business will have had at some point. They're quick and simple to get, reasonably cheap and are very effective. You should always have a bundle of these with you, everywhere you go. But before spending a large amount on these, you really should try a sample. But hey, you can't sample your own business card! Or can you? There are many places that will allow you to order your own design of business cards for no charge. All you do is pay shipping costs! Just Google “get 100 free business cards” for a few suppliers. I have placed orders with a certain supplier myself and am very happy with the quality.
Many companies also offer glossy covered business cards. But should you go glossy? There are advantages and disadvantages to having a glossy cover: advantage is that is looks sleek and clean and they are very resistant to dirt, minor damage, liquid spills and the like. However, a disadvantage is if you are meeting with a client, wish to leave a business card with a reminder of what you were discussing, or a product or service you were promoting, you can't leave a quote, further pointers, other quick notes or discount codes, etc. Not unless you happen to have a permanent felt tip pen on you, and not everybody carries them in the first place. Most people would carry a standard ball point pen. They can't easily (or sometimes, at all) write on glossy business cards. So carefully consider those points.
This option is good. It can be used to complement your standard hand out business card while providing many other benefits all on it's own. You will never have to reorder your web-based business card. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every week of the year. It can be silently collecting business for you while you sleep, representing you to many potential clients and can be a central information point, all for a very minimal investment. You will have no colour restrictions, no printing or layout restrictions, in fact, the only restriction you will have is to make sure you have a carefully constructed design and that it's quick to load and minimal on graphics, save besides, your logo, and any other images representing professional industry associations you may be a member of (e. g. : computing – CompTIA). Please, for your customer's sake, don't use something “heavy” like Java or Flash on your business card site. It wont be quick to download and you could possibly be restricting a lot of your target market from accessing it properly.
These are great. What these are, are short and simple multimedia presentations that would ideally be viewed on a wide variety of computer systems and would combine images with sound, lots of colour and some interaction, all built into a small presentation that will help sell you and your business to each and every potential client. However, you don't need to have these and they would not be too cheap to do, but imagine when your prospective client inserts your business card CD into their computer and it automatically introduces them to how YOUR business can greatly help them and provide immense benefit, and then accepts your business proposal purely because of how professional it looked and how great your presentation was. That would make it all worthwhile, wouldn't it? An advantage to these is, if you wanted to, you could include your web-based business card but with a few extra bells and whistles very easily! A disadvantage is that these aren't as easy to carry around with you, and you need a computer to view them (which shouldn't be a problem in 9/10 occasions, depending on your industry). But their advantages far outweigh their disadvantages.
So a business card isn't just a simple business card anymore. You have many different options and just as many choices in how you want to present it and their various levels of effectiveness. Some of you may only stick with certain types, others may use a combination e. g. : plain card with website equivalent, or even some may choose to have one of each kind, just to satisfy every kind of preference! Choose well and may your business success soar high!
Martin Coleman is a freelance writer and internet consultant. More information about his services and other articles can be found at http://www.martincoleman.com.