Most corporate executives associate “business cards” strictly in terms of the exchange. Ask most home business professionals, and they will likely amend that answer with the creative element. It makes sense. Corporate executives – swapping business cards at a dizzying pace – usually receive their cards from their human resources department. But when you’re the CEO, HR Manager and Creative Director in one single role, the process becomes a bit more complex.
As sole decision-makers, home business professionals understand the impact that every strategy has on their enterprises. Designing and printing the perfect business card is certainly no exception. And considering the importance of first impressions, home business professionals are often willing to invest the necessary time to carefully create that tiny 3.5” X 2” card that initiates a relationship. The greater challenge is finding the right solution provider.
Home businesses arguably benefit the most from the emergence of business card solutions on the Internet. Receiving high-quality business cards at low prices has become a reality. And if you know where to look, you can even find better customer service through some online companies than the traditional brick-and-mortar print shops.
Here are some suggestions in the three key stages of business card creation.
Tips for Storyboarding Your Business Card
Determine the makeup of your brand. What is the image that you’re trying to send, and how is it most effectively communicated? Remember, every successful home enterprise (directly or indirectly) conveys unique messages about their brand. You’re telling a story. And the business card is a small, yet integral, part of that story telling process. Consider logo options that offer an element of consistency with your brand image. Decide on the most relevant information that will be of value to those in possession of your card. How can they best reach you – e-mail, phone, fax, mail? Use the information that can provide a return on investment, and omit the rest.
Tips for Designing Your Business Card
The old school of thought would suggest that you hire a professional graphic designer. That exercise is probably only valuable in creating a company logo (if you truly need one). Beyond that, the leading online printing services/websites can steer even a novice designer toward the right solution. Companies like PrintsMadeEasy.com have their own proprietary software to help you customize your design work in real time and offer a user-friendly experience. Instead of using fixed/static templates, PrintsMadeEasy’s software allows you to grab and move text and images wherever you want them. Customer service teams will help proof your work, but be sure to verify that your type font is legible, that your font size is large enough, and that your card quality is of reasonable caliber. Also, be sure that the most important information (i.e. name and company) is easily located. If you haven’t narrowed the most salient information, consider doing so before a final proof – remember, white space always beats superfluous details (if there are any).
Important Business Card Design Note: Be careful of some companies that print smaller-sized business cards (3.25 X 1.75). In this case, size matters – and it’s best to follow traditional business standards (3.5 X 2).
Tips for Printing Business Cards
Digital printing now offers the optimal solution for any business professional. It matches the quality of offset printers, and orders are processed in much faster time. As an example, look on the home page of PrintsMadeEasy.com, and you’ll see a Countdown Timer that determines how much time remains to complete an order if you want to receive it by a certain date (if necessary). As for final touches, the leading online print companies offer you the opportunity to carefully proof your design and then quickly get the order printed and shipped to your doorstep. Also, in your final proof, keep the back of your business card blank. Some people opt at the last minute to add a mission statement or a catchy phrase on the back. But if you can’t win over somebody with information on the front, don’t expect any residual returns from what goes on the back.
Important Business Card Design Note: Be careful of some companies who insist on printing their logo on the back of your card. Find a company that wants to make YOU money, not them. PrintsMadeEasy’s free business cards offer is one of the few that actually leaves the back of the card blank.
Creating the Right Business Card: Conclusion
The one universal answer on how to print the best business card is that there is no one answer. What matters is storyboarding, designing and printing a business card that is right for you. The above steps provide you with some general, yet important, guidelines. However, the unique touch you add to this process, in capturing what defines your company/brand, will make all the difference.