Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Business success is dependent on the daily contacts that you make. When it is left with a potential contact, the business card is meant to be a visual reminder of who you are and what you do. You always want to leave a favorable impression, thus the design of your business card is one element that promotes the success of your business. Image is a critical success factor; therefore, you want your business card to reflect a strong representation consistent with the business image you want to convey to potential clients. One client of mine leaves his business card with everyone he meets including follow-up meetings with people he has previously met.
It is more economical for most small businesses to design and print their own business cards. These can be designed and layed out using either MS Word or MS Publisher, both which provide the functionality to produce professional styled business cards. MS Office also offers a variety of predefined template styles that you can use. Publisher has many choices within the program templates and a wide variety more available on the MS Office web site. To access the online templates for either Word or Publisher simple search for Business Cards in the program help files. Help will respond with several links to online templates. Alternatively, Google for Business Card Templates. Also you can visit Avery's Business Resource Center to select from a variety of pre-designed or fully customizable templates.
When designing your cards keep in mind the simple premise to "keep it simple" while providing important information. Cluttered business cards display the wrong image for your business. You want your end result to be crisp and stylish to project a clean business image.
Basic elements to include on your business card are:
• Company name and logo
• Company tag line (defines what your company does)
• Employee name and title
• Company mailing address
• Company phone and fax numbers
• Employee's e-mail address
• Company web site address (URL)
Before you begin, you will need to decide the colors for logos and fonts, the layout, and the weight and color of the card stock. The principle considerations for your layout are alignment, proximity, balance, and contrast. You also want to consider, depending on the nature of your business, whether the card should be elegant, strictly business, artsy, informal, or light-hearted. You want the card to properly reflect the image you want to convey about your business. Regardless of the styling you chose, you want it to scream professional and leave a great impression with your business contacts. Let them know you are the best at what you do.