At a glance:

  • What business cards can do for your business
  • How to get your cards made
  • Getting the most out of your cards with potential customers

 

Why produce business cards?

As a tradesperson, finding and keeping customers is based on trust, reputation and relationships. It’s a hands on, face-to-face job, and business cards can be a nice personal touch that can give your operation real credibility. Not to mention they’re also a low-cost way to promote your business to the people you meet every day.

Business cards might seem a little old-school, but they’re a tried and tested point of contact that a lot of customers will appreciate. That’s not to say that business cards are right for all trades, or all customers, but in the right situation it’s an easy competitive advantage.

How to produce business cards

In our previous article on the best way to make a first impression with customers, we looked at whether to feature your name or business name, specialist trade and address on your marketing material. If you’ve decided on this, producing business cards can be a simple job that doesn’t require years of marketing experience or creative flair. You’ve got two options:

Your local printers – All they need is your business name, a logo if you have one, your name, your job title in the company and your contact details. So here’s an example:

John Smith
Public Liability Insurance Guru
Trade Direct Insurance Services Ltd.
08000 280 380

They’ll most likely give you some options for colour, thickness and finish of the card. If you’re happy, you can just place your order and collect.

DIY online – There are more than a few DIY business card printing websites out there: Moo, InstantPrint and BananaPrint to name a few. They’re one-stop-shops that make it easy and quick to design, produce and order your business cards. Some suppliers like Zazzle and Plasma Design can even produce business cards made from metal! Mind you, they can be a little heavy.

Whichever method you use, don’t skimp on quality. If your business cards are too thin they’ll look cheap and wind up doing more harm than good. Beware of images as well – logos are great, but random images or funny cliparts might not stand the test of time.

What to do with your business cards

Now you’ve got your stack of cards, it’s time to start dealing them out. You’ll have no trouble looking for openings. Include them with quotes so you know the customer-to-be has a point of contact. Leave one or two behind when you finish up a job or even when you’re sending an invoice. When all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with giving cards to people you socially.

But won’t most people just throw the cards away? Maybe. With information being readily available online, a good portion of your business cards could end up in the recycling. That being said, at 5p a card it’s not a reckless investment, and you only need to pick up the occasional extra job for your business cards to pay for themselves and then some.

Top Tips

  • Try a local printer for some expert assistance or have a go yourself online
  • Don’t skimp on quality, make sure the card is thick enough
  • Keep it simple – logo and contact details, maybe a slogan. Avoid those silly images
  • Include your cards with quotes, invoices and at the end of a job well done!

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