Your business card not only provides prospects with pertinent information, but it also tells a story about you and your company. Weeks after having been handed your card, the person you gave it to is probably not going to remember you. All they have now is your card, so the card should clearly communicate who you are, what you do, where you are, and so on.
I attended a trade show in Atlantic City this past spring. One vendor I met there handed me a home printed business card; the text rubbed off of it before the day was even over. They had samples of their products, which were beautiful, so at least I was able to see that the quality of their work was outstanding. Had I not seen their work, the card itself would have left a bad impression. Another thing that stands out about that card is that I didn’t know what this company specialized in until I googled them, because there was no indication of what type of business this was, and I didn’t remember them just by looking at the card.
There is a time and place for home printed business cards. If you absolutely must print them, make sure you buy the highest quality cards, the ones with the clean-cut edges, not the perforated edges. One example of a good use of home-made cards would be small batches of coupon codes with expiration dates, where a quality card is not a high priority; the print-yourself-cards are great for that. But for a business card that represents your business, your brand, think about the image you are presenting with your card.
We all make quick judgments based on first impressions. When I am presented a business card printed at home with perforated edges, I have to wonder what other corners does this business cut to save money?
Here’s a quick story. My first set of business cards for Solid Stitch had to go in the trash! I put a QR code on my business card (before discovering that QR codes are not very popular) that I generated using a website that requires payment for the code after 30 days. I didn’t want to be paying for that indefinitely, so I chucked them. Lesson learned. (QR Stuff lets you create a permanent code at no charge).
Some questions to ask yourself when building your card:
Are there multiple ways for the prospect to contact me?
Is everything accurate and legible?
Does it look professional?
Have important information on the card
Address (or city and state)
Use legible fonts
Home printed business cards
Hand altered phone numbers or other information
Gmail, yahoo and other such email addresses.
(I am guilty of this on my current set of cards, but will update next time around)
If you are local to me, check out Bartonsville Printing