Business Cards

Think business cards aren’t relevant in today’s digital world? Think again. Even in the age of social networking and smartphones, there is still a need for traditional printed business cards.

According to the Small Business Administration, the average business owner in the U.S. reportedly hands out 40 business cards a month. Consumers still expect to find business cards handed out at meetings, sent with correspondence, shared at networking events and more.

Because they are a valuable marketing tool, company employees should have access to professionally designed business cards, especially if they attend events or engage with consumers on any level.

Don’t get stuck in a rut with business card design

It can sure be fast and easy to reorder the same cards year after year, but before placing another order, consider whether it’s time to freshen up and modernize your company’s business card design. You may be able to leverage the cards to further market and promote your business.

Here’s how to tell if business cards need a design update:

– Logo, fonts and colors no longer coordinate with other marketing materials like the company website and other print materials

– Profile photos were taken more than five years ago

– Contact information has changed

– Website addresses and social media icons are not included

– Nothing is printed on the back

When it comes to updating business cards, make sure to incorporate the company’s logo and branding colors, choose high quality cardstock, use fonts that are easy to read (no calligraphy or font sizes less than 10pt) and take advantage of the space on the back of the card. This is valuable real estate that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Use the back of business cards to market and promote your business

Not sure what to put on the back of the card? Here are a few suggestions:

– Coupon offers that can be claimed when the card is presented

– A map to the business’ location

– Referral or reward program information

– Social media icons or a QR code

– Product photographs

– Customer testimonials or a company mission statement

– Information about a favorite charity

With fresh business cards in hand, employees will be better prepared to get out there and use them as a solid marketing and networking tool.

Ready for a bit of design inspiration? Check out this board on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pattirowlson/business-cards/.

Patti Rowlson of PR Consulting Services is a publicist and marketing consultant located in Whatcom County. Her columns appear on BBJToday.com on the last Thursday of each month. Connect with PR Consulting Services on Facebook and Twitter (@pattirowlson) for additional marketing tips.

This article originally appeared in the Bellingham Business Journal.

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