“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If you are in any type of business as an entrepreneur or investor, understanding this fact is crucial; and one of the first ways you make that impression is with something very small and, too often, not very well thought out—your business card.
Why am I devoting an email to the topic of business cards, you may ask? Because the number of business cards I receive from people should qualify me and my staff as experts on the topic! I frequently attend events all over the country throughout the year, and whether I’m there as a speaker or an attendee, I am the recipient of numerous business cards from people who want to be added to my email list. That’s exciting to me…but sometimes, not so much for my assistant who has to read the information on the card.
Here are some things we frequently see that don’t leave us with a good first impression:
First, and most obvious, if you don’t have business cards, have some made! It’s surprising to me how many people I talk to at various events don’t have a business card to give me when asked. There are many inexpensive options for having business cards made and having something to hand out is better than having nothing.
Make sure the information on the card can clearly be read. While there is nothing wrong with having a colorful business card, if blue lettering on green background doesn’t show up well, or if the font used is too small, too fancy or too light to be easily read, your business card is useless. No one should have to use a magnifying glass or put your card under bright light to be able to decipher your information.
Please include all your contact information on your business card. When you give someone your business card and ask to be added to their email list, but your email address is not on your card, you won’t find yourself receiving emails from them. You wouldn’t believe how often this happens!
If you really want your business to stand out and make a great impression, be willing to spend a little more and have cards made that don’t just blend in with those of everyone else on someone’s desk. I frequently receive compliments on the business cards for my law practice because they are easily distinguishable from those most people see. They are plastic and the size of a credit card, which means they hold up well in pockets and purses of those who carry and receive them. Because of the size and color, the information on them is easy to read as well.
I realize the type of business cards people have may in no way reflect the quality of their businesses, and I wouldn’t make a judgment based solely on that. I’m simply suggesting that you take a good look at your business cards and make sure they do everything possible to encourage others to contact you with as little effort on their part as possible.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Watson, Esquire is council to the National Association of Real Estate Investors and an advisor to the Metrolina Real Estate Investors Association, www.metrolinareia.org, which provides education, networking, and mentoring to investors in the greater Charlotte area. You may contact Jeff at [email protected].