Grow your biz with your business card - 15th Jun 2009

Hello and welcome to the bi-monthly newsletter from Clutha Print. Through the pages of this newsletter we will supply you with practical information which will help you to get the most value for the dollars you spend on printing. Please read on to see how you can get the most out of your business card. If you need a quote or any information on any of your printing requirements please contact us through our email or phone us directly.

Turn your business card into a mobile ambassador for your business

Do you make the most of your business card? Used correctly, it can be one of the most effective, low-cost weapons in your marketing arsenal. How does yours rate against these suggestions?

How many people do you give your business card to every day? How do you give it, and how do they respond? What happens to it after you've given it to a prospect?

Add value to your card and turn it into a mobile ambassador for your business.

* Don't skimp.
Make sure your business card looks professional, that there are no spelling errors, it's up to date and properly printed on good quality paper. However good your inkjet printer, home-made cards look just that and seldom fit the bill. If your business card screams "cheap", people will expect your services to be the same. Plumb for decent cards and you'll attract better clients who are willing to pay a fair price for your services.
* Make sure your name is clearly visible on your card.
Apart from making it easy for people to read, you can use your card to double as a name tag at networking functions - a great way to get lots of mileage from your investment.
* Have your business name and logo on the card - the more unique and impactful, the better.
Invest in having your logo professionally designed. It will cost comparatively little (try some of the designers in the HomebizBuzz Directory for quotes) and you can use it over and over again on everything from brochures and your web site to presentations and adverts.
* Add a slogan, strapline, positioning statement - call it what you will - to the front of your card.
Just one sentence (or partial sentence) telling people what you can do for them. Here's an example: "putting more leisure in your life", or perhaps better still, "putting more life in your leisuretime". Focus on what you can do for them, not on your product or service.
* Ensure all your details are on the card, and current.
Where possible, include your name, title if relevant, phone, fax, email, web site and postal address. It's not necessary to include your home address on your business card unless you expect clients to come to your premises. Adding the words "by appointment only" or "by appointment please" is appropriate if you consult from home but don't want people dropping in unexpectedly.
* Be smart - use your card as a mini-brochure.
It costs very little extra to print on the back (in black if you want) - use this space to highlight the biggest benefits of using your product or service, add a teaser (e.g. ask me how I can help you double your bottom line in six months), list product lines or services you offer, give some relevant tips or leave space for customised information (e.g. write down the colour of the paint they have chosen) or an appointment time. The more valuable you make this to them, the longer they will keep your card and the more they will refer back to it.

Use your business card in smart ways to gain more business.
Here are just some ideas on getting more mileage from your card:

* wear it as a nametag instead of the one handed to you at the door of a function
* wear it as a nametag when you visit customers and suppliers if appropriate
* give it out whenever the opportunity arises - if you want to be subtle, ask for someone else's card first, then return the favour by presenting them with one of yours
* give out more than one and inviting people to pass them on to others
* where appropriate, leave some with a related business (and perhaps offering to do the same for them)
* pin your business card on noticeboards, where appropriate
* always, always have some available

- oh, and throw away those dog-eared ones at the bottom of your briefcase! Giving them to prospective customers does more harm than good.

About the Author:

Heather Douglas is the Managing Director of Home Business New Zealand, which publishes the HomebizBuzz web site (www.homebizbuzz.co.nz). HomebizBuzz helps make running a home business in New Zealand fun, easy and successful. From their desktops, home businesses can access heaps of free information on finance, tax, technology, starting up, marketing, growth and more - and all home businesses qualify for a free online listing in the HomebizBuzz Directory and a monthly email newsletter crammed with tips. The site also provides access to resources, tools and an active online community of home business operators.

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