The first marketing tool any business starts with is their business card and it is one of the most important elements of your visual identity. When you’re at a function networking and meeting new clients, you don’t want to be searching for a scrap of paper to jot down your phone number. It is important to look professional and legitimate, and a well designed business card will do the trick.

The most important aspect of your business card is that it clearly shows your contact information. You would be surprised how many badly designed cards hide this important information behind illegible type fonts or fancy gimmicks. Some fonts are visually appealing but make actually reading the text very difficult especially if it is a very small font size that is used. The purpose of business cards is to help people find you; you don’t want your design getting in the way. If your card is an odd shape or doesn’t fit into a holder or wallet it’s not likely to be kept close-at-hand.

Your card must have a simple, clean, uncluttered design which shows that you care about appearance and immediately sends out a professional message. It is also really important to include a line about what you do on your business card. Maybe your tag line or logo clearly identifies who you are and what product or service you provide. If it doesn’t, then include a line of copy that does. Utilize the back of your card to reinforce your brand identity while the front side contains all your basic contact information.

One of the most glaring mistakes people make when purchasing business cards is to use some cheap black-on-white cards from the quick printer down the street or they try to print their own cards! Do not use those little perforated sheets of paper and print your cards on a laser printer! If the look and quality of your card is shoddy or unprofessional, it will probably be thrown into the trash.

Your business card should be like a tiny version of a great billboard ad which catches the eye, drives home your marketing message and clearly defines what your business does all in one neat little package. Once your networking event ends, your business card should be a reminder of who you, what your business stands for and how to contact you.