One of my biggest pet peeves is the quality of business cards and the information some choose to leave off their cards. The look, feel and message on your business card will instantly tell people a lot about you and your business and may even determine if they remember you. Your card should clearly identify your business and all contact information including your address and email should be included.

If you have a home based business and feel weird about including this location on your card, purchase a P.O. box number! Better yet, go to a mailbox company that offers street addresses with suite numbers to use for your box number, instead of a P.O number. This will give you a more professional polished look than a P.O. number. In a business culture where trust seems to be at an all-time low, why would you want to look like you are hiding information about yourself by not including important information?

Never use a Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL or Gmail e-mail address as your main address. Domain names are very inexpensive these days and there really is no excuse not to have a hosted e-mail account. Anything less will just scream amateurish.

Your card should also reveal something about you. Maybe not in a written sense as much as the overall image it creates about you. The quality of your business card says a lot about you and the last thing you want to use is cheap paper or a material that doesn’t allow others to write on your card. And, please, NEVER, EVER use the computer-produced cards with the perforated paper and print them yourself on a laser or ink jet printer!  “AMATEUR”.

Odd-shaped, over-sized or folded cards may attract attention, but they can be difficult to manage and won’t fit into card holders or binders and many times will be thrown into the trash because of that. If you need to say something else and one side is just not enough, use the back of the card. This is a great way to include your marketing message while adding creativity and reinforcing branding. Keep it simple, clean and easy to read.

You only have one chance to give a good first impression. It is critical that prospective clients feel confident in hiring or purchasing from you. If your business card looks professional so will you and that means more clients and sales!