A great form of promotion for your business is business cards. When someone asks me "Where did you get that gorgeous hat?" I tell them that I make and sell them and rather than scribbling my web address to my shop on a bit of paper I hand them a business card. When I'm out hula hooping in the park and someone runs over excitedly and asks if they can have a go, I say "sure and would you like one of my business cards, so you can get a hoop like this one for yourself?"
Good looking business cards can make you look professional and serious about your craft, which can inspire people to come and buy from you. They can be any shape and size you like, but if you want people to keep hold of them it's best to make them small enough to fit inside their wallet/credit card holder.
What information should I put on my cards?
The bare minimum would be the logo of your business, your name, a business email address and a tag line that lets people know what it is you sell. If you have a website that sells or advertises your goods add the address for that too.
Many people worry about putting phone numbers on their cards as they run their business from home and don't want to give out their private home number. If this is the case I'd advise you to either get a separate business line installed or have a business mobile/cell phone. You don't have to get an expensive one with all the whistles and bells. You can get very reasonably priced phones with a pre-pay tariff rather than a contract. The person phoning you won't know. I have had many customers ring me to order goods after being given my business card. Not everyone is comfortable using the internet and they prefer to do business with a person not a computer.
All you people with bricks and mortar shops should add the shop address too. If your address is hard to find, sometimes a mini map helps.
I'm a keen fan of the double sided business cards because it means you can have all the written details clearly set out on one side and great images of your goods on the other side. Some people do manage to get all that information and pictures on one side, but I just like to use all the space the card has to offer.
We have 10 different photos for the backs of this card. The variety of photos have lead to people chatting about our cards and showing each other which back photo they got. This all leads to people remembering us and our business more, which is all good!
What if I have no design skills to draw up my own cards?
There are lots of people running small design businesses. You see them offering their services on places like Etsy, Dawanda, Mintd, etc. Check in your local press for local businesses and if someone hands you their card and you like the way it looks ask them who designed it.
So where do I get my business cards printed?
There are companies online that offer free business cards, but those will usually have ads for their own company on them and I feel this detracts from the impact the card has. They are rarely free either as they charge you for lots of added extras before you reach the checkout. Try not to go for those if you can afford to. There are many online services that allow you to upload your own designs. Shop around for the best deal and quality of print that you can afford. Remember google search is your friend!
Very often small local printers are more than happy to help you at a very reasonable price. Phone around a few and ask for quotes. Some offer design services too.
I print my own cards. It took me a while to perfect doing it, but it wasn't really all that hard and now when I need more I can run off as many as I need. Be aware this isn't always the most cost effective way of making cards, because of all the printer ink you use and the price of good card. It also takes time to cut them all up even with a guillotine. The reason I love it though is I'm quite forgetful and only remember the night before that I need 100 cards to hand out the next day and there is no way of getting them delivered to me from the printers in that time.
So a good business card is one that is eye catching, has all the information in an easy to read form and it gives the person receiving it a good idea of what your business is all about.