Why you need to carry your business cards everywhere you go

Many people think of the business card as a quaint throwback to the pre-digital age, however, the reality for those in the know is quite different. Business cards are an invaluable asset in any business, particular SMEs, and it’s highly important you always have one to hand. Here’s why.

Opportunities are everywhere

Networking doesn’t just happen in prescribed locations at pre-arranged times, you never know when you’re going to make the connection that could facilitate your business taking the next step forward. Even standing next to the right person in a lift can be the perfect opportunity to network.

When that happens you need to make sure you have your business details on hand. You need to make your pitch inside of a minute, and make sure they have something tangible to walk away with that tells them all they need to know about your business and how they can make contact.

They give the right impression

When you have a business card to hand wherever you go you’re giving off the image of being prepared for anything, and that’s going to translate through to the business you run too. It’s a great way of building that initial trust with prospective customers.

Having a well designed, crisp, and communicative business card available at all times lets people know you’re prepared for every eventuality and that you’re the type of person who doesn’t let an opportunity go to waste. It makes a considerable difference for such minimal investment.

They’re so convenient

Carrying business cards is no chore. Just a few placed neatly into your wallet or phone case and you don’t have to think about them again until it’s time to hand them out. If you invest in plastic business cards, they’re even more likely to stay neat and tidy too.

The relatively low cost also means that if you run a small business you can still make the most of the benefits that business cards have to offer. Whether you need just fifty printed or five thousand, the costs are never going to get away with you when budgeting matters most.

Make the most of your business cards

You’ll be amazed how much of an impact such a seemingly simple promotional tool as a business card can have, but the proof is in the pudding. Try making a point of carrying business cards everywhere you go for a month and see the results yourself.

3 tips for business card etiquette

A business card is often the first physical item that a potential customer receives from your business. As such, the card must represent you and your brand effectively, as well as showing the potential client that you are serious about taking the business further with them. However, there seems to be some confusion around business card etiquette, with many new startups thinking that a slightly bent piece of cardboard with their name and number thrust at a potential client is enough.

Our experts know that this isn’t true, and as such have prepared a brief guide on business card etiquette so that you and your employees know how to design and use them most effectively.

  1. Make them professional and relevant

A plastic business card doesn’t just represent you but your company and brand. This might be something you’ve worked tirelessly to build up over the years, so you don’t want to compromise its reputation with a poor layout. Your business card should be able to accurately convey your business’ ethos through its imagery, font, colours and designs. Link your design to your business, rather than opting for traditional stuffy styles, so that your clients can see you have put thought into it. This implies a level of attention to detail that runs throughout your business.

  1. Keep them crisp

Nothing is more unprofessional than handing a potential client a bent business card. As such, we would highly recommend using plastic business cards instead. They are extremely difficult to bend, won’t get stained, and show your client that you are always willing to go the extra mile. A plastic card is also far more tangible for the client, and they will be less inclined to lose it or forget about it, making a call back from them far more likely.

  1. Present and receive cards with two hands

Stemming from traditional Japanese business culture, it is always best to present and receive business cards with two hands, as this show greater respect for the object itself, as well as its representation of a future business relationship. When receiving a card, always take a second or two to look at it, before putting it away. If you can’t use two hands (because you are holding a notebook or drink, for example), then ensure you present the card face up and facing towards the recipient, making it easier for them to read.

Looking to get some amazing business cards that truly represent your company? Look no further than Plastic Cards Direct. Our company offers ultra high-quality plastic cards that are

eye-catching and will really make an impression on your potential clients. For more information about our cards, browse our range today.

Why business cards are still important in the modern age

In the modern age of social media and technology, it may be easy to think that business cards are no longer needed. Business cards have been around for decades, handed to potential clients at networking events and seminars.

Many people believe that with such a focus on social networking nowadays, individuals no longer need to print business cards because they can simply get their phones out and follow potential clients on LinkedIn.

Business cards can tell a story about your brand

It’s a time-honoured tradition to include the bare minimum on your business card: name, job title, company address and contact details. But it’s worth considering how business cards can be used to sell your brand at the same time.

Think about who you are and what your company offers. Business cards can be brought to life through art and logos, and you could easily add style to your business card so that it stands out when you hand it to people.

It’s also worth considering its shape: instead of using the conventional business card shape, how could it be adapted to show off your creativity and fit with your brand?

Business cards aren’t expensive

As a start-up or a growing business, it’s important for you to consider your costs and overheads. Choosing to have high-quality business cards created for your business is a good way to keep costs low.

Remember, if you’re networking, then your business cards may well be the first impression that you can create. This is why it’s so important to spend your money wisely and invest in a design that tells your story and captures the attention of potential clients.

Business cards act as a physical reminder of your business

The rise of social media and the increased importance of an online presence for businesses means that many companies are choosing not to use business cards. This has a negative impact, because business cards are an essential tool which guarantees that your business is fresh in the minds of people you’ve given them to.

A physical card gives recipients the chance to reflect on their earlier meeting, and by designing a business card that has a strong brand message and a story to tell, you can ensure that your brand stands out among the many business cards that are handed out at networking events.

Business cards are still important in the modern age, but businesses need to think about the way in which they can be used in the most effective way.

Creating killer business cards for the digital age

Why are business cards still popular in the digital age? When everything from business proposals to signing contracts is done digitally, a business card keeps it personal. Creating a great first impression followed by retention are critical issues for your card – so how do you stand out from the crowd and make sure your business card stays in your client’s wallet?

Stay consistent with branding

Before you even begin to think about the look and feel of your card, your branding needs to be rock solid. For a start-up this gives you an opportunity to make your mark. For a more established business it’s all about consistency and placing your logo and corporate colours front and centre. Staying consistent with your branding helps build brand recognition and awareness.

Define your brand identity

Your business card needs to communicate your business values and brand identity. If that seems a lot for a card to convey, break it down into a series of questions:

  • If your brand was a person, what would they be like?
  • What are the core beliefs of your company?
  • How do you differentiate yourselves from the competition?
  • What does your brand voice sound like?
  • How would you describe your business in three words?

Create an attractive design

Reflecting your brand identity in a card might seem a stretch, but design can do most of the heavy lifting. Keep it elegant and simple with a two colour design, or use your corporate colours in contrast against black which always conveys professionalism.

Remember you have two sides to your card, meaning that one can carry your logo and the other your personal information. Typography and scale are also important, with bold oversized fonts currently the smart way to make a strong impact.

Choose plastic

Where once the impact of your card was measured in card stock (remember American Psycho?) now plastic is the material of choice. It’s durable and versatile, presenting your brand with the same look and feel as a trusted credit card and conferring legitimacy and professionalism on your business.

Plastic won’t fade, crease or wear, meaning that your critical information stays looking as good as the moment it was printed. And that confers a very strong impression about your trustworthiness as a brand. Your plastic business card is designed for the long haul, just like your business.

Out and about: Why events can help build your business

As a business owner or management level employee, how often are you sat in the office wondering where you can make up a shortfall, or increase your margins? Much of the time, a business which is not growing at the desired rate is down to a lack of new clients, but despite the dawn of the digital era, don’t underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction.

The art of exhibition attending

Whether you are a sales manager or a ‘one man band’ business, there is only so far email campaigns and cold calling can take you. Have a scout around for exhibitions and conferences where your target customer base could be attending. Plan in advance and if you can, try and get an idea of the attendee list. Then, whether you are exhibiting or are just an attendee, armed with your plastic business cards you can set out to press some flesh, exchange ideas and ultimately expand your network.

New frontiers, new ideas

You might be amazed at the great ideas you can have while attending, or following a live industry event. Many conferences and exhibitions have speaker programmes packed full of thought-provoking content which can give you important insights, and even inspire your own business activities. Keep your eyes and ears open, and an exhibition can give you ideas to take away that can improve your business.

Take centre stage

If you have an area of expertise which you would like to convey to others – or if you think you can provide best practice tips to businesses in your sector and potential customers – then live events are the place to do it. Apply in advance by outlining your idea for a talk, and you could find yourself on the speaker line up. That is great exposure for your business, you might be amazed at how many attendees approach you after the talk to ask for your contact details.

Stop ‘narrowcasting

By talking to the same people, visiting the same websites and using the same social media networks, it is all too easy to get trapped in a restricted business world. In order to broaden your horizons, as well as your contact list, events offer the perfect way to get yourself heard, and in turn, listen to what others can offer. If you have only spoken to somebody by phone and email, an event is the perfect chance to ‘put a face to a name’ and start distributing your business cards to the people that matter.

We hope this blog has helped you to realise the potential benefits of events in the business world. It’s time to escape the office!

 

 

Why business cards are essential for SMEs

Despite many activities of a modern business being digitally based, there is one aspect of corporate culture that has stood the test of time: business cards. They offer many benefits to those who choose to utilise them. An essential part of all business dealings is networking. When you give a potential client or business partner a card they are more likely to remember you. When you present someone with a physical record of your meeting it not only gives them a reminder of your contact, but it also lets them know you respect them enough to present them with the card.

Business cards for SMEs

Many dealings of a modern business still require face to face contact, and business cards are a convenient way of presenting someone with your business details. This is especially important for SMEs as smaller companies require extensive networking before they can expand.

First impressions are of course, very important. When a potential contact is handed a business card they know they are dealing with a professional. With it you can direct clients to your website.

Business cards are great for first impressions

Let us consider the disadvantages of modern alternatives to business cards. Imagine a networking opportunity where you meet a potential client. Instead of handing them a card you proceed to ask for their own contact information. You would need to input this into your smartphone. Looking down and tapping away is an impersonal way to form a first impression.

A better way to deal with the situation is to make eye contact, smile and hold out a hand to shake. Then when you have introduced yourself a business card can be given to avoid any inconvenient phone fiddling.

Portable and affordable

It does not matter if someone only uses email and other computer based platforms as a contact. In modern business it is still expected for all professionals to carry a business card. They are portable, affordable and easy to hand to people.

When ordering a business card it is useful to be deliberate about the information printed. Important information should not be mixed with unessential numbers and words. Ideally your business name, title and direct contact details should be included. Plastic business cards are a great choice when choosing a professional printing service. Taking advantage of customisation

options will help make your card stand out. It’s a great choice to help reflect the style of your company.

o eco: the importance of running your business sustainably

Modern consumers are much more aware of their place in the global ecosystem than previous generations; for this reason, running your business in a somewhat sustainable manner is more important than ever. Not only does adopting sustainable practices reduce your carbon footprint and improve your brand image among carbon conscious young professionals, but it can also save your business money, too. Sustainable practices tend to lead to less waste and reduced energy consumption, both of which can save your business a penny or two on overheads. Here are our top tips on running a sustainable business and maintaining an eco-friendly brand.

Choose sustainable materials

It’s impossible to avoid using unsustainable materials some of the time, but customers will appreciate even small steps you make towards becoming a fully sustainable business. Print on recycled paper, stock the water cooler with recyclable cups, and switch to a sustainable energy supplier. If you’re thinking of investing in business cards, increase your green credentials and opt for BIO PVC business cards which are made from a durable but biodegradable plastic.

Reduce waste

Perform an environmental audit on your business and you’ll likely find quite a few simple ways to reduce waste without disrupting routine. Here are a few ideas:

– Install separate bins for landfill, recycling, and compost.

– Go paperless! Don’t print out anything that isn’t 100% necessary.

– Don’t buy bottled water; stick to filtered water, or just plain old tap.

– Reduce packaging: next time you stock up the office supply cabinet and kitchen, try to opt for products with less packaging waste and buy in bulk if it’s convenient.

Partner with local businesses

It’s not obvious, but by supporting other local business you not only reduce your business’s carbon footprint by having supplies and products delivered locally, but you will also support your local economy and improve your brand locally, too. For example, buying fresh produce from local markets, or baked goods from local bakers and cafés can be a big selling point and will certainly make your business’s catering provisions stand out to staff and customers. Or perhaps offer to sponsor a local environmental cause. 

Of course, partnering with local businesses and organisations also doesn’t hurt when it comes to the ‘I’ll scratch your back, and you scratch mine’ rule; it may just drum up some new business for you from local entrepreneurs, too. And if you develop a longstanding relationship with a local supplier or reputable environmental charity, organisation or influencer group, you may be able to add their logo to your marketing materials, including brochures, leaflets and business cards.

Maintaining an eco-friendly brand doesn’t necessarily mean changing everything from the ground up. It’s possible to reduce waste and improve your brand by making a few small, simple changes to the way you operate your business. Go sustainable now and reap the rewards for years to come. For more advice about eco-friendly business cards, please contact us today.

Developing the right brand for your business

Starting your own business is as exciting as it is stressful, yet one of the most important aspects to consider will be how you present your business to the world. Branding brings together several schools of thought in both the creative and cold-hard-business fields and it is pivotal to the success of any new business.

Within this article, we’ll look at the steps you should take to develop an exciting and relevant brand around your business.

Brand name

When considering a name for your business, think about how you wish for your business to be perceived. For instance, if you are starting a company in the professional services industry such as a law firm or accountancy then the appearance of professionalism and trustability are paramount, and staying away from “quirky” names is advised. Whereas if you are looking at something more consumer-facing such as a flower delivery company or coffee shop then something memorable and fun should be considered.

Brand colour scheme

Choosing the right colours for your brand will help you elicit the desired emotional response from your customers. When choosing your brand colours, try using the fantastic free colour scheme generator from <a href=”https://coolors.co”>Coolors</a> where you can find pre-made colour schemes that designers have pre-generated or generate them yourself from scratch. If you want to be seen as a fun, exciting and “quirky” brand then utilising bright, vibrant colours may be the best foot forward. If your goal is to elicit feelings of trust, calmness and professionalism, more aristocratic colours should be considered.

Consumer Facing “Quirky” example brand colour scheme:Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 21 07 49

Professional Services example brand colour scheme: Screen Shot 2018 01 19 at 21 08 28

Website design

If you’re setting up a digital business then you should view your website as your shop window. Use images that represent how you see yourself as a brand rather than any old stock photo that represents your services. Incorporate your brand colours tastefully and hire a professional copywriter to refine your message and present it in easy to digest copy on the pages of your site.

Logo design

Look at your top competitors’ logos and write down which ones you think work and don’t work, and why you think they do or don’t. Then look to hire a professional graphic designer to bring your vision to life. Provide feedback and interact with the graphic designer to make sure they grasp what you are trying to achieve but always remember they have designed 1000s of logos and their professional opinion should always be noted if they recommend taking the design in a certain direction.

Business card design

When networking in-person, having well-designed and high-quality printed business cards can help make you and your business that much more memorable to the receiver. Have your design mocked up by a professional and make sure to be ready to provide them with all the information and materials you have determined earlier (i.e the points mentioned above). Include all your relevant contact information, title and office location on the cards and ensure that the design complements your brand and fits snugly in your potential client’s wallet.

Creating the right image for your brand is paramount to business success, so to make sure you have the right business cards for the right moment, visit https://plastic-cards-direct.co.uk/ and view our exclusive range today.

How to make sure you (and your business) leave a great first impression

It’s not easy to get a new business off the ground or keep a supply of new contacts and interest, but making a great first impression can certainly help. Here are our top tips for wowing your business network.

1. Be novel

What is it about you (and your business) that makes you memorable among your competitors? Maybe you have a product that no-one else is offering. Maybe your turnaround and customer service are impeccable. Or maybe it’s because you have business cards that stand out among the crowd. These small items are what your potential customer sees of you long after you’ve parted company – consider well-designed or unusual options like plastic business cards or promotional items.

2. Show an interest in your customer, not just their business

Nothing turns off a potential collaborator like immediately launching into a pitch. Customers work with you just as much as your ideas – take the time to ask about their needs and requirements in order to mould your reply to their situation. It’s not appropriate to delve too deeply on personal circumstances but a few details (such as whether they have kids, are married, or have particular leisure interests) will help you build a relationship and common understandings. Don’t forget little touches like regularly using their name during your conversation – it’s these little details that leave a lasting impression of care and confidence.

3. Work on your handshake

In the Western world we seal the deal on a handshake – make sure yours isn’t memorable for the wrong reasons. Too weak and you appear to lack confidence, but too hard and you’ll leave your potential customer with a sore hand. It sounds crazy but do practice your greeting and parting touch – it’s an important part of helping others get a sense of who you are.

4. Tell them why you’re the right choice

Obviously, your customer is going to want to know about the product you’re selling – but they also want to know a little about you. Tell them about why you’re passionate about this item or project and what it means to you. Perhaps the current project you’re working on isn’t for them but if you take the time to make a genuine human connection then they may think of you for other ideas in the future.

5. Dress well for the industry

Think about what you’re going to wear for customer appointments. You may work in the creative industries where it’s easier to be less formal, but is that the right tone for the customer? It’s better to make too much of an effort (showing you’re trying hard) than not enough and appearing slouchy or lazy. You can always take a more casual road once you know what your client is comfortable with.

Using this key advice should help you make a credible impression that lasts. Get in touch today to organise your high-quality, original business cards that keep you a step ahead. Good luck!