The Business Card

The business card is one tool for establishing relationships that are important to your business or organization. Have you taken a good look at your business card lately? Some good questions to ask yourself are:

  • What does it say about your company or organization? A business card should tell a potential client or business contact what you do in very few words. This could be the Vision or Mission of your organization or the tag line of your company.
  • Do you have a logo and is it meaningful? There are many very attractive logos out there that say a lot about what the business or organization does. Don’t hesitate to explain it. That is sometimes the ice breaker that you need to get their attention.
  • Is the card colourful in a way that attracts attention? Colour is very important. Try to stay away from all dark colours. Many card scanners do not scan those colours well.
  • Keep the font clean and simple enough that it can be read by anyone even in a dimly lit room at an evening function.
  • Is your card too busy so that your contact information is lost in all of the words, etc.? Keep it as simple as possible and don’t be afraid to use both sides of the card.

And of course all of this is lost if you do not carry your cards with you or you don’t have a backup supply in your briefcase or computer bag. There are some very stylish and functional card holders that can keep the cards crisp and clean. Remember, a trip to the hardware store can result in an important contact that you meet while in there.

And of course the presentation of the card will depend on the culture. If you are travelling abroad, take the time to learn about the culture – it will make or break your entire trip.

My friend Howard Olsen advises that the presentation of your business card should be with both hands with the card facing the reader. This allows the person to remember who they have just been introduced to and it is also a sign of respect in many cultures to present with both hands.

Darcy Rezac, Managing Director of the Vancouver Board of Trade and co-author of “Work the Pond” will tell you to ensure that you have no less than 8 cards (enough for everyone sitting at a table with you) in your left pocket. As you are shaking hands, you can present one with your left. This with your name tag high and on the right will reinforce your name.

Remember the old adage, dress for the job you want not the job you have, your card is you so make sure it represents you in a professional way and practice presenting it.