David Knoble, CPA, PLLC

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Printing Your Own Business Cards

Print­ing your own busi­ness cards can be a large cost sav­ings to a small busi­ness.  The cost sav­ings is higher when your busi­ness has one or only a few employ­ees or when you are first set­ting up.   Because busi­ness cards are so impor­tant for a new com­pany, they must be cre­ated and avail­able to use well before the busi­ness is actu­ally open (see our dis­cus­sion in Cre­at­ing Busi­ness Cards First).  In this post we will dis­cuss spe­cific rea­sons that print­ing your own cards saves money and what should be on your first busi­ness card.

Why Print­ing Your Own Saves Money

How can print­ing your own busi­ness cards really save you money?  The card stock, if you use good Avery break away card stock, is not cheap.  In fact, it appears cheaper to print 100 or 200 cards using a place like Office Depot.  You can even find on-line deals that give you 100 cards for free!  So once again, how does this really save you money?

Think about our dis­cus­sion above.  You need some busi­ness cards and you don’t even have an office address yet.  Do you have an email address?  Do you have a web site?  Think­ing about using your home phone or mobile phone for now?  How about a logo?  Chances are that the answer to these ques­tions are either all No or par­tially No.  With­out all this infor­ma­tion solid­ifed yet, your busi­ness cards are out­dated right this very moment whether you have 1,000 busi­ness cards or 100.

Cre­at­ing your first busi­ness card

The best advice I can give you is to spend a day or two and design a sim­ple card.  Print it out on plain white paper a few times until you get the font size and white space bal­anced well enough.  Use at least two col­ors because your ink-jet isn’t that expen­sive.  Also, put a sen­tence or phrase on your busi­ness card that explains what you do.  Try to be cre­ative enough to leave an impres­sion in someone’s mind when they see your card.  After all, you just want them to be able to call you.

To keep it sim­ple the first time around add only the fol­low­ing items:

  • Com­pany name
  • Your name and title
  • Cell phone number
  • Sim­ple list of ser­vices or busi­ness phrase to explain what you’re all about

If you have an email address, be sure to include that as well.  Today, a black­berry email address or a yahoo email address is always bet­ter than noth­ing.  I would rec­om­mend that you setup an email address with some free ser­vice and get going.  Email is n0w what the fax machine and the nex­tel did for build­ing 20 years ago.

After you begin hand­ing out your busi­ness card, take one to keep notes on for the next set.  Add a phys­i­cal address once you get that office setup.  Add a fax num­ber once that is installed and add your web address once you get a web site.  Don’t worry if you have to print another set and only add one item.  Keep pass­ing out your busi­ness card.  After about a year your busi­ness should be set­tled enough that you can print some cards in bulk.  Just be care­ful that you don’t have so many you have to throw them away when you move to a big­ger office!

Now you should begin to see the ben­e­fits.  Print­ing only 50 or so at a time to get started allows you the flex­i­bil­ity of quickly intro­duc­ing changes to your busi­ness card (see our Print­ing Tip).  Your busi­ness card should be like your web site.  It will be in a con­stant state of flux and you need to be flex­i­ble enough to get it changed.  Don’t worry about any­one that has the older cards, if you have any con­tact with them at all, give them a new one.

Con­clu­sion

At the end of the day, start­ing a busi­ness is rough enough.  Get some busi­ness cards done quickly so you can begin focus­ing on other areas.  As the rest of your startup begins falling into place, adjust your busi­ness cards to reflect more infor­ma­tion and a logo.  After some time and expe­ri­ence, you will get the per­fect busi­ness card.  Then it may be time to try a bulk print­ing.  Good luck!

© 2009, david.knoble
by David Kno­ble, CPA, PLLC
Serv­ing Non-Profits, Busi­nesses & Indi­vid­u­als
Rock Hill, SC

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