Now, What Do You Do For A Living?

 

Full Color Business CardsHow good are you at promoting yourself verbally? When you meet people, do you let them know what you do for a living? You should. However, many business owners and professionals fail to tweet their own horn. Sure it’s easy to talk about your business or line of work at business networking functions, but what about in social situations?

Read the following story and see if you can relate. This is a true story about myself. A lady walks into our office and relays to our office manager that she needs some business cards printed. So she is referred to one of our promotional products specialists. While I am in my office, I can hear parts of the conversation happening and the client’s voice sounds familiar. So I peek my head out and see a friend from church that I have known for about four years. When I see her, I greet her and she says, “I didn’t know you worked here.” I reply with, “Not only do I work here, but I own Perfect Imprints.”

Full Color Business CardsSo the moral is the story is that I very obviously did a lousy job promoting myself and my business. Now you must have some etiquette and not be annoying. You don’t want to turn social situations into business situations. You don’t want to conduct business while at church service. But, as you are wrapping up your conversation with friends, acquaintances, or new people you meet, just casually hand them your business card and say, “Here’s my business card with my contact info on it in case you ever need to get in contact with me.” I guarantee everyone will look at it and associate your business with you. Whether you own a business or work for a business, you should always promote that business and ensure your job security every opportunity you get.

So don’t be shy. Tell others about your business and begin developing deeper relationships with clients. In small business, more people than not, prefer to do business with someone they know and trust. Capitalize on that trust and your business will see growth.

3 Must Have Marketing Items For Any Small Business

 

It’s no secret that it’s a tough world out there for business owners. We are the last ones to get paid and many times we have to forego our paychecks altogether to make sure our employees and suppliers are paid. We have multiple competitors who all seem to have more money than us even though we know their quality is much lower. It’s so easy to waste money on various advertising and marketing tactics that are epic fails. However, there are 3 essential items that almost all small business owners can get and see an immediate return on their investment.

  1. Car Magnets – These are a minimal investment around $60-$80 each for a decent sized, full-color car magnet which can greatly increase visibility for your business. If you have employees, ask them if they would be willing to support your business by placing car magnets on the vehicle they drive to work. Explain to them that this is just job security. Have your spouse put the magnets on his/her vehicle. These will pay for themselves over and over and one set will last for several years.
  2. Flags – It’s getting much more popular to see feather flags when driving down the road. That’s because they work! They attract attention of drivers passing by and bring attention to your store or advertised specials. When you drive through a business district, you pass hundreds or thousands of businesses. What makes you notice any individual business over another one? A full-color printed flag will generate plenty of attention. My flags have been at the roadside in front of my business now for 6 months and I have about a 1000% Return On Investment (ROI) already. What’s that ROI going to be after a full year or 2 years? I can’t wait to see. It’s now just free advertising.
  3. Business Cards – Now I don’t mean any old, cheap looking business card. I mean something unique. Maybe printing with spot UV or a die-cut card to compliment your business industry or logo. Be colorful and creative. These are individual salesmen for your company. They say a lot about your company. If you give out cheap and flimsy business cards, your image will be cheap. If you give out a creative and high quality card, that will now be your image.

Perfect Imprints has a vast knowledge of branding and marketing for your business while maintaining a friendly budget. These 3 items can immediately and drastically improve your sales. If you are a home based business, just forego the flags, but car magnets and a great business card design is a must. Give us a call and let us help you boost your sales at a minimal cost.

What NOT To Print On Your Business Cards

 

Business Cards

Business cards are a staple of any business. There are very few people in business who can get away with not having business cards. For the rest of us who need business cards, it is very important to have a professionally designed business card in order to portray a positive image of our company. There are many “design your cards online” type of websites out there; however, these are almost always amateur looking designs that will make your business look unprofessional. Is it worth saving 20 bucks on your order of business cards in lieu of having a great design? Certainly not! The most important aspect of any marketing piece, including business cards, is the element of design. Over the past few decades of designing and printing business cards, I have seen many business card designs that were absolutely horrible and unprofessional. As a matter of fact, it is getting worse to the point of an epidemic due to the explosion of “Do It Yourself” cheap business card websites. My suggestion is . . . If you are NOT a designer, opt to have a professional designer layout your business cards for you. Your business card is an extension of your business self and it often times presents a first impression of you and your business. Do you want your first impression with new clients to be positive or negative?

Here are 15 Pitfalls to avoid on your Business Cards:

  1. Low resolution images that will print blurry.
  2. Free emails such as Yahoo, MSN, GMail, etc.
  3. Outdated picture of yourself.
  4. Phrase on back of business cards that says, “These cards were printed FREE at www.^!&t@p#!#t.com.
  5. Gramatical Erors (Seriosly, no mispellings) :)
  6. Blank to write in name of salesperson.
  7. Too many different fonts.
  8. Colors with strong contrast such as Green on Red.
  9. Long distance phone number if soliciting local business.
  10. Microsoft looking clipart.
  11. Font size 8 point or smaller.
  12. Too much info.
  13. Cluttered layout.
  14. Thermal printed business cards. Really? That’s so 1980.
  15. Thin card stock. Thicker is better.

An Important Letter On Your Sign

 

Sometimes things happen at your place of business such as a broken window, a hole in your wall, or maybe problems with your sign. Sometimes these are quick fixes and sometimes they take a little more effort to correct the problem. However, when it’s your image at hand or if the “Little Problem” creates something much bigger and potentially harmful, you should make it a higher priority to correct it. Here’s an example. I’m driving through a small little town last night near my hometown and I look over and see a lit sign; however, a critical letter is not lit and the sign says “harmacy.” Not a big deal, right? Unless you are a pharmacy! In that case you don’t want to give the impression that you will harm your customers with the medicines you dispense. I was driving in quite a bit of traffic so I couldn’t snap a picture with my iPhone; however, below is a quick Photoshop rendition of what it looked like when seeing it at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family and I thought this was too funny, so I just wanted to share about this one important letter that was missing! The image of your business is extremely important, so if something like this happens in your daily course of business, make sure and fix it right away.

On a separate note, let’s talk about misspellings. I often see misspellings on business cards, brochures, Facebook posts for businesses, signs, and websites which can harm your business image. Make sure you thoroughly proofread anything that goes to print (or web) for your business. Then, when you think there are no more errors with spelling or grammar, take a 10-15 minute break and re-proof it. Then pass it on to a friend or family member who is strong in spelling and grammar. I have passed up numerous businesses simply from the use of poor grammar and spelling. In business, image is critical. Your first impression WILL make potential first time buyers pass you up for your competitor.

What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

 

What does your business card say about you? It’s a fair question. Does it say you are Cheap, Not Creative, Unprofessional, Creative, Trustworthy, or Professional. From designing and printing business cards for the last 12 years, I’ve learned quite a few practices to help enhance your business cards and have them work for you while portraying a positive image of your company. I’ve put together a few questions so you can determine which category or categories your business card may fall within. Notice that some of the categories may contain the same question; therefore, you may be portraying multiple negative (or positive) images.

CHEAP- Is your business card flimsy? Are images or text on your business card blurry? Does your business card have a phrase on the back that says “Business cards are FREE at www.**********.com? Do you have incorrect information on your card that is scratched out and corrected with a pen? Is your card boring to look at? Does your business card contain an amateur design layout? Does your business card contain a clipart looking logo? Do you have a business email listed on your card that is from a free service such as Yahoo, Gmail, or MSN? Are your business cards printed from your home computer? Does your business card have a blank on it to write in your name? If you answered YES to any of these questions, than you have a “CHEAP” image going for your company when you hand out your business cards.

NOT CREATIVE – Is your business card all one color? Is your business card all text? Does your business card contain an amateur design layout? Does your business card contain a clipart looking logo? Is your card boring to look at? Did you use a standard or free online template to design your card? If you answered YES to any of these questions, than you may have a “NOT CREATIVE” image going for your company.

UNPROFESSIONAL - Is your logo blurry? Is your logo or any graphics on the card a picture that was free clipart? Are there misspellings on your card? Is there incorrect information on your card? Do you have a business email listed on your card that is from a free service such as Yahoo, Gmail, or MSN? Does your business card have a phrase on the back that says “Business cards are FREE at www.**********.com? Are images or text on your business card blurry? Are your business cards printed from your home printer? Do you have a business email listed on your card that is from a free service such as Yahoo, Gmail, or MSN? If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you are portraying an unprofessional image from your business cards.

Cheap Business Cards
Cheap Business Cards – Notice how flimsy these cards are. Flimsy business cards equals cheap. It makes me wonder if their services are also “cheap”
Business that are not creative in any way
Business that are not creative in any way – This person does writing, but I’m not very interesting in judging by her business card.
Unprofessional Business Card
Unprofessional Business Card – If you have to white-out your name on your business card and correct it, it’s time to get some new business cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREATIVE – Is your business tastefully colorful? Is your business card just a little different than a typical business card layout? Does your business contain full color images that pertain to your business or your geographical area? Is the shape of your business card anything different than a 3.5″ x 2″ rectangle? If you answered YES to some or all of these questions, you may just have a “CREATIVE” vibe going for your company upon handing out your business cards.

TRUSTWORTHY – Do you have all of your contact info listed on your business card such as address, phone number, website, email address? Do you have a blurb included about how long your have been in business? Do you list any kind of guarantee on your business card? Do you list any affiliations on your card such as Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, or Industry Associations? If you are marketing to a local area, is your listed phone number local? If you answered YES to some or all of these questions, then you probably give off a “TRUSTWORTHY” vibe when handing out business cards.

PROFESSIONAL – Do you have a nice looking card? Is your card stock a good thickness that is not too thin and flimsy? If appropriate, do you have a recent photograph on your business card? Does your business card have nice, clean, legible graphics and text that is not blurry? Does your business card contain more than one way to contact you? Does your business card layout look professional as opposed to an amateur layout? Is your logo included on your card? If you answered YES to some or all of these questions, then you likely give off a “PROFESSIONAL” look.

Creative Business Cards

Creative Business Cards - this is definitely different from a typical business card. Great job on making something fun from your business cards.

Trustworthy Business Card

Trustworthy Business Card - Not only does it have all of her contact info on the card but also her title and professional affiliation seal listed.

Professionally Designed Business Card

Professionally Designed Business Card - this card has clean graphics, multiple ways to contact him, logo, and nice, sleek layout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you fall within any of the above 3 positive categories (Creative, Professional, or Trustworthy), then congratulations! However, if you fall within any of the above 3 negative categories (Not Creative, Unprofessional, or Cheap), then you should immediately get an updated and professional design and STOP giving out your current business cards that are portraying a negative image on yourself and your company. You may have originally gotten those business cards when you were on a shoestring budget while just starting out, but now you need to upgrade. Your business cards are extensions of yourself and actually act like another salesperson. Haven’t you ever wanted to clone yourself so you can get more work done? Your business card can help you like a clone could. Let it work for you. But, in order for it to work efficiently for you, you must have it professionally designed with high quality printing. The majority of people don’t have the marketing mind to go to an online designer and input the information in a format that actually works to generate sales. Also, most of those websites with the unbelievably cheap business card pricing is cheap because the printing quality is cheap, the design quality is cheap, and the card stock is cheap. The minimal investment of a professional business card design is well worth the money and will pay off big time for you. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call today at 1-800-773-9472 to design your business card layout.