5 Basic Design Tips for Killer Business Cards
Here’s the first thing you need to learn in Business Cards 101: You need them. The so-called freelance economy is on the rise, and with it, orders for business cards. As we can personally attest, the demand for business cards has grown in the past generation in step with the growth of small businesses. Recent studies on the humanizing and tactile aspect of print materials have been holding up, giving businesses of all sizes incentives to invest in them. Creative professionals have also pushed the boundaries of this humble medium beyond what was thought possible just a few generations ago, breathing excitement into the design of business cards.
Here we compiled five tips for creating killer business cards for freelancers and small businesses, especially those that may have less knowledge about design. Creative professionals are free to chime in too. Check out the tips below and let us know what else should be added to this business cards 101 module in the comments below.
1.) Use color for emphasis.
You might not have a lot of space on your business cards, but you can certainly still say a lot if you use colors wisely. Colors are rich with symbolism and offer a way to communicate moods and ideas that simply aren’t possible with just black and white. If your competitors use plain old one-color business cards, having well-executed colors on yours can be a marked advantage. You can use colors to help your business cards stand out, or to highlight specific parts of your cards’ design, most likely your brand, contact info, or a call-to-action. Just be sure that any use of color is on-brand and well-considered. Using the wrong color combinations or colors inappropriate for your brand can have the opposite effect of repelling would-be customers.
2.) Design with a purpose.
This can be said about any print material used for promotions or marketing, but for business cards this is even more important. You don’t have a lot of space on most business cards, so you want to dedicate most of the real estate you do have toward the specific goal you have in mind for your design. Many business cards fail because they try to do a lot of things at once, and excel at none of them.
If your intent is to make your card a showcase for your brand, then it should be highly centered around that concept. If you want it to simply be something that contains your contact details, make sure that everything is clear and laid out well. When you want your card to have multiple goals, work with a designer who can help you meet all of them. Just understand that with such a limited space to work with, something has to give. This is why some customers order business cards with different designs, each design optimized for a specific purpose.
3.) Use appropriate images.
This is highly dependent on the context of where your business cards will be used. You don’t want to include images simply because you think they’re cute or attention-grabbing. Sometimes, it might be more appropriate to have no images at all. You won’t have a lot of space for images on a typical business card, so if you do choose to include any, you want to make them count. If you’re printing your logo, it’s best to use vectors or high-quality rasters to prevent fuzziness and pixelation.
4.) Don’t use clip art or obvious stock images.
It’s possible that a good designer can make either of those elements work. But however you cut it, you will always be left with a business card that has design elements other businesses have used. We know that stock images and clip art can save us a ton of time. But the end result is invariably a card that is not only generic, but often quite laughable as well. “Worst design” rundowns are rife with print materials that use stock images and clip art in hilarious ways. If your brand means anything at all to you, it is worth taking the time to build something unique. Something that anyone can identify as yours and yours alone.
5.) Know what a business card isn’t.
Business cards work best as a personal handout, not for simply building awareness or for closing a sale. They’re best used when you’re there to physically hand them out and explain a few things about your brand. Business cards are also great when you give them to people who have signaled interest, but aren’t necessarily ready to buy anything yet. They’re not necessarily the best choice if you want to build awareness with a large number of people at once. That would be better served by posters, billboards, and other mass-marketing tools. They’re not the thing you should be giving out for closing a sale either. In these cases, you might be better off giving a catalog or a brochure.
A business card isn’t a sales sheet, or a brochure. It’s not even a flyer. Sure, you can put basically whatever you want into the space you have, but you should ask yourself if that’s what you want to do. Your audience will have expectations when they receive a business card. Sure, it can be useful to surprise them with a unique card. But we should also understand the limits of the medium.
Sr. Analytical Coach and Speaker
Nancy’s extensive experience over the last 40 years in the dental industry include team leader, management, treatment coordinator, recare facilitator, collections expert, marketing coordinator, lecturer, team trainer, analyzing the systems of a practice and as a buyers advocate. She offers workshops for your business team and managers.
With a strong focus on an administrative skillset combined with an NCCP Level II coaching certification she is a valuable resource for her clients.
Coupled with her extensive knowledge and experience, Nancy has written numerous articles, co-authored a book published in 2006 and continues to lecture across North America (USA & Canada) Bahamas and Bermuda. Once you ‘experience’ her presentations, you will understand her passion for dentistry.
As a strategic analytical coach, Nancy provides on-site comprehensive practice assessments by methodically uncovering areas of enhancement allowing her clients to maximize their potential in achieving their desired goals.
Nancy brings a spirit of optimism, energy and her enthusiasm for dentistry. Nancy is naturally motivated to be at her very best. This is evident by her drive and commitment to the clients she has the pleasure of working with. Since 1977 she has worked through the ever changing face of dentistry and is confident in her ability to uncover your practice potential. Speaking is her true passion which is evident at her presentations.!!
Thank you Marty for the great testimonial for Lisa. We are very blessed to have her on our team.
We are all aware of the limited ‘business’ guidance offered in dental school. Dentists tell me all the time “I just want to do dentistry” and many operate their business based on hope…hope the phone rings, hope the patients schedule an appointment and hope they pay. Hope is not a strategy.
Like your Comprehensive Oral Evaluation of a patient, an assessment provides a thorough exam and treatment plan for your business. It reviews all aspects of your practice and enables you to determine the areas that are working and the areas that could be enhanced. What are the risks if you do nothing?
From a business perspective, revenue is a must so you can pay your bills, offer team incentives and plan for retirement. Your assessment certainly looks at your production/collection and the industry norm and reviews where opportunity lies for your practice but it also looks at team dynamics (drama, teamwork, cohesiveness, roles and responsibilities) and leadership. (vision and future plans)
Your assessment will look at the following areas to better understand how your practice would benefit so you can make changes and have a strategic plan. Your assessment will include a customized program (no obligation) that will address your individual needs.
- Establish the doctors’ 1yr, 5yr and 10yr personalized plan and vision for his/her practice. (Partnerships, associates, moving, building, retirement)
- Review the team dynamics – do you have the right people on your team or in the right position where they will be effective
- Areas of enhancement for the practice determined through confidential team interviews
- Capacity…what if you could generate the same revenue in less hours, be more efficient, work smarter not
harder…maybe even take a vacation!
- A review of your patient base and demographics. Are patients falling out of the system? New patients coming in,
attrition and patient retention.
- Marketing plan…what works for your practice? Do you have 10 new patients joining your practice per month but
12 patients leaving?
- Scheduling effectiveness – doctor time/chair time. Why do you run late or have no lunch?
- Financials including your ‘Accounts Receivable’, statements, billing, collecting co-pays up front, outstanding
accounts, financial arrangements for patient treatment, effectiveness of PPO’s and insurance participation and
- We will determine your ‘breakeven point’ …the amount of money you have to put in the bank each month to
cover your expenses and take a draw….(yes you can actually pay yourself) We review your Profit and Loss
(P+L) statement with you.
- Hygiene department review including hygiene production, individual $ per hour, hygiene protocols, your perio
program and recare system to help retain patients and insure their care is paramount through regular intervals
- Treatment planning – creating value so your patients see the benefits of moving forward with treatment or risks
involved if they don’t move forward. Patients will leave with all the information needed to make informed decisions and limit your liability by having signed documentation. Where are all of those patients that were diagnosed treatment but never came back?
- Assess the effectiveness of your clinical area, organization of operatories, lab cases, equipment, maintenance, technology plans, sterilization and computer effectiveness
You owe it to yourself to inspect all aspects of your practice so you can make informed decisions. I would love to share my 41 years’ experience in the dental field so you can have the practice you want and deserve.
*Now offering virtual assessments – $3995. (No expenses)
We all get emails from people wondering who they are and what the email is about. Here is a quick Red Flag flyer from Worksighted.
The most critical success factor for a team is the way in which the team members relate to each other and the Dentist and vice-versa. This chemistry between the team members and the Dentist determines to a large extent the success or failure of the team and practice. Once the elements of trust, integrity and commitment are established within the team and the Dentist, the team is well on its way to becoming a high performing practice.
The bottom-line here is that the relationship between the team members where each gives and takes from the other team members is the most crucial aspect that determines the success of the team.
Contact KLAS Solutions for information on creating your synergistic team. email@example.com