Business Cards: 3 Tips To Save You From My BIG Mistake
By: Karen Pattock
You’re excited that you’re finally starting your own business. Dreams of being your own boss, dictating your schedule & living a life of freedom fill your head. It’s an amazing feeling that’s for sure. But you know as well as I do that being a business owner comes with responsibility and the need to make some fundamental decisions about branding your company.
I have built 7 successful companies over the last 20 years. However, only one of these has been an Internet based company. It has taken me some time to make the necessary adjustments in how I do business because no matter what anyone tells you, an Internet based company changes some of the logistics for you as the business owner.
Recently, I was asked how a new entrepreneur should design her business card. Specifically, should she put a cell phone number on her card and is it a wise decision to purchase a separate cell phone just for clients?
This is a great question and I wanted to share my feedback with all of you.
I struggled with this exact same question when I first started my business. I made a really big mistake that didn’t take me long to correct.
There I was designing my first business card for my Health Coaching business and when it came to putting in a phone number I didn’t hesitate. I plugged my cell phone number right in and didn’t give it another thought. I wanted to make sure that anyone that wanted access to me had it. I wasn’t going to miss out on a client.
Well as my traffic started to pick up and I was holding local seminars on healthy eating I was handing my business cards out by the handful. What do you think happened next?
Yes, I started getting phone calls. But the calls weren’t coming in while I was sitting at home in my quiet office working on my business. They came in while I was in a noisy restaurant and couldn’t hear or when I was in the grocery store where there was terrible reception. I quickly realized that I wasn’t giving a very professional first impression while I’m asking them to repeat themselves over and over because I couldn’t hear them.
I knew that it would be much more professional to return a call when I was in the right place than to be available 24×7 and answer the call in an inappropriate setting.
I’ve learned a lot since then and want to share three tips with you that will be extremely beneficial in helping you decide what setup is right for you and your business.
Tip #1) – When you have a physical location, (a/k/a brick and mortar), for your business, where your clients can visit, it makes sense to have an actual phone tied to a landline. Depending upon your setup you may or may not have someone regularly answering that line.
However, if you are building a business that is completely virtual, your setup will look a little different.
I would recommend you promote your website and email address as contact points for clients to reach you. Should you feel that a phone number is another point of contact that you want to use then get a Skype line with a designated phone number. Once set up, you can have that number ring to a voicemail that you or your assistant monitor daily.
Tip #2) – Business cards are one of the places you can have a lot of fun using your design skills. It’s important, even when you own an Internet based business, to have business cards. You never know who you may run into that will want your business card at a local meet & greet or business conference. It looks much more professional to hand them a business card rather than scribbling your name and number on a piece of paper.
For the purposes of business connections you meet locally, you can decide between printing your cell phone number or the Skype line number on the business card. However, for potential clients that you may meet at a vendor show or the like, I wouldn’t recommend including a phone number. Stick with your email address and website URL.
Tip #3) – The option to purchase a separate cell phone for business purposes seems expensive and not necessary. Using the two tips above you can establish many points of contact for those trying to reach you and if done in the way I’ve described, will allow you the opportunity to ready yourself for your response without feeling backed in a corner, (or in an inappropriate location like I was).
One of the best places I’ve found to print brochures, address labels & business cards is Vistaprint.com. They have so many templates to choose from or you can design your business card with your own logo. It’s up to you.
Vistaprint.com is always running specials and discounts. If you don’t have one available, go to Google and type into the search box “Vistaprint discount codes”. You will get a whole list of websites that have collected discount codes just for you to use. Some may be expired, just pay attention to the expiration date, and you’ll be all set.
Designing and printing your business cards is one of the steps in being a new business owner that can make you really feel official. I still get excited when mine show up in the mail, even when it’s just a reorder.
Remember, making good decisions for your business means doing research and asking questions. Just don’t let the potential for making the wrong decision paralyze you from moving forward. When I realized I made a mistake, I had new business cards printed to correct the problem. It was easy enough and fixed the problem.
Have you visited my Facebook page? I’d love to see you there. Stop by and say “Hi”. Click the “like” button if you want daily support in building your business. I look forward to seeing you there.
With love and support,
Thank you so much for your wonderful tips.
I have recently created my website and will be fixing
My business cards to include a Skype number
What a fantastic idea and much more professional.
I will definetely be visitng you again.
Hi Cynthia! You are very welcome. I appreciate your feedback. I’m so glad that you are now part of the Make A Difference Make A Living community. ~Karen
Good afternoon Karen,
I look forward to becoming more ‘wised up’ in the business world of Nutritional Health ; until now my background has been Hazardous Waste Clean Up plant ops with minimum business experience.
Hi Paul! Thanks for stopping by. If I can be of service to you in your new “Nutrition Health” endeavor please let me know.
Hi Karen, Thanks for the advice. I shall look into the SKYPE possibility. I have a landline with a nice message and I find it much better to ring them when I am ready so that I am in control of the call, having worked out what outcome I want. I had been thinking of adding my mobile number but after reading the above, I shan’t.
June, I’m so thrilled that my past experiences are helping you with business decisions that you’re dealing with now. I believe in passing along any knowledge that I have to help others in their quest to be business owners. Thanks for your beautiful feedback.
great info ….just starting up with my healthcoach business and was designing my businesscard.. came across your information and immeditially erased my tel! do not want to be bothered by calls ( although many calls is also what you want ;))
how is skype tel different from answering machine idea?
I have another question… is it advisable to put in a few words what you do on the businesscard?
I’m so thrilled that you found this article helpful. The main goal is to have a way to record messages so that you are in charge of where you are when you answer the call. It adds a level of professionalism and allows you to be in a quiet place when speaking to your potential client. I would certainly add a tagline on your business card if you are already clear on your area of specialty. 🙂
We were discussing with my son whether he should have a mobile phone number on his new business cards. Since he has an online store, we have taken your advice and will just show the email address, website address, Facebook page etc and not state the mobile phone number. He doesn’t want to be hassled 24/7! Thanks Karen