Master The Most Basic Marketing Tool: The Business Card

Probably the least expensive and most effective marketing tool you must have in your bag of marketing tools is your business card. Yes, the simple, humble, business card.

That simple little 2 inch by 3.5 inch business card is one heck of a tool. It tells people you’ve met and prequalified as a potential customer where to find you, how to contact you and gives them a gentle reminder of who you are and what you do so when that customer needs you, they can reach out and get in touch with you.

How many times have you been out to a business networking event and run into people who didn’t even have business cards with them? And again, how many times have you bumped into someone in a grocery store, or in the line up at the coffee shop and been caught yourself WITHOUT your business card?

Recently, I was at a local networking event and once again, the importance of having a business card was impressed upon me. As part of a group exercise, we had to stand, introduce ourselves to the room and give an elevator pitch of who we are, what we do and what we can do for others. Three folks in attendance were offering services that were of interest to me, yet two of those three folks did not have a business card on them they could give me. Thankfully, I had my business cards with me and was able to get my contact information to them, but now I’m waiting (and still waiting) for those folks to get in touch with me so I can place an order and do some business with them. So, there is the first lesson I want to impart to you: ALWAYS HAVE BUSINESS CARDS WITH YOU!

Really, you DO need to have business cards with you at all times because you never know when an opportunity will arise and you need to exchange contact information. How many times have you been out picking up office supplies, or pop into a coffee shop for a quick cuppa, or run into someone on the street that could use your services (or you need to use theirs)…those micromoments are opportunities to do business, or at least plant the seed to do some business in the future and giving someone your business card so they can find you when they need to is a golden opportunity. If you don’t have a business card to hand out, you just missed that opportunity!

Every business card should contain the following information:

• Your business logo

• Your business name

• Your name

• Your address, city, state (or province), zipcode/postal code

• Phone number (direct line and/or extension)

• Fax number

• Email address

• Web site URL

• Any social media links or icons you or your business uses

Do remember, there are TWO sides to every business card. It doesn’t cost a lot more to print on the back of your business card, so why waste the space by leaving it blank? I heartily recommend using the back of your business card to tell a little more about your business, list additional services, put a special offer to seal the deal or encourage a potential customer to follow up meeting you with action (like doing a pair of pants for free when sending you an order). My personal favorite for the back of a business card is to print your most powerful USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Here is the one I used on my own business card for my dry cleaning shop: If you care about your clothing as much as I care about my dry cleaning, we should talk.

In fact you might want to print up a variety of business cards. Print everything I listed above on the front of your business card and then print a different message on the back. On one series of business cards, you might want to have your USP, on another series, you might want to put some kind of offer; and on a third series, you might want to list your services. You could carry the different cards with you at all times and pull the one card that meets the needs of the situation, such as:

– Meeting a prospective customer (you give them the business card with the offer on the back, or the list of services

– Meeting a prospective commercial client (you give them the USP on the back card, or the list of services on the back card)

Never ever be stingy with your business cards. I have a friend in the real estate business. He gives out at least three business cards for each one he collects because he has discovered many folks will pass on his business card to someone who is looking for a property. You might want to think of creating a referral type business card where you can encourage and reward your customer to take some of your business cards and hand them out to people they may encounter who might have need of a good dry cleaner, turning all your customers into a referral machine for your business.

A business card is such a simple marketing tool, one that is often over looked. But, when used the right way, it becomes an effective tool steering new customers your way. If you haven’t been using your business card to the fullest, START!, if you don’t have any business cards, GET SOME! Call your local printer, or log into www.Vistaprint.com and order some today!

About Darcy Moen

Darcy Moen opened his first drycleaning shop at the age nineteen. Over the next sixteen years, he built his first 600 square foot plant into a chain of 5 stores, creating and testing his own marketing programs along the way. Darcy is a multi-media marketer, working in digital signage, video, print, direct mail, web, email and is a social media expert certified by Facebook for Pages, Insights, and Ad systems. Please visit www.drycleanersuniversity.com