Camping Equipment Company

Bad Business Cards

We have a little ritual which has developed over the past few months. Every time Rob comes home from a networking event with a stack of business cards in hand, we blow off steam by flipping through the stack to pick the best and the worst. Over the past few months, we’ve literally looked at hundreds of business cards, and let me tell you, something in the stack is always good for a laugh.

After spending wasting more than a couple of hours on this “hobby,” I convinced Rob to let me pop over and guest blog about some of the business card mistakes we see over and over again.

  1. No do-it-yourself business cards . . . Please don’t hand me a business card with “dangling chads”. You know what I mean – those little tiny paper tabs that are left behind when you tear apart your self printed business cards. This tells me that either business cards were an after thought, or you’ve been in business about 59 minutes, because with the plethora of online print shops and business supply stores on every corner, there’s pretty much no reason why you can’t have cards printed if you’ve been in business any longer than that.
  2. Tell me how to contact you! I can’t believe I actually have to type this, but please, please, please include an email address and phone number on your cards. I’m begging you people. How else am I supposed to get in touch with you, certified mail?? And, if you don’t have an email address, go get one now – that’s an order!
  3. No superhero names! This past week, I came across several cards where people had included terms like “The Accelerator” or “The (insert random word here)-ator” in prominent italic type under their name. Now, I know they are probably trying to use a catchy term to describe some certification, or business specialty they have, but this is not the place where you need to be creative on your business card. When I see The Negotiator on your business card, it leaves me guessing whether you broker contract negotiations, or whether that’s your moniker from your former WWF wrestling days.
  4. Make up your mind what you do for a living . . . I admit, we have our proverbial eggs in many baskets, and we are the first to promote the concept of having multiple streams of income, but they are not all listed on the same business card. When I see a business card telling me you specialize in business coaching, arbitration and you sell real estate, I just can’t be convinced you take any of these things seriously. If you really do specialize in all of these areas, get a different card to each one, and hand out the appropriate card to the appropriate person.
  5. Make up your mind who you are . . . Don’t hand out business cards with you and your wife’s name on it, unless you have a very good reason. Don’t hand out someone else’s card either, with or without the other person’s name scribbled out.
  6. If your details change, get new cards! When you scrawl your email address across the back of your card and I can’t read it, I move on and contact someone else. Business cards are cheap, and with the ready availability of professional printing previously discussed in point number 1 above, there’s pretty much no reason why you can’t print new ones.

I hope you enjoyed this. I’ll be back next week with some of the good, the bad, and the truly ugly trends in business cards we’ve run across recently. If you have your own great example, drop a comment here.

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