The “Do’s & Dont’s” of business cards

The venerable business card may have become the under-appreciated “red-haired step child” of your marketing program. But even in this technology oriented age everyone still uses business cards. You should too.

The problem? Most business cards are pathetically boring and/or ineffective. Why? Because most cleaners and restoration contractors treat their business card as an afterthought! (This is really sad since few components of your marketing will have a better ROI than a well-designed and liberally distributed business card!)

So let’s go through some of the finer business card points that are usually ignored:

1. Test a vertical layout. Most biz cards are horizontal and going vertical will help you stand out from the crowd.

2. Use a tent card. (Or at the very least have a double-sided card.) Crowding too much information on just one side of your card looks unprofessional. More space means you can comply with the next point…

3. Make sure your print is large enough to be legible. Many of your target customers have fading eyesight. A tiny font size creates a negative Moment of Truth for your prospect when THEY CAN’T READ THE INFORMATION! GRRRR! On the other hand remember that…

4. Leave “white space”. Contrary to your other marketing pieces a smaller font 8-9 rather than using a 12 point font will look better. The card is too small for a large font. Give the smaller font enough white space so your info will still stand out.

5. Use crisp, modern fonts. Forget Times, Arial, and Helvetica as they are the boring (and out-dated) double knit leisure suits of fonts. Try exciting fonts such as Impact, Century Gothic or Tahoma instead.

6. Don’t fill up the corners. Once again, white space is your friend. Or as Steve Toburen says, “Less is more!”

7. “Line up” everything. Strong left or strong flush right is much more powerful than a centered alignment.

8. Use periods or small bullets instead of parentheses around area codes. Leave off words such as web, fax, email and remember that you don’t need to put the old “www.” before your web site address any more.

9. If you use a second color do so sparingly. Use the same basic logo design elements for your letterheads and envelopes. (Steve loves the word “synergistic” when it is applied to your marketing!)

10. Use your picture on the card. People begin the “trust factor” once they have seen your face. (Assuming you are smiling!) Stick to a head-and-shoulders shot. (No one cares about your feet OR the size of your belly!)

11. Company name and phone number. This is what should be the focus of your card’s front side.

12. Website and social media links are very important. On the back side place your website and a QR code that sends them to your website. This is also the place for your social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Make sure all your online and social media info is grouped together.

NOTE: Steve Toburen likes to have the front side of the card glossy. But Steve also reminds us that the back of the card (or the inside in a tented version) should have a “Pen friendly” matte finish since many customers like to write notes on the card.

13. Have different business cards for different services. (Cards are cheap and have a tremendous ROI.) Which means…

14. Don’t scrimp on quality! Use at least 12 pt. card stock which is also referred to as 100 lb. card stock. Customers will use the quality of your card as a clue to the quality of your service.

15. PLEASE get professional help/advice. This is a favorite pet peeve for Steve and me. Professional carpet cleaners look down on “do-it-yourself-homeowners” and then what do we do with marketing decisions that have MUCH more impact on our financial future than a crummy job cleaning our living room carpet? WE try to hack it out ourselves! (And trust me- it looks this way to your customer!) The internet offers so many options for inexpensive, professional graphics design work.

NOTE: Check with Wayne Miller at if you want personalized help. (Wayne owns a carpet cleaning company and has a great industry reputation for reliability.) Or for more generic, “assembly line” consulting you can contact or  (We have no financial interest in any of these options.)

16. Get your employees involved. Make it the goal for everyone in the company to pass out a minimum of 10 their business cards every day. “Their card”? Absolutely! Make sure every employee has their own personal business card.

NOTE: Create a great “New Employee” positive Moment of Truth by presenting a new hire with their very own personalized business cards on their first day of work.

Follow the 16 points above and you will have a dynamite business card! BUT even the best business card won’t be of value moldering away in your wallet! So please implement Steve Toburen’s “Dedicated Sales Morning’ concept and put those business cards to work!

Bill Yeadon

PS I’ll be happy to do a free Business Card Analysis for any of our SFS site readers. Just scan in both sides and send them to  (Fair warning: Once you send them to me I may use them as an example during my marketing seminars!)

Finally, before printing don’t forget to use Steve’s “gut check”: Simply look at your final proof and ask yourself, “How will I feel as I hand these business cards out? Will I feel confident, excited and most of all PROUD of my company and myself?” If so, then off you go to PRINT!

1 thought on “The “Do’s & Dont’s” of business cards”

  1. Good information Bill. I have always used a tent business card but it hasn’t been redesigned in nearly 13 years now. This was a good reminder that I need a refresh on the card. Some really good suggestions too. I don’t have a photo on the current card and I still have the www. and no social media channels. Now I just have to find the time to tackle this project.

    Thanks for the good post.

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