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Visiting Cards made simple

Jul 20 2012, 14:39   |   By SME Mentor

Gargi Banerjee

An aspiring entrepreneur needs to meet people in order to get business. When meeting someone for the first time, a visiting card becomes the identity of an entrepreneur. A prospective client makes his first impression based on the visiting card that is handed out to him. In a nutshell, a visiting card is the first effective marketing tool that an entrepreneur has in his hands.

If you are a start up, it is very important for you to design the right visiting card for yourself and your employees. A well designed visiting card will make a lasting impression on a potential client and enhance your business prospects. Here are some tips that will help you design the right kind of business card.
Design a unique card

If you have a card that blends in with the rest, it is most likely that it will end up in the trash bin, as soon as you leave. With all the modern printing technologies that are available today, there is absolutely no excuse for you to have an unprofessional card.  Design a card that is a reflection of your business, and clearly spells out your unique selling proposition as compared to your peers. Bharathiraja Thangappalam founder and CEO of Mitra Studios Pvt Ltd, a digital marketing and brand consulting firm says "More than an established brand, it is important for an entrepreneur to design a card that makes a distinct impression on a client." A visiting card design should be able to grab attention immediately and yet be professional.

How much is too much?

Having a cluttered visiting card is not a good idea. Too much of print in small fonts on the card not only makes it look unprofessional, but is absolutely unnecessary. Keep the information at the bare minimum. The character of the card should be its distinguishing factor and should convey the nature of your business. However make sure your company name and contact information is clearly visible. People looking at your card should be able to figure out where you are reachable at the very first look of your visiting card.

Spice and size

Make intelligent use of colour and logo design on your visiting card. This is what makes an impression. Thangappalam of  Mitra Studios cites the example of having worked with Chef Koushik in Chennai, whose enterprise that goes by the name of "Eatitude" and provides food consultancy services to anyone wanting to set up a cafe or a restaurant in the city. "Since he wanted to project the image of food and beverage consultant, we created a character for him that was a constant through his website, visiting card and other stationery. His visiting card was unique and resembled a menu card. This had an instant connect with his clients." It is therefore important to spice up your card in order to make a lasting impression.

In order to create an impression, do not go overboard and design an oversized card. While a card should have a unique identity, it should easily fit into a standard card holder or a wallet of your potential client.

Digital printing vs traditional printing

There are a lot of design firm and independent designers who can help you with the designing of your visiting card. All you have to do is approach a design firm who will not only design your visiting cards, but can offer you package deals of Rs 10,000- Rs 15,000 at least. These packages include logo design, website design, visiting cards and stationery.

However remember that the printing costs will be separate, so you need to budget accordingly. If it is only the visiting the cards that you need to print 200 cards will cost you roughly around Rs 300-500.However trends are changing these days and aspiring entrepreneurs' looking for cards that will project a unique identity, the use of handmade paper, hardboard and metallic finish cards are also in. The costs however mount in this case, and may even cost you Rs 800-1000 for the same 200 cards.

If this seems like a very expensive option, you can also opt for digital printing of visiting cards. There are sites such as www.printbindaas.com that help you choose from over 1000 design templates on the site itself. You can choose a template and add your text onto the card. Once you have approved the design, you can make an online payment and the cards will be delivered at your doorstep.

The cost of printing cards from websites such as www.printbindaas.com is much lesser as compared to that of a traditional printer. You can choose to 100 cards for as less as Rs 200 on a normal art card. If premium recycled paper or metallic cards are what you want, you will need to pay Rs 500-520, for 200 cards. But this is if you choose from the design templates already available on the website. If you wish to have a custom made design, you can contact them on their website and can design a unique visiting card for you as well. However, the charge of designing will be anything between Rs 800-1000 and the printing costs will depend on the quality of paper that you choose.

 Suraj Goyal, founder and CEO, Printbindaas points out how his enterprise came about with the special needs of small business owners and start -ups in mind "When one is a starting up, one has budget constraints. Besides, he or she is still looking for an identity for his company that is bound to change over the years as the business grows." Goyal therefore does not recommend spending a fortune on branding solutions at the start up stage. "Platforms such as ours understand this need of small entrepreneurs' and we do our bit to provide quality work at reasonable prices."  He says.

 


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