A few years ago, people gave away Staples business cards every chance they get. Whether it was in a lunch meeting or a chance encounter on the street, you could count on someone slapping a business card from Staples into your open palm. But with the decline of the once-all-important Rolodex, many business owners are wondering if their Staples business cards are still relevant.
With more and more businesses encouraging their employees to be eco-friendly, you may be wondering if you should still use business cards and include them in your promotional or marketing material.
Today, you can take a closer look at issues with business cards, what are their benefits and how you can design a great business card.
What are Staples Business Cards?
Most businesses, especially one of the over 30 million small businesses in the United States, don’t have the time or the resources to go to a specialty store to have their business cards printed. Instead, they head down to the nearest Staples. This massive office supply store offers printing services for business cards. Staples business cards are, well, a staple of small companies everywhere.
Business cards from Staples tend to be affordable but generally well made because they offer a variety of designs and materials. Unfortunately, Staples business card tend to be associated with generic businesses because most people tend to choose their pre-made designs.
However, issues surrounding the practice of making and handing out business cards from Staples go beyond their designs.
What are the Issues with Business Cards?
Business cards used to be handed out every and it’s still part of some business’s protocol. But efforts to make businesses more sustainable as well as an increasing willingness to reduce waste in the environment have called the practice into question.
Some of problems people have with Staples business cards and business cards in general include the following:
They Get Thrown Out Quickly
Be honest, how often have you held on to a business card from Staples? A day? A week? According to some statistics, only 12 percent of all business cards handed out are retained for longer than a week. This means millions upon millions of business cards end up in trash cans instead of helping people connect with your business.
They Can Be Bad for the Environment
Environmental damage linked to Staples business cards and business cards in general include both their manufacture and their disposal. Advocates for digital business cards point out that paper manufacturing releases tens of thousands of pollutants into the environment, and discarded business cards make up millions of tons of solid waste.
There are Digital Options
Some businesses have cultivated paperless operations, which means they don’t print out anything on paper at all. These businesses point out that digital communications have largely made business cards form Staples inelegant and wasteful options, given that you can email your contact information directly to client or send them your relevant information on instant messaging software.
Their Design Matters
The success of a business card depends entirely on its design. Again, Staples business cards tend to be viewed as cheap because of their generic designs and look. But this can be detrimental because a bad business card can be worse for your business than having no card at all. Approximately 72 percent of customers will judge your business based on the card. Meanwhile almost 40 percent won’t patronize your company is your business card design looks cheap.
What are the Benefits of Business Cards?
With all the hurdles and issues regarding them why would any business still want to print out their own business cards? What benefits can business cards for construction give to companies in that field? Here are a few of the benefits your small business can get from something as simple as a Staples business card.
If you’re in a rush and you can’t scribble down your email or cellphone number, a business card can pass on the information immediately. Everything you need a potential client to know will already be on your card and they can peruse it at their leisure. This means less chances that you strike up a good conversation with a lead and lose it just because you forgot to give them your contacts.
Some people still hold on to the practice of handing out business cards, even if they’re business cards from Staples. If you’re having a meeting with a client, like a lunch appointment or similar engagement, some of them may still find it remiss if you don’t hand them a business card at the end. Having a card may make you appear more professional and help secure their business.
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has access to a smartphone and not everyone can whip one up should the need arise. But what happens if you need to exchange contact information? During such an event, a Staples business card is worth more than a well-designed website. The contact information on the card can also help people without emails or digital channels to reach out to you.
Potential Conversions Anywhere
You’ll never know when you’ll run into a potential client or lead. How do you let them know you’re open for business or looking for new customers? A business card from Staples can mean the difference between landing a new customer and not making any new business for a week.
What Type of Business Should Get Business Cards?
You may be wondering what sort of business will benefit the most from business cards. You may also be under the impression that only high-powered people, like lawyers or doctors, should carry business cards around. But you couldn’t be more wrong. Any business can enjoy these benefits. Professional cards for photography businesses can have as much impact as construction business cards.
Anywhere you meet a potential client, you can give them the option to contact you and become a customer by just handing them a small piece of cardboard. A simple Staples business card can mean a world of difference for a small business, provided it has the right designs.
How Do You Design a Great Business Card?
As previously stated, a business card needs to look professional if you want people to take it seriously. Your business card design can be an important factor in landing a new client.
Here are some design tips you can use if you want to spruce up the designs on a Staples business card or when you’re making your own.
Keep it Simple
Simplicity is key, especially when you’re working with such a small amount of space. Don’t crowd the card with too many frills and décor. Stick with the relevant information and maybe your logo.
Get Creative with Shapes
You can make your business card more memorable by playing around with the shape of the card itself. For example, photography business cards can look like small cameras or strips of film. They can even look like Polaroid photographs. This will make it more likely that clients remember your card and keep them.
Choose the Right Materials
Choose materials that are in line with your business’s principles. For example, if you’re opening an eco hotel, then you may want more eco-friendly cards than the business cards from Staples. You can use material that’s friendlier to cardboard recycling or use fewer chemicals and dyes. The right materials for your business can also mean more affordable or more durable, depending on your ideas and industry.
Make it Complete
Your business card design should have everything a potential client needs to know, from your digital contact information to other communication channels. Your business name and address should also be prominently placed. If you want, your business hours and other locations can also be on your card.
The information on your business card can change at the drop of a hat. Perhaps you lost your phone or you’ve changed your website address. Ensure you update this information regularly or you may lose clients anyway because they have the wrong contacts.
Just because you’re still using business cards doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate more modern features into it. For example, you can print QR codes on your business card that links directly to your website or include small RFID strips that allows them to get bonuses from stores.
The Right Color Schemes
Choose the color of the card and the font on your Staples business cards or customized cards carefully. Yes, black cards may look sleek, but what about the font? Will words still be visible if you use such a dark background? What about the color of your font? Is it too bright to read or is too unappealing?
In the end, business cards are still useful things to keep in your bag or purse. As long as you don’t go overboard and print out hundreds of Staples business cards at a time, you can use them effectively without harming the environment. The next time you want to impress a client or conclude a business meeting, you can slide a business card and know that they have the choice of becoming a customer.