No-brainers? Maybe. But you’d be surprised how many people get it wrong.

What you don’t put on your business card could affect your business negatively.

Looking through a pile of business cards on my desk, there are many with absolutely no name of the person who owns or runs the business. So I look on their website, still no name listed anywhere, not even in the “About Us” section. Then I look on their Facebook page, nothing listed. One card in particular has an email address, Instagram/Facebook information, website — but no name of who to contact. Also no phone number on the card.

What you do have on your business card, should be simple branding and marketing 101 if you will — but not everyone knows what to put on their cards. And some people are nervous about putting out too much information. I understand that.

Here is a simple breakdown for you of what you should have on your business cards and simple branding tips across the board.

Do include your ...
  • Business name, and what you do. This may seem like a no-brainer, if you’re a dog trainer, it should say that on your card, or potentially in your business name. So if someone has your card and remembers meeting you, they know what you do. But often the name of the business does not give away what it does, the product it provides or services it covers. Make it clear.
  • Line, if you have one.
  • Name. You’d be surprised how many people don’t. If it’s a hard-to-pronounce name, get creative with it, be proud of it. You can put your first name and “sounds like,” and show your name sounded out as you see in the dictionary.
  • Title.
  • Location. Ok, so many people don’t put their mailing address because it may be their home address. I get it. If you are a hyper-local business serving areas near you — you can just say: “Serving the ____, _____ & _____ areas”
  • Professional email address. Having a Gmail, Yahoo or other generic email address on your business card looks less professional than using your own domain name. Not to be a stickler, we all start out small, but after a while, having a business email is just going to make you look much more professional. 
  • Website. If you are brand new in business and maybe have a domain name but no website yet, I still recommend having your website on your business card. Set a landing page for your website, saying “Coming Soon” or “Debuting in 20XX.” This way, you don’t have to order new business cards with your website added.
  •  Phone number. If you use your cellphone for business, be sure your voicemail reflects that. “Hi, you have reached Tom Miller at ABC Dog Training, please leave your name and number and we will get back to you shortly.” Simple. Neat and clean.
Don’t include your ...
  • Social media handles. You don’t need all of your social media addresses on your card. Drive people to your website. There, you can have clickable icons to your social media channels. On my business card, I just have the logos of the social media channels I am on — and my bio on each social media channel is the same. 

Last, always carry business cards with you wherever you go. You never know who you may meet, even if you are just out with friends or in the last place you thought you would meet a potential new customer.


NANCY E. HASSEL is founder and president of American Pet Professionals, an award-winning networking and educational organization dedicated to helping pet entrepreneurs, businesses and animal rescues to grow, work together and unite the pet industry. Contact her at nancy@american petprofessionals.com

 

This article originally appeared in the March-April 2017 edition of PETS+.