How To Make Your Business Cards Stand Out

A Guide From Graphic Designer Tania Taber

Business cards are a great marketing opportunity. If you haven’t got one to give out to prospective clients, you will be missing out on potential business.

To save money, a lot of companies go to one of those online print companies and get a card churned out – you know the sort of thing – perhaps a bit of that infamous typeface “comic sans” and a cheeky cartoon or a bland clip art image – these are usually a disappointment in terms of the look and feel of the card and the general design, creating a not-so-professional image. And of course, others may use the same image as is on your card so it’s not unique to you. There are several business cards I have come across supplied by an online printers using the very same stylised illustration of animals for their business – one was for an animal acupuncturist and the other for a dog walking business. This is very confusing!

So, it’s important to get it right. It needs to stand out against the many competitors in your marketplace. You will be handing these cards out to people you meet and they will take a very quick look and then put it in their purse or wallet. So you have to grab their attention in a few seconds and this will ensure they remember you and your business.

The first thing worth mentioning is to make sure everything is spelt correctly and the information is spot-on. It may seem silly to mention this, but you’d be surprised what gets through. If there are any spelling errors, it will give the impression that your business is unprofessional and not up to the job.

You need to make sure that nothing wanders off the edge of the card so make sure you keep all written information 5mm from the edge. Any images used need to be of high quality – the higher the resolution, the better. Typography also needs to be legible – 7.5pt is the minimum size – but not too big though, as there is limited space on the card.

Be careful not to overcrowd it with information too. A typical business card size is: 85mm x 55mm. Even though the space is limited, you can still get creative! The only things that need to be on the card are: Name, job title, address, telephone numbers, email address and website, and of course THE LOGO! There is no need for company registration numbers. There might be some room for a strap line though (think “Every Little Helps” by Tesco or “I’m lovin’ it” by McDonald’s). A strap line should be as succinct as possible, five words or less if possible, and should convey the essence of your brand.

 

business cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To really make the business cards stand out you can use special finishes on it to make it more tactile and memorable. Things like a spot UV (a shiny bit!) or a metallic ink or perhaps a die-cut (a funny shape cut out of the card). Of course, this makes the printing more expensive but can more than make up for that by reaping the rewards in terms of new business afterwards. Or sometimes companies go one step further and have their cards made out of materials other than card. Be as creative as your imagination or your designer’s flair allows!

 

business cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose fonts to match your logo – either a sans serif (like Helvetica) or a serif face (like Times Roman which have flourishes at the end of the strokes). Colours must also reflect your logo with black as a good colour choice for the type information so it’s as readable as possible.

 

business cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So in summary, the business cards must reflect your business and what you are trying to convey – perhaps your business was established by a family member in centuries past – you may wish to convey this with a classic design indicating a company that can be relied on, that’s classic, that is traditional, that has stood the test of time, or a new company wanting to convey structure, modernity, simplicity or freshness. Let your imagination take you to the recesses of your mind and go create!

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How To Organise Your Home Office

Hello – welcome back! Or if you’re new here – welcome, pull up a chair and stay for a while. We’re passionate about all things ‘small business’. We’ve talked on the blog previously about ideas on how to create your dream office but this week we’re focusing on the practical side of things. Keeping your home office space organised is by no means easy – especially when you’re busy running a business. Here are a few things we think are essential to an organised and efficient space.
Drawers
It goes without saying that all businesses and home offices have one thing in common: paperwork. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic trick to making it organise itself but luckily there are plenty of storage systems available these days that make it look a lot more appealing. Filing cabinets still have their place, but there are tons of drawer based solutions available too. We’re loving the look of this one from Ikea.

home office drawers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shelves
Shelves are also great places to store paperwork, as long as it’s organised in an attractive way. Although, if you’re unlikely to want to put things back in their designated spot on the shelf it’s better to opt for a closed system. A row of sleek magazine files can look great, and you can also keep any books, ornaments or memorabilia relating to your business on them too. Just try to keep it minimal – when it comes to shelves, less is often more otherwise they can become hotspots for piles of receipts!

home office Shelves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Pin Board

A pin board above your desk is a great addition to your home office. Perfect for popping up day-to-day reminders, or you can also use it to pin inspirational images or quotes. It’s the perfect spot for anything that’s going to make you smile when you’re sending invoices at 9.30pm.

home office Pin Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Bull Dog Clips

This may sound random but organising your wires helps keep your desktop clear. And a clear, organised desk is proven to help with productivity. We found this hack online and recently implemented it in our home – it totally works! No more scrabbling around trying to match the cable with the device – they’re all at the side of the desk ready to go.

home office Bull Dog Clips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Desk Life
All home offices will need a desk or clear surface which you can work from, and often you will need to keep a few items on hand. Pens, pencils, note books, tape measures (!) you get the idea! Why not add a couple of nicer items to your desktop to inspire you to keep it clean and tidy? A nice
lamp, or a nice coaster for your morning coffee all help to create a work space that feels intentional. We all want to spend as little time as possible at our desks, but whilst you’re there you may as well enjoy the view.

home office Desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your tips for creating an organised home office? Any tips and tricks for those pesky but oh-so-necessary receipts? Comment below – we would love to hear from you!

Team LP

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Home Office Inspiration

When we last talked about work space on the blog. We were day-dreaming about our ultimate Local Pages office. This week we’re looking at inspiration for that all important home office. Many of our clients are busy running their businesses during the day and then complete all the paperwork surrounding that business from home. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an inspiring and calming space to get productive in?
Monochrome Clean Lines
We love how super-sleek this space is. Monochrome mixed with the wooden floor creates a laid back, streamlined space to work in.

home office Monochrome Clean Lines
Creative Corner
Maybe you don’t have an entire room of your home to dedicate to a home office (we know the feeling!), you can still make a corner of the room feel put together and inspirational.

home office Creative Corner
Light and Bright
Just look at all those windows surrounding the desk. Natural light in a work space is high on our home office lust list. And the plant too.

home office Light and Bright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Executive
Leather chair, dark panelling, bookshelves? Check, check, check. We love this modern take on executive chic.

home office Executive Vibes
Space for Two
Maybe you need a space for you and a partner to work side by side. An office for two is quite common these days as businesses become more open to working from home and more of us are taking the plunge and starting our own ventures.

home office Space for Two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does your home office space look like? Are you tempted to put some effort into creating something different? We would love to hear from you – comment below!

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8 Essential Branding Tips For Small Businesses

If you think that branding is just something for big businesses with big budgets, think again. Branding is just as important for small businesses, maybe even more so. If you don’t have the budget to hire a big branding agency (and not many small businesses do) here are 8 simple steps you can take to keep your brand in check.

 

  1. Remember – It’s not all about your logo

Your logo is important, but branding is about far more than just that. Your logo is a badge that will represent you to the world, it’ll help distinguish your business from your competitors and it may even help customers to understand what you do. But it’s just one small part of a much bigger picture and even the best logo won’t build a successful brand on its own.

 

  1. Know what you stand for

What values and ideals are at the core of your business? What motivated you to start and what keeps you going? If you’re unsure of where you’re going and why your customers will be even less sure. Keep a list of at least three core values and make sure that any new products, services and marketing campaigns are true to them.

 

  1. Know what value your business provides

Whatever type of business you run, one thing is guaranteed your customers are not interested in just buying your products or your services. What they’re interested in is results. It’s the real life benefits that your products can offer them that will really get them engaged. A lot of businesses make the mistake of focusing on the features of their products and wonder why they’re not getting results. By taking a step back and communicating the benefits they offer you can give customers a really compelling reason to part with their money.

 

  1. Get inside your customers heads

Knowing your customers inside out is crucial. Forget about your taste and your preferences and focus on the people you’re trying to serve. Who are they? What are they looking for? What gets them excited? Keep your focus very narrow to start with; just think about your ideal customer.

Keep this profile in mind whenever you’re planning a new piece of marketing and build it just for them. This will really help to keep your message focused and effective.

 

  1. Keep a close eye on the competition

Identify your closest competitors and make sure you check up on them regularly. Who are they targeting? How are they doing it? What messages are they putting out? Where are they falling short? By doing this you can stay ahead of the game and fill gaps that they’re leaving. Remember, they’re probably watching your every move too.

 

  1. Find something unique to offer

Every business has something unique to offer, but many don’t take the time to identify it and use it to their advantage. Strong brands clearly stand out even in a crowded market. You might sell the same products as everyone else but that doesn’t mean you have to offer exactly the same service. If you’re struggling to find something that makes you stand out, go back to your customers, think about what they need and where your competitors might be falling short.

 

  1. Be consistent

Whatever direction you choose to take your brand in, make sure you’re consistent about it. That means keeping an eye on every tiny detail from how your logo looks, to the colours and fonts you use right through to your website and the kind of language you use when you talk to your customers. All this will build up to give the impression of professional, credible and trustworthy business.

 

  1. Keep it simple

We all lead busy lives and few people have the time to unravel complex messages. Simple, well thought out communication is more likely to get through and be remembered. This applies to your logo, your marketing material, your customer communications – even your business processes.

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