Your business card is your calling card, it should be a tool that will get people to remember you and contact your business. But if your business card is poorly designed, has important contact information in unreadable fonts, or looks unprofessional your card will be useless. Be sure your card works hard for you by avoiding these 10 common business card mistakes.

Boo Boo #1: Having a Card that Blends in with All the Rest
The great majority out there leave no real impression and soon become a faint memory. Leave someone with a card that looks great, feels great and clearly defines what your business does – and you and your card won’t soon be forgotten.

There is absolutely no excuse today for an unattractive or unprofessional-looking business card. If you can not afford a professionally designed card, use the many software templates that are available online today to help guide your decisions about what should go on your card.

Boo Boo#2: Presentation of a Poor-Quality Card
An acquaintance of mine just printed up some “home-made” cards. She spent five dollars for an Ink Jet business card kit to print 150 business cards. I was very impressed initially with her card: great use of colors, fonts, and the layout was pleasing to the eye. Then I held the card in my hand: it was feather-light and I could feel the perforations around the sides which were already peeling. There was also a fine white line running through the red ink of the company name.

Don’t skimp, you want to have good stock paper, ink that doesn’t run from a drop of water, and the card should feel substantial and pleasing to the touch. A poor quality card implies a business that will have poor quality products and services. Rather than attracting business, this type of card would most likely repel prospective customers.

BadBusinesscard2Boo Boo #3: A “Mystery”
When someone looks at your card can they tell immediately what your business does? If not, you’re not likely to get as many calls or referrals.

Boo Boo #4: Not Providing a Unique Selling Proposition
Many businesses miss the golden opportunity of utilizing their business card to its full marketing potential. Your card should state at least one very powerful reason a customer should do business with you!

Boo Boo #5: Using an Oversized Card
Common sense dictates the use of the traditional and standard 3.5 by 2-inch business card. Anything bigger will not fit in wallets or most business card holders. Chances are it will end up being filed in the trash bin.

Boo Boo #6: Print that is too Small
Does your business card have a font size so small that you need to hand out a magnifying glass in order for it to be read? Beware of this practice. You may be able to cram more information onto the card with a small font, but what good is it if people can’t read it? Since 95 percent of the population aged 35 or older need reading glasses, a good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Your name point can be a little larger; i.e., 9-10 point, and the company name usually looks good at about 12-15 point – unless you have a professionally-designed logo.

Boo Boo #7: A Cluttered Card
An appealing business card does not contain the print content of a novella. Too much print looks busy and terribly unprofessional: Simple is best. Sort out the information and keep only what’s totally necessary for someone to know your name, your company, what you do, and why they should use you — but don’t skimp on your contact information; you want to be easy to reach.

BadBusinesscard3Boo Boo #8: Inadequate or Poor Use of Color
Spice it up with a little splash of color; you’d be surprised what a difference it makes. Avoid the common mistake of grey print on a white background; it lacks contrast and the print is difficult to read.

On the flip side, don’t make the mistake of color-overload. Too many colors that don’t complement one another will make the card look busy and will detract from the content of your card.

Boo Boo #9: Not including email address and website on your card.
Many people use email instead of making phone calls. And people who want more information about your business often want to learn more without a sales pitch. So they go to your website and read about you there. They also will look there for any social media presence you have listed, and then look at those pages. If your email address and website are missing from your card, you are likely to miss out on some business.

Boo Boo #10: Cards that Don’t Get Distributed
What good is having a box full of cards if they’re just sitting there collecting dust? It would serve you and your business better to apply the old axiom, “Use it or lose it.” What can you lose? Business.

Always have a supply of your cards wherever you go. Give them out when appropriate, and while you’re at it, don’t hesitate to give out more than one. Invite people to pass the extras along to others who might need your service. You might be surprised at how often this can result in a referral.