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As the 2012-2013 school year draws to an end, I want to celebrate the work of all my talented students!

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A business card is one of the most important and cost-effective marketing tools a business can have, especially for businesses just starting out. A powerful and well-designed business card can effectively promote your business.

There are a number of common blunders businesspeople make when it comes to their own business cards. Avoid these and you will be well on your way to having a card that is noticeably appealing and an effective marketing tool.

Blunder #1: Having a Card that Blends in with All the Rest
The great majority of business cards 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 with the printing technologies that are available. These technologies make it easier and more affordable than ever to design a card that will get someone’s attention and at the same time look businesslike and appealing.

Blunder #2: 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 point, and the company name usually looks good at about 12-15 point.

Blunder #3: 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.

Blunder #4: Inadequate or Poor Use of Color
Spice up your business cards with a little splash of color; you’d be surprised what a difference it makes.

But…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.

Blunder #5: Having a “Mystery” Business Card
When someone looks at your business card, can they tell immediately what your business does? If not, you’re not likely to get as many calls or referrals.

In addition, your logo should have some connection to what your business does or what you are selling. For example, UPS (United Parcel Service) for 43 years had a logo on their business cards that showed a string-wrapped parcel sitting above the carrier’s shield.

Blunder #5: 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.

Blunder #6: Presentation of a Poor-Quality Card

Don’t skimp on money when it comes to business card. You want to have good stock paper, print that doesn’t bleed, 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.

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