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Business cards: why they’re still the best way to say hello

If you haven’t ordered any business cards for your private practice yet, then what are you waiting for? Business cards are still one of the best ways to introduce yourself to potential clients, expand your network and promote your therapy business.

Better still, there are simple ways to design and print professional-looking cards yourself, without spending a fortune. You can do it today.

And if you already have business cards, ask yourself these questions:

  • do they have the right information on them?
  • are they memorable (or will people politely take one and stuff it into a drawer the first chance they get?)


There are some tips for making a memorable business card at the bottom of this article, but here are some basics:

Colour: keep things clean, simple and elegant with a white business card
Thickness: cards are typically printed on 350gsm (grams per square metre) paper
Size: standard business cards are usually 70mm x 28mm
Details: be sure to include your name, professional title, phone number, business address, email address and website URL

Do you really need a business card?

It’s tempting to think that you don’t need a business card these days. Especially if you have a website that advertises your services online. You might already be doing good business without them.

But don’t underestimate the importance of having a physical calling card. It’s not just an invitation to get in touch, but a physical reminder of who you are and the services you can provide.

Business cards are convenient and affordable. They give a professional impression of your private practice and will also act as a signpost to your contact details - your website address (URL), business address and phone number.

If somebody gives you a business card, wouldn’t you like to be able to give them one back? You never know when you’re going to meet a prospective client, and it’s important to make a good first impression. A business card is the best way to do that.

What about digital business cards?

Of course, you could argue that the business card is becoming increasingly irrelevant in this brave new digital age. There are several virtual alternatives that you can try:

LinkedIn.com (www.linkedin.com): LinkedIn is a professional networking site with over 120 million registered users. It’s a great platform for connecting with colleagues and other practitioners and for job-hunting. It’s less useful for finding potential clients.

Plaxo.com (www.plaxo.com): Plaxo acts as a virtual address book, enabling you to easily share your contact details with other Plaxo users. Rather than have a stack of business cards, Plaxo stores all of your contacts information online and ensures that it is always up-to-date.

vCards: The vCard is a standardised electronic business card that is typically attached to email messages. Like a traditional business card, it can hold basic contact information (name, address, phone number, website URL), plus logos, photographs and multimedia clips. Using vCards will vary depending on the email software that you use.

Bump (http://bu.mp>/) - Install the Bump app on your Apple iPhone or Android handset and you can exchange contact information by simply ‘bumping’ your phones together. The phones detect the movement and squirt the data wirelessly using Bluetooth technology.

The problem with these digital business card alternatives is that not everybody uses them. And not everybody wants to use them. The traditional, physical business card is still a foolproof way of saying: "Hello. This is who I am. This is what I do. This is how you can get in touch with me."

How to make a business card today

Creating your own business card doesn’t need to be difficult. You don’t need to commission a designer or hire a printer. Online services such as moo.comvistaprint.co.uk and goodprint.co.uk will do it all for you. You can design your own business card or customise one of the many pre-designed templates provided.

All you need to include is: your name, professional title, your company name, what you do, your business address, phone number, email address and your website URL.

Of course, your business card can also convey the spirit of your private practice through the colours you choose and its look-and-feel. There’s no such thing as a perfect, magical design that fits every type of business.

However, there are some things you can do to make your business card more memorable – just pick and choose those you like best from the ideas below.

Some tips for creating a memorable business card

1. Use an online service to create your own card and minimise costs.
2. Go for a bold, compelling design that stands out.
3. Including a photo of yourself could help connect your name to your face.
4. Vertical text formatting will often catch the eye.
5. Choose a text style or font that’s easy to read.
6. Make use of the back of your business card - add your logo or slogan or a few details about your service.
7. Search for design inspiration. Take a look at the more adventurous business card designs here.
8. If you don’t want to use an online service to design your cards, you can always hire a designer to create something truly unique.