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I often say that a business card is a company’s most-used brochure. It’s tiny as brochures go, but it has a very similar purpose—and can have greater importance. Besides providing your contact details, your business card gives those who receive it an instant impression as to who your company is, what it stands for and its level of professionalism.

Each time I go to a conference, I mentally critique every business card I get. Yes, I’m in marketing and I do those kinds of things, but I’m not alone. Whether consciously aware of it or not, one casts judgment and evaluates a company with every data point available. And at a conference, a business card may be the only data point people get.

As you ponder whether your business card is helping or hurting your company’s growth, consider these four critical questions:

Does your business card enlighten?

Since this may be the only brochure you’re able to distribute to all of your contacts, your business card needs to concisely and effectively convey what your company does. If it doesn’t do that, you’ve missed a huge opportunity.

Is the font so small that a person in their 40s can’t read it without their glasses?

I find that most graphic designers love small fonts, finding them visually pleasing. Don’t let them mislead you into thinking that small fonts are logical for business. The key is to make a business card legible when you need it to be read.

Did an amateur design it?

If so, throw it out. It’s likely doing your company’s credibility more harm than good. The same is true of business cards from those “500 cards for $20” websites. If your card looks like you can’t afford a designer or a professional printer, prospects may wonder what else you can’t afford and where else you are cutting corners.

Is your business card bland and forgettable?

Then rest assured it will soon be forgotten. This is no time to blend in. Consider having a bold color coating the back of the card and an edgy design on the front.

Above all, don’t think your business card’s design is insignificant. That is a huge mistake. Your marketing is as critical to your company’s image as clothing is to your personal image. If you would not show up to a business meeting in a cheap-looking suit, think twice before handing over a business card that doesn’t represent your company well.

If your business cards need help, I’d be happy to assist. I can be reached at

By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage