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Top 7 Business Card Mistakes

By Diana Ratliff

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Don't let the small size fool you. Your business card can be the hardest-working and most cost-effective weapon in your marketing arsenal. If you make the most of it. That tiny scrap of paper can be powerful enough to direct someone to your URL, offer a product discount, announce a new location, and even convince someone to do business with you.

Are you making these common mistakes?

  1. Using a poor quality card.

    According to business coach Michael Losier,, "punch-out cards with perforation marks" are the number one item on the "least-liked" list during his business card seminars. Expand that mistake to include ANY poorly done (printing, graphics, grammar) or generic cards. People expect "professional" business people to have "professional" cards.

  2. Overcrowding your card.

    Selecting tiny fonts so you can fit ALL your contact information on one card is a false economy. People won't read it. Try to keep the font size above 10 points. Use simple fonts that are easy to read. Add extra information to the back of the card. Pare down the contact information to what is truly essential.

  3. Treating cards as if they're not important.

    Use an attractive cardholder for your business cards so that they're crisp and clean when you hand them out. When you accept someone else's card, take a moment or two to really look at it. Then tuck it away carefully. How would YOU feel if someone casually crammed your masterpiece into the bottom of a bulging purse?

  4. Not organizing your business cards.

    If you can't find the card from that hot prospect, you can't send him the info he or she requested. Bad mistake. The particular system you use is not as important as HAVING a system. If you remember cards by people's name, file them that way. If you remember them by company, file them by company. File them by date. File them by event. File them electronically. Just file them!

  5. Giving cards out at inappropriate times.

    Ever had someone shove his/her card under your nose while you're eating? Had someone corner you to "talk business" in a purely social situation? People remember poor manners much longer than they remember elegant business cards. At such events, it's better to ask for permission to send a card to someone's place of business.

  6. Expecting one card to do it all.

    If you have more than one business, more than one role, or want to network OUTSIDE your industry, get another card.

  7. Not using your card, not having it with you, or not having one at all!

    A card that's been warming your wallet for months --- that's sitting on your desk --- or that is going to be ordered "soon" is a serious waste. Get one out there and put it to work for you! (Hint: replace the card that's been sitting in your wallet with a NEW card --- that one is probably too dirty and rumpled to make a good impression.)

    Your consistent use of a well-designed business card is one of the most affordable and acceptable ways to market your business.

Diana Ratliff is an Entrepreneur & Business Card Consultant. Make sure YOUR card is kept, remembered, and used. Order "How to Get More Business from your Business Cards" and get over 140 tips! Great giveaway, too. Looking for a reputable, proven, online business of your own? Start your own business TODAY with industry leader Rexall. Get the facts today at

Article Submitted On: April 05, 2000