At its core a business card is there to do two things:
1) Be memorable in a stack of other cards:
Anyone who goes to a trade show or networking event has experienced this. You get home having met a bunch of interesting, and not-so-interesting people, and you pull out twenty generic business cards and you can't remember who was who. Doh!
And the same thing applies to everyone else. At the end of the day you can work a room and make great contacts, but if they can't remember which card is yours they may never follow up with you.
Ways to be memorable:
- Have a card that is thicker than usual
- Have an unusual size
- Bright colors
- A section for people to make notes on what you talked about
- Check boxes related to what you do that people can mark with their thumbnail
2) Convey all the key information:
You business card needs to provide the following:
- Company name
- Your name
- Email (Suggest NOT having a yahoo, Gmail, Cox email. You run a real business, so have a real business email)
- Phone number
- DUNS and CAGE codes
- Physical address (optional but encouraged)
- Your NAICS codes (optional)
- Major vehicles that you are on (optional)
Layout: You can do all the layout work in Word or your favorite drawing program, but I've found it is a pain and time consuming. Instead I'd recommend using Moo's powerful and free (if you buy cards from them) design tool. You can find cheaper cards out there but their entry level option is very competitive and their layouts and colors tend to be memorable, so a good investment.