The first thing many people purchase when starting out in business is business cards. Regardless or whether you are a builder, a baker or even a candlestick maker, you need business cards. Why I hear you ask?

Well, my memory is terrible. If it wasn't for a plethora of apps and diaries, I would miss every meeting and business... well there just would be any! I make a point of handing out business cards to every customer, client, friend, family and well wisher I meet and with hand stretched firmly out, I expect to receive one in return. 

Now not only am I keeping the other printers as well as myself in business, but I am getting the information I need if I ever wish to make contact with this person again, for whatever which reason. 

On an average week I receive 10-20 new business cards from new associates and it amazes me how people think that getting free or cheap business cards is "Great Value". After I finish the 5 minute rant (condensed version below) about the benefits of a well designed and printed business card, I usually offer a discount on some new business cards, if they promise never to hand out a "Free" one ever again..... 

Cheap business cards are a reflection of you & your business. Dog-eared and crumpled does not sing professionalism. I have discussed this with many people and there are two trains of thought. 

1) I cant afford nice business cards 

2) If they can't spend the money on getting the basics right, how can I trust them with my business. 

Two very conflicting arguments right there, but that is the mentality of people and 60% of the time 8 out of 10 people agree with that (thats Irish for you). 

Lets look at cost shall we? 500 business cards can cost as little as £39. So £39 divided by 500 = £0.078p or 8p each. So less than the price of a Freddo bar in 1999. For your information, Freddo bars are now 15p and thats another issue altogether. 

What does this 8p business card buy you? 

- Continuous reminder of vital contact information 

- Information on your products and services 

- A link to your website where they can obtain infinitely more information 

- A potential referral - "Here's the card of a printer I know, he's very cheap, based in Belfast and an all-round nice guy" 

I wonder who thats for? 

The above is all based on the perception of the business card. If point number 2 was the case, do you think any of the above would be applicable? Me neither.