Yeah, free business cards are too tempting and who wouldn’t want them if they are strapped for cash? Budding entrepreneurs and small business owners often see these free cards as a way to save money, believing that the money saved can be invested in the business. As much as we would love to agree with you, we have to tell you point-blank that free business cards suck!
No, this is not an advertisement to sell you an expensive business card or to tell you can look good only if you have expensive and exclusive business cards. On the contrary, you can get good quality cards without burning a hole in your pocket. But, free business cards should be a complete no-no.
First Impressions Matter
When you meet someone for the first time and are trying to promote yourself or your business, you want to create a good impression. You will dress smartly, ensure your nails are properly manicured, ensure a firm handshake, make eye contact and of course, dowse yourself with musk or perfume. While it is perfectly okay to go through this routine, do spend time contemplating your business card.
If the card looks cheap and does not stand up to the quality you are offering prospective customers, do you think they will take you seriously? They may actually think you are a cheapskate and will cut corners. Why? All because of a free business card that looks tacky and inferior. Definitely that is not an image you want to present on your first meeting with a potential client. So, just like a good website that showcases your expertise and efficiency, your business card too should be good and reflect your values. A free business card will not. Period.
Where’s the Branding?
With a free business card, you will not get the branding you require for your business. Come on, think a little. Will the printer (offline or online) actually spend money branding your card for nothing? Of course, that will not happen in a million years. So, forget about the possibility of your business card working as a branding instrument if you opt for those so-called free ones.
For God’s sake, take a look at your business card. What does it stand for? It represents your business and a free business card will not do justice to your business or brand. If the card is cheap and hastily designed (which is what happens when you fall for the “free” trick), no one will take you seriously. You can put paid to your dreams of becoming a successful businessperson or professional. When you meet someone for the first time, it is all about creating an impression when you exchange business cards. So, what you need is a well-designed business card that showcases your brand and represents it in the best possible light.
Quantity Over Quality
Free business cards focus more on quantity than quality. Yeah, you must have already gleaned that. Isn’t that too big a risk to take when you are trying to grow and expand your fledgling business and make it big in your chosen field? We would say yes, but you can beg to differ.
It can sound enticing to get a large number of business cards for free. You may even condone the poor printing and non-existent design. Unfortunately, you are pushing everything that is important under the rug. Your business card represents you and your business, and if the quality is substandard, it paints a poor picture of you and your business. You do not want prospective clients to have second thoughts about collaborating with you just because of poorly designed and printed business cards.
Using Pre-Designed Templates is a Big No-No
With free business cards, you cannot pick and choose templates or customize an existing template to represent your business. You will have to settle for a generic template that is broadly appealing to people, just like vanilla ice cream. Of course, you are not a designer and may think that a generic, pre-designed template is the way forward. On your laptop or phone screen, the template looks pretty, so what could be the harm in going with it? Unfortunately, there is everything wrong with this notion.
A business card is your identity. A free business card will never be able to capture the essence of your business or brand. A pre-designed generic template will be just that – generic. You should be able to take a template and toss it around to create something unique and special. Or, you should be working with a pro to create unique and creative business cards that paint your business and brand in the colors you want.
Free Means No Customer Service
Do you think a website or printer offering you free business cards is going to provide top-notch customer service? If you spot an error in the card, you will just have to suck it and keep quiet. You will have to ditch the error-riddled business card and then get new ones printed. In business time is money and you have spent valuable time without being productive if you go with free business cards. It is just not worth it.
When you hire experts, you can rest assured that your business card will come out looking just like you envisage. The colors will be perfect and the text properly aligned and printed. You will be able to demand changes before the template is finalized and that is what makes paid business cards so great and worthwhile.
A Thrilling Conclusion to the Free Business Card Saga
So, if you are still pondering over free business cards, it is time to forget everything related to it. Wake up and smell the coffee – free does not necessarily translate to profit, impression and brand. In fact, free means cheap and substandard in this context.
I hope this has convinced you that free business cards are the bane of your business, and it is better not to have a card than to be remembered by potential customers as a penny-pinching whose-name-they-have-forgotten.