More than half of small business owners still use  business cards all the time. But some entrepreneurs have still let this tactic go a bit in recent years, in favor of more high tech marketing and networking options.
But business cards continue to provide a lot of value. They can help you make valuable connections at networking events. They can keep you top of mind with potential vendors you meet at trade shows. And they can get your contact information in front of relevant customers or clients in your area.
But before you go passing out plain cards with your name and phone number sprawled across the front, you need to create a professional design and find a company that can help you bring your vision to life. Here’s what you need to know about getting business cards.
How to Create a Quality Business Card
Business cards should include all of the information that a potential customer, client or connection needs to communicate or do business with you. Specifically, it should have your name, website, email address, phone number, your business address if relevant and potentially even your social media handles.
Though the information is the most important aspect of your business cards, you shouldn’t overlook the design elements. Your business card is part of your company’s branding and marketing strategy. So it should include colors, fonts and graphics that are similar to those included on your other marketing materials. It might include your logo, your brand colors and an overall look that will deliver some consistency to those who are already familiar with your brand.
Additionally, it’s essential that your cards are easy to read and have a generally professional look. If you’re not a skilled designer, you need to use a template or have a design made for you. An unprofessional looking card can give new connections the wrong impression about your business. It tells them that you aren’t willing to invest in your company or that you don’t have the skills necessary to deliver a quality product. Basically, and can accomplish the opposite of your desired effect. In fact, 72 percent of people said they judge a company or individual based on the quality of their business cards .
Where to Buy Business Cards
There are so many different online services and printing companies that will create professional looking business cards  for you or give you the resources to do it yourself. Some of the top options include Vistaprint, Moo, and Staples, among many others.
Some of them offer pre-made templates. So you can easily just add your information and order the cards. Some offer more customization options perfect for entrepreneurs who have a specific vision. A few even offer specialized products like mini cards, those printed on special paper and cards that include specialized codes or chips.
To find the right option for your business, think about the type of business card you want and the services you need to bring that vision to life. If you already have all the design elements planned out, you might want a service that gives you tons of design control. If you want the work to be done for you, pick a service with tons of templates to choose from. Then of course, make sure the cards fit within your budget and can be delivered before your next big trade show or networking event.
Business Card Alternatives
For online businesses or those that do a lot of networking digitally, traditional business cards might not be quite as useful on a daily basis. However, the concept of a simple card with your relevant information on it still holds value.
Additionally, some businesses with in-person customers might find that their target audience doesn’t really use business cards or like to carry around paper cards with them. This could be especially relevant with companies that target young people.
In both of these instances, digital business cards  can come in handy. There are tons of apps available to help you create digital cards that you can send to people via email or online. Or you can create scannable cards so people can upload your business card information to their phone and save it in the device they use on a daily basis. This option can be especially helpful for those at trade shows or events.
These alternatives might be enough for certain businesses. Or you might want to have both on hand so you can make connections with people no matter what their business card preference is.