Save Some Cash – Print your OWN Business Cards!

Well, here you are, you little entrepreneur.  I’m pretty impressed with your drive — you’ve got an idea, and you’re working on it a little every day.  Maybe you’re an outright merchant, just “doing it for the money,” or maybe you’re one of those passion seekers who just feels the need to point your sails into the head winds, and rock across the waves to some distant shore.  Either way, you’re making something happen in the world. And, I’ve got an idea that may end up helping you on a couple of fronts.  It concerns your business cards, and how you absolutely DO NOT want to use some fancy, expensive place to print them up.  You need business cards – they’re a lot more professional than trying to scribble your name onto a cocktail napkin when you’ve got a prospect on the block.  And you should never under estimate the power of having your business card be in the right place at the right time – it could be the difference between your next sale, and no sale.  Hell, it might even be the difference between your next repeat client who sends you a dozen referrals… and a really well-organized office, while you wait for potential clients to get back with you.

Let’s review a few parts of the process:

1. You need to figure out what you want your cards to look like.  What kind of card says, “This is MY business”?  Is it a glossy card printed and cut from an 8 x 10?  Is it something on vellum paper, with a crisp, old school flavor to it?  Is it a little more down to earth, maybe printed on watercolor paper?  Is it funky, and printed on thick plastic?  Your card says an awful lot about you… put some thought into what makes your card different from everybody else’s.

2. Are you going to design it yourself, or are you going to farm it out? You can save some cash, and just use a freeware art program (like the Gimp) to put together a design… but it might not be the best.  Or you can hire someone (are you cool with a good designer?), and get it done professionally… for a price.  It’s your choice, either way.

3. Where are you going to produce the actual cards?  You can go to an expensive print shop, a discount printing place, a web site that lets you print (or prints and sends you) your cards, or you can use your own printer.  Obviously, the best option for ease and high quality is going to be a professional shop – they do this for a living, after all.  And if you’ve got a decent printer, and did the design yourself, your only outlay may be a few bucks for some high-quality paper (or plastic, if you’re really funky).  But of course, there’s always the middle ground – you can get really sweet effects by designing it yourself, and then get it printed up glossy (and pretty cheap) at the photo kiosk in a drug store.  Sometimes there’s the pretty ghetto act of having to cut an 8 x 10 into a dozen business cards, but they still look good.

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4 Responses to Save Some Cash – Print your OWN Business Cards!

  1. Robert Morisk March 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    I get my business cards from they have free designs and cheap pricing.

    I think i would stay away from the photo kiosk business cards i wouldn’t want my cards to say kodak on the back.

    • Chris March 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

      Good point Robert. I always think about that when I get business cards from people who get the “free” cards from VistaPrint and it has their logo on the back. Spend a few extra bucks to get them without the ad on the back.

  2. Chris Brooks March 10, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Great post! Another suggestion would be, if you’re still in school, get some digital art students to help you design your card.

    If you don’t know any digital arts students I”m sure there is a club or ask a professor for some students he knows does good work.

    Approach the students with the opportunity for them to help build their portfolio of designs. Always offer what is in it for them first.

    After you do that tell them what you would like done to the card and how in only a matter of weeks their design will be in the hands of CEOs because you’re just that talented and your business is that great.

    Never underestimate the power of professors, clubs and the university in general. People are there to help you. You just have to ask for it.

    • Chris March 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

      Great point Chris! Thanks for the comment!

      You can always find helping students and professors on campus and you definitely need to take advantage of them while you can!

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