Just as in any other area of our life, advertisement plays a vital role in the success of any business’s activities. While appearance might not be everything, it plays enormous role in our perception of people, and a business card is like the first page of a book- if it catches your attention, you will read the rest; if it doesn’t you may not even turn the page. Heres some great information from Brian Craig, the business development manager at Ashgrove Trading – a leading supplier of binding equipment, packaging and print finishing equipment in the North East of Scotland
Your business card may not be a deal-breaker for a potential client, but a good card gives you just one more chance of making a statement. It’s your portfolio to the world, but in small, more convenient package. As with wearing the proper attire to an event, good business card etiquette is a big part of the first impression you make on a person. After all, 50% of a business success is the right presentation that can separate you from the sea of people and make you memorable.
Here are some simple rules to follow when it comes to your free business cards:
1. Always have plenty of them in hand; You never know when the opportunity might present itself. Always have cards with you, even if you just go out to meet with friends. You never know who you might run into, and when the conversation might take a business turn. A business card is like your ID – it says a lot to the world about whom you are, you will rarely need it just walking down the street, but it is crucial to always have it in handy place.
2. Don’t Just Give Them Out To Anyone ; Just giving out cards to every single person you meet is not the smartest move you can make. Giving out cards to people who are clearly not interested in your business is just a waste of your effort (and money!). Give out cards when asked about them or wait until the conversation take appropriate direction.With attention to that, don’t forget that networking is still important. Make a whole chapter of a book with your card, make a statement, and make something different and unusual. Put a card when sending out a bill or ask in restaurants that put out bulletin boards with cards. You never know who might end up reading your card.
3. Always give cards in good condition and have proper up-to-date information; As with any good clothing combination presentation is everything. Throw away any wrinkled, old, fading, scratched cards. Keep your free business cards in a proper card holder and make sure they are always in good condition.
4. Design is important; While the whole idea of the card is the words on it as they are your connection to the person reading the card, don’t underestimate the importance of presentation. While a bad condition of a card might turn away a potential client, original design might draw people in and separate you from the rest.Don’t overdo it- simplicity is a golden rule in business – make something that will make people look twice before they put away your card.
5. Attention; When receiving a card don’t put it away at the moment, take few seconds to take a look at it, may be complement on the design or ask a question. This shows to the other person they have your attention and is crucial to your future business relationship
6. International business; There are different set of rules of the countries you visit and having the proper information may save you trouble and make you more comfortable in every setting. There is a common rule between all of them however and it’s the rule of courtesy: if you are in a country with language different than yours it’s a sign of respect and unspoken requirement to have a bi-lingual card and when giving it out hold it with the language of the country up.
Most business people know that it can be a huge deal making a go of any business but putting money into a business investment opportunity that someone else brings to you is equally difficult. That’s why, when one of my good friend recently came to me with a proposal I didn’t just say yes because I liked him – it always pays to perform due diligence, even if its a trusted friend bringing you the deal. So, here’s what I did when Matt from BusinessPort Ltd approached me with a proposal he received from one of his clients
Basically, there are two main areas that you need to think about when a potential business investment opportunity comes your way. You need to look at it in two basic ways.
The first thing that you you need to do, is to try to work out what kind of return on any investment, you’re looking for. There are number ways to do this; the important thing is that you should pick a way to come up with a figure and you need to stick with it. You need to find out what kind of return you expect for your money and how soon.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea either to try to find out how long the business investment opportunity before you has been available, and how long there have been no takers.
Once you know how much of a return you expect on your investment, you have a basic idea about whether the business opportunity in question makes any sense for you. If it isn’t what you expect for your money, there’s no point in going on.
If the opportunity you have does seem to promise the kind of return that you expect, your next step would be to actually take a look at their financial plan to see if the they actually seem like competent people in how the plan for their business to be. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at this stage to bring in professional advisors.
With the help of your advisors, you should look at the financial plan and also the marketing plan that they seem to be working with. Even if everything else works out well, a poor or shortsighted marketing plan could make the difference between a profitable investment and one that bites the dust.
Any new business is absolutely going to take a bit of time to actually begin to return a profit. This could be anything from a few months to a few years. Before you take up a business investment opportunity, you do need to be comfortable with how long you are asked to wait. If your investment is not equity, if it is debt instead, you need to know if their debt to you is given precedence over equity when it comes to the company closing down one day.
And finally, even if all of the above seem to work out very well, you do need to find out how much risk is involved. Some businesses – restaurants for instance – exist in circumstances of heavy competition. They work on wafer thin margins and the possibility all the time that they might fall out of favor. You do need to assess if the risk involved is worth it.