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By Joe Novak 

There must be a name for someone who sets out to do a task and then fails at it but continues to get paid and keep his or her job; normally I associate this with weather forecasters. My frustration however is not about weather but whether or not someone was actually thinking when designing a product, business cards as a case in point.

My bank has business cards with phone, fax and 800 numbers listed; problem is you can’t read it without a magnifying glass. I can just imagine the conversation, “Fred, we need you to order business cards that represent the true nature of our fine institution. Keep in mind, Fred, that saving ink is our primary goal and we don’t necessarily want people calling us.” 

They are not the only ones with “Ink saving” business cards. I get them all the time. What are they thinking? I also have a problem with business cards that don’t give you any information other than a name and a miniscule phone number. Bob Smith Super Corp, Keeping what we do a secret is our primary business. (We would have used a smaller font had it been available.)

When you hand out a business card, you are possibly handing out the only advertising that person will ever see from your company, so why not use that opportunity to promote your product? 

After attending a trade show, I would sort through the stack of information and business cards, throwing dozens of them away since I had no idea what their company did. 

I have this same Beef with APPS that you can’t read because the type is so small you risk going blind. My Genesis car app is useless and it may be a reason I never buy another Genesis. Paying attention, Hyundai? 

While in business, my cards folded in half with information on all four sides. The front had my name, title, company name, phone, fax number and E-mail. When opened, it listed our primary products and services. The back had a list of all the products we distributed. I can’t recall how often I would get a call from someone saying, “I was looking at your business card and I saw you also sell this item.” Bingo, free sale!

This reminds me of my late brother-in-law Charlie. He would hand out business cards saying, “Here is my card.” The only thing printed on the card were the words; “My Card.”  This was funny and entertaining since Charlie’s only intent was to get a smile, and he did. His card left a memorable impression of his great sense of humor.
RIP Charlie!

Joe Novak retired from PGS,Inc. a manufacturing company he sold in 2005. He has written more than 140 articles for The Middlefield Post and is active in his community and church. Joe’s articles are based on his life and business experiences and though he tries to be as accurate as possible, he recommends you contact an expert or professional when in doubt.

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