Did you know that there are fourteen square inches of potential in every business card?

Fourteen square inches of space is probably more than you realized – and yet, somehow still not enough sometimes. The information that you include and the graphics that you use send a message and can be the first impression that a potential client has of you and your business.

Here are ten things to consider for your business card. (All ten may not be right for you. It depends on your business and your message.)

  1. Include your company logo – and few or no other graphics or pictures. Print your cards in color to make the logo “pop.” Don’t clutter the card with extra images unless they are truly helpful in establishing your message.
  2. Prominently feature your company name, your name, and your title.
  3. Include all of your contact information: phone, email, website, fax (if you still have one), and physical address.
  4. Consider including a tagline (if there is room and if it helps brand your business).
  5. While the jury is out regarding the helpfulness of QR codes, they may be useful depending on your industry.
  6. Consider using the back of your card. Service-oriented businesses find it helpful to have a place to write down a next appointment. Others include a small menu of products or services. Still others find this a good place to put social media contact information like a Facebook page and Twitter handle.
  7. Use a nice quality and good weight paper – but not too thick. The goal here is to present quality but not make it impossible to carry more than a few in your briefcase or wallet.
  8. Use a readable font and font size that relays class and professionalism. Cute or overly-ornate fonts are not your friend.
  9. Use appropriate colors. A dark font on a dark background is difficult to read, as is a light font on a white background. Make your card easy on the eyes so that it does its job well.

Make sure that your business card keeps within the design and color realm of your other marketing materials – like your website, letterhead and brochures. Consistency in marketing is key.

Of course, the most important thing about business cards is that you use them. Never be without a card, as you never know where your next great connection will come from.