At a conference yesterday I managed to snag nine business cards. Not actually a good thing as I didn’t ask for any. I guess I stuck my had out when they were offered so I got what I deserved.

Of the nine, only one conformed to the old standard of name, job title, company contacts, logo. Not including the mandatories the word count splits like this: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 18, 18, 48, 52.

The 2 card – “wooden jigsaws” – nails the point of a good business card. I might not remember the name of the fella or his company, but if I ever want some wooden jigsaws I’ll know where to start. One of the 18s – not the worst – says “Benefits realisation through user involvement”, the other thirteen words don’t make it any clearer. Will I call this guy? No. Why? I don’t know when I should.

If you’re going to put some extra love on your business card, make it count.

Business cards aren’t clever, they can’t do your job for you. It’s a very rare soul who will squint her way through your printed verbiage to work out why she should remember you. If you’re not sure what to write, ask your customers – they normally have a pretty good handle on why they give you money.

Wooden Jigsaw Man tells you what his company is up to … perfect. If the best you can do is meaningless management speak maybe you should simply leave it blank.


Making Promises