At various events I attend I tend to meet very well presented, successful entrepreneurs and business owners who are very happy to meet me…until I tell them I am a graphic designer and branding consultant.

You can visibly see the colour drain from their faces when I ask them for their business card. They sheepishly hand me a card and very politely apologise as the exchange takes place. If they haven’t already brushed off the half chewed boiled sweet and the hair from the trouser pocket from which said business card has emerged, they then go on to tell me how they have put a marker pen through their landline number as they have moved offices, or they have written in their mobile number as it wasn’t there in the first place, or the picture of them on the card is so out of date they still had hair…oh…and that I am probably going to analyse it there and then…and please don’t!

My answer to this is pretty clear – your business card, as with anything you send out or anything that brings you in to contact with your customers, is a reflection of you and your brand. If your business card is printed on tatty lightweight card, or you have crossed out an old contact number, or even worse your card has been printed for free and has the printers logo on the back – what does that say about you? Worse still, if you have crossed out a contact number on a freebie business card printed then there’s probably no help for you.

Never even get to the stage where you have to feel the need to apologise – have confidence in yourself and your brand to have brilliant business cards. You could have someone at ‘Hello’ but you could also be saying ‘Goodbye’ to a potential relationship.