update: this is an old article – vistaprint gives no free biz cards for free these days.
Running a small business can be tough, especially in the current economy conditions where clients aren’t easy to come by, so keeping your expenses to the minimum is a certain way to improve your bottom line. When it comes to promotional materials, one could spend a lot of money there. And business cards are usually the most commonly used way to promote one’s business. It’s the magic handshake protocol most entrepreneurs are so familiar with:
– “What do you do?”
– “I’m a Registered Massage Therapist. What about you?”
– “I’m a Reiki Master, and here is my business card. Can I have your card?”
– “Of course, here it is.”
The Internet has been around for a relatively long time by now, yet, business cards aren’t a thing of a past and it’ll probably take quite some time before one will not carry any around with them anymore and not leave a few here and there on various posting boards in cafés and community places.
Business cards have been around for centuries (In China since 15th century, Europe – 17th century) . So it’s not surprising that these days there are many shops that will print your business cards in various shapes and forms, using different fancy kinds of paper and color. But they can be quite expensive, especially if someone designs them from scratch – since you’re paying for their time, their rent costs, etc.
I’d like to introduce you to a different way of getting your cards done and for free (only paying for the shipment). I have been using VistaPrint for probably at least 5 years now. I’d get their 250 free business cards package about once a year and each time only pay for the shipment. You design your own card using their online card design software, which is not fancy but it does what you need – it lets you put the essential information on the business card, while making it look good. Here is one of the recent cards I’ve designed using vistaprint service.
They have a limited choice of backgrounds which are included in the free business card package and for a small extra cost you can add your own or browse through hundreds of other background designs. It’s tempting to spend a little extra, but for me I always was able to just choose one I liked from the free ones and go with it.
Once you’re happy with your card’s design, starts the process of going to the check out page. If you’ve ever been to Ikea, where they drag you through the whole shop to show you all of their wares, the process is similar here. They will try to upsell you 10 other things before you reach to the page where you do your payment: magnets, mugs, stickers, etc., etc.. Unless you really need any of those things, simply quickly press “Next” and get to the checkout page, pay and be done with it. The only cost here is the shipment which usually comes to about $9. It looks like they ship pretty much anywhere in the world.
The only one important thing to mention is that they will offer you to have a blank back side of the card for something like $5 extra, as compared to the little one-line text advertising of vistaprint site on the back of the card. I won’t pay the $5, because I actually like having that advertising there and I tell anybody I meet about the great deal vistaprint gives to people and show them the back of the card so they won’t forget the url of the site. I think vistaprint should pay me to have that ad on the back on the card, rather than me paying them to remove it, since I actively help them to promote their business. If you really don’t want the little ad, I’d say choose to put the calendar for the coming year, people are more likely to carry your card around, as small year calendars are always handy, even in the digital edge.
Once you paid – the package should arrive within a few weeks. I ordered probably about 10 times from them so far and never had any quality or delivery problems.
As I have only ever used one free business card printing company I don’t know of any others I can recommend, so if you have other recommendations for print shops that give away free business cards, let me know and I’ll add the link to other companies as well. Thank you.