Business cards are relatively cheap. However, they’re generally purchased in large lots, and that makes them a significant investment. This makes many people reluctant to update them. When should you update your business card? And when should you leave it alone?
Your Contact Information Has Changed
Nothing undermines your reputation like a scratched out phone number, address or URL. It implies that you’re either too cheap to order new cards or can’t be bothered to do so. Both suggest that you’re lazy or cut corners. And you’re leaving people that impression with the first physical connection they have to your business, if you didn’t just undermine your positive first impression with your business card.
If your business contact information has changed, update your business cards. This list includes but is not limited to business name, address, phone number, contact email or website. You will lose most potential clients if they’re taken to a website redirect or disconnected phone number.
Your Logo Has Changed
Logos are more likely to be remembered than business names. If you’ve changed your logo, you need new business cards if they still carry the old logo. If the prior business cards were text based, then you don’t have to do anything. If your business branding color scheme has changed, you will want to modify your business cards at some point if the color scheme is built into the business cards. However, that’s a lower priority than having last year’s logo on business cards you’re handing out today.
Your Job Has Changed
If you’re handing out business cards to promote yourself or your business, the business card needs to be a reflection of you. Don’t hand out business cards saying you’re the assistant manager if you were promoted to full manager. Don’t hand out business cards saying you’re an analyst when you’re working in account management. You’re undermining your branding by giving them incorrect information. This is why many businesses pay for new business cards when someone gets promoted.
The same is true if you’ve pivoted your business. If you’ve shifted from yard maintenance to pool maintenance or wedding photography to portraits, update your cards so they only reflect what you do now.
The Quality of the Business Card Falls Short
You can print off cheap little business cards on your personal printer, but you’re proving to your potential clients that you’re an amateur when you do so. If you want to be taken seriously as a consultant or business professional, you need to be handing out business cards with crisp text and heavy paper. The images need to be high resolution. You’ll get extra points for putting glossy high quality images on the back or little extra flourishes.
Know that you don’t have to put incredibly detailed images on the business card. You could put stylized logos on the card along with large, stylish text. However, you should get new business cards if the current ones are so old that the text or graphics are fading to the point they’re hard to read. Don’t cheapen your image by making do. Order new business cards.