Business cards are a very low cost but very practical way to keep your trucking company name in the mind of your customer. While they are not as high tech as some marketing programs, they are ideal for a customer to have while providing your contact information in a small, easy to carry format.
Business cards are not all created equal, however, and you need to give more than just a cursory consideration to how you want your cards to look. Getting the right combination of information and design on the card to be attractive and readable while also leaving a definite impression of your company is really a science.
First, before you even start thinking about what you want on the card, take some time and browse through business cards. Look for ideas from the card designs that you like and plan to incorporate them into your card. You may find some issues that you want to avoid as well, which is equally important. Your business card does send a message and you need to take the time to make sure it is the right one.
One of the biggest mistakes that many people make on a business card is to use a font, or type, that is hard to read. This includes the fonts that look like cursive writing or those that are ornate or unusual in the formation of letters and numbers. While these fonts are definitely eye catching and different, they may cause problems for clients and decrease the likelihood of the customer passing on your card or keeping it in their wallet. In addition avoid using several different fonts on the same card as this can create a messy look to the card.
The color of the font also makes a difference. Black, blue and dark colors are naturally easier to see on most backgrounds. If you are using a white or light color for the card you can use lighter colors, just make sure that it is easy to read. Generally avoid using the “soft” colors or washed out looking font colors as they are more difficult to see against a light or very dark background. You want your contact information, company name and company slogan to really stand out, not blend into the overall design.
Graphics and Images
Most small trucking companies don’t have a company logo or image, but you can always create a unique design to use on your card. This could be a graphic that includes your trucking company name, your initials or a company logo. There are free programs or clip-art packages that allow you to do some basic design and create a very professional looking graphic even if you don’t have any computer experience.
Another option is to use a photograph as part of the business card design. A great picture of your rig is ideal for advertising, but you do have to decide where to place it on the card. You may also find that the small size of the card makes a full photo of the truck and trailer too small to actually see, which will actually detract from the overall look.
You can use the back of the card as the photo of the truck and put all your contact information on the front. This is a great option and, with the do-it-yourself online business card programs available, it is a simple process. These companies may offer scaled down images of rigs that are part of the photos, graphics and images that are available through their design options.
Make sure that any graphics or images you use are not protected by copyright or license. Generally if you are using any images, graphics or artwork off the internet it is protected unless indicated as “free for use”.
Information about Your Company
It is easy to put too much information on a business card that makes it look cluttered and unprofessional. Instead, go for just the basics and essentials. The card should display:
Your phone number, email or preferred contact information
The company name and website address
Company address – if you have a set business location
Company slogan or a few words about your business.
Company slogans or brief company information can help customers and colleagues remember what you specialize in hauling or what services you offer. Good examples of company slogans or business descriptions are:
Freight hauling across the USA
Specializing in oilfield trucking services
Reefer and refrigeration trucking
We haul anything anywhere
In the trucking business for 25 years
Just keep the message short, to the point and specific about what makes your trucking business better or different than the competition.
Costs and Options
As mentioned earlier, do-it-yourself websites allow you to design your own business cards, including uploading your own images or logos. This is a low cost option and, if you use a reputable company, you will find that the quality of the cards is excellent. Usually you will have to buy a minimum number of cards for a set price. The price will vary based on the colors, design elements and the actual card paper and options that you select.
The alternative option is to have the cards designed for you. Most printing companies, including some of the national and international office supply stores, provide this service. Surprisingly it is not that expensive and it does give you some help from someone that has years of experience in business card design. You will have the option to approve the final design and you don’t pay for anything until you get what you want. Some printers or companies may charge a flat fee for the actual design, which may be required up front. If you choose not to go with their company you won’t get a refund, but typically they can design a card that will meet your requirements.
Have your business cards with you at all times. Give a couple to each customer and client and ask them to use them if they are providing a referral to someone else. You may be surprised at how effective this option is as a low tech, low cost way to get your trucking company’s name out there.