Better Business Cards: Ideas for Harder Working Business Cards

Better business cards start with a change in thinking about what a business card is. Yes, it has your name and contact information, but why can’t it be more? Why can’t it do more to promote your business?

Make it stickier

We know about sticky websites — sites with useful information that make you want to go back again and again. Well, do the same thing with your business cards on a smaller scale.

Back of the card

The back of your business card is perfect for adding value. Add something that would be useful to people who get your card. Make it something they’ll want to hold on to.

  • Restaurant owners: Add a tipping chart on the back of your card.
  • Hard-to-find business: Add a small map with directions.
  • Have a big event coming up? Add a calendar or reminder.
  • Real estate agents: Add a measurements chart.
  • Add a kitchen tip or tool and turn your card into a refrigerator magnet.

Itty-bitty brochures

Expand your business card into an Itty-Bitty Brochure by making it a folded or even tri-folded card. This lets you tell the benefits your business offers or expand the ideas from above.

  • Give more details of an upcoming event along with the reminder.
  • Artists: Let your business cards unfold a mini gallery of your work.
  • Restaurants: How about a mini menu in addition to that tipping chart.
  • Tell a story or give a testimonial. Add a photograph.
  • Provide a bit of advice, a how-to tip, or a top 10 list.

What not to do …

I’m not the first person to suggest expanding the use of a business card. There are plenty of people already doing this. But not every one of them works to its fullest potential. And remember. Before you try to squeeze everything including your shoe size onto the 7 square inches of space on a business card — a single, clear, brief message will make more impact and be remembered longer.

  • Do not make a boring list of services. You’re bound to leave something off the list, and once you’ve listed what you do, people will assume that is everything you do. Instead give examples of great work you’ve done, testimonials, or discuss customer benefits.
  • No ego walls. Any important title or designation belongs with your name, but keep it brief.
  • Do not try to squeeze a full size brochure into an Itty-Bitty Brochure. Brevity is a key factor. Be aware that it is often more difficult to write short than to write long.
  • A calendar or reminder can be a great idea if you send out lots of cards; but, if those cards last beyond the calendar or reminder date, they’re just wasted.
  • Do not lose focus. Keep the message simple and useful.

These are just a few ideas of how to make your business card work harder for your business. I’m sure you can think of many more ways to add value and make your card sticky.


ego wall n. A wall, usually in a professional's office, covered with an inordinate number of framed diplomas, certificates, and other tokens of academic achievement. The sheer number of items implicitly speaks to the superior skill or intelligence of the professional who earned them. This outward display mirrors and reinforces the professional’s perception of self, or ego. (Source: Urban Dictionary)