Two women exchange business cards.
When designing your business card, consider the specific action you want people to take next and then feature that action prominently on your card. — Getty Images/Jon Feingersh Photography Inc

Some people find business cards old-fashioned, but they can still be an effective marketing tool. Business cards are relatively inexpensive and are easy to pass out at networking events or your local coffee shop. Here are eight business card best practices for entrepreneurs.

[Read more: How to Network to Grow Your Small Business]

Keep it simple

You want to look for ways to be creative when designing a business card, but if you aren’t careful, it can end up looking cluttered. It’s important to choose a simple design that allows for plenty of blank space.

It’s also a good idea to choose a simple font design that’s easy to read, like a sans serif font. And make sure the text size is large enough so that people can easily read it.

Use a photo

Depending on your business, you may want to include a headshot on your business card. For example, if you run a service-based business where you work one-on-one with clients, including a photo makes sense.

Real estate agents, photographers, or freelancers may want to include their headshots. However, consider how soon you plan to update your headshot before including it on your business card.

Consider your target audience

How you design your business card depends largely on your target audience and what they want to see. For example, you probably want to pick a more neutral color palette if you're an attorney. But if you’re an event planner or marketing professional, you may want to use colors that are more bright in the design of your card.

If you're looking for ways to save money, using a service like Canva and designing the business card yourself is a good option.

Add a QR code

Including a QR code is a great way to modernize your business card. When someone uses their phone to scan the QR code, it could automatically open a link to your website or portfolio. However, a QR code only makes sense if you have a strong online presence.

Choose high-quality materials

If you’re looking for ways to save money, using a service like Canva and designing the business card yourself is a good option. But areas where you shouldn’t try to save money are with the materials used and the printing.

If your business card looks cheap , it reflects poorly on your company. Use a quality printer that has experience printing business cards. A reputable printer will use streak-free inks to ensure the card looks professional. And they can help you choose the appropriate card stock or material that will help your business card stand out.

Proofread your business card

To avoid wasting money or embarrassing yourself in front of a prospect, proofread your business cards before printing them. Double-check that all the information is accurate and that there are no typos.

It’s also essential to ensure that your contact information is included, like your email address, website, and social media handles. If you run a brick-and-mortar business, you may also want to have your address listed.

[Read more: How Brick-and-Mortar Businesses Can Add E-Commerce]

Add a little something extra

Anytime you attend a trade show or networking event, you’ll likely receive and pass out dozens of business cards. If you don’t want your business card to end up in the trash, adding something extra can help it stand out.

For example, you can include a testimonial from a client or use scented ink. You can also use alternative materials, like rubber or metal. You could also change the shape of your business card to a circle or square.

Include a call to action

Finally, your business card should include a prominent call to action (CTA). What do you want someone to do when they receive your business card? Do you want them to email you or request a free demo of your service? Make sure the CTA is clearly spelled out on your business card so people know what the next step is.

[Read more: What Social Media Metrics Really Matter to Your Business?]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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