Business Card Best Practices 2017

business cards best practicesAre your business cards working for you? Your chances are much improved that they do if you’re using business card best practices.

Do you know how can you tell whether they really are doing their job?

I find that we don’t give enough thought to our business cards. We need to have them, but beyond making sure our contact information is up-to-date, we don’t even consider what else we could do with them.

The new year is a great time to take another look… And so I’d like to share some tips with you about how to really put those business cards to work… the 5 steps to Business Card Best Practices for 2017.

What ARE The Business Card Best Practices in 2017?

First, there are the basics, such as name, company, email address, website, and phone number. These belong on almost any business card. But what else should you add, if anything?

What about your social media links, your mobile phone number, your fax number, your snail mail address, and maybe even a cool slogan?

Not so fast! Remember the SIZE of the average business card?

Step 1: Consider the business card’s purpose and its audience

Before you design your card, consider its purpose and its audience. Do you want to sell something, or do you want to attract leads to your company? What kind of action do you want people to take? Also consider your ideal prospects and what they might feel attracted to.

Step 2: Invite the desired action steps

Make sure that anyone looking at your card will see what you want them to do at a glance. Do you want them to call? Place your phone number prominently on the call. Do you want them to visit your website, maybe to sign up for a free gift, then make that very clear.

Step 3: Avoid overly fancy designs… and clutter

Some cards are so focused on showing off a beautiful design that there’s no room for the message – which means that your message can easily get lost. Other cards are so filled with detailed information that the typeface is by necessity so tiny it will be hard to read. Even worse, it will be hard to figure out what action you want your cards’ recipients to take.

Focus on what’s most important to you, and you’ll get better results.

Step 4: Different business cards for different audiences and/or purposes

If you network with different groups, you may also find that customizing your business cards to your target audience can make them much more effective. One way to customize them is to add a slogan that will really speak to your target audience.

Step 5: Track the results

Tracking your results is another key element of business card best practices.  Once you’ve made the effort to customize your business cards, why not find out how well they work. If you use a call to action, add a different URL for each type of card, so you can see which one gets the best response.

Another option is to use separate phone numbers. These days, getting additional phone numbers is very inexpensive, and the value of knowing how to attract your audience is absolutely worth the extra effort.

Making the card design process easy, fast, affordable

Worried that it’ll get too expensive to print all those different cards? Don’t be. If you take us up on our current introductory offer, you’ll get your first set of cards for just £24.95, including the design AND free shipping!

But that’s just the beginning. We have a very cool Do-It-Yourself Printing & Design Platform where you can go into your account, create a new card based on your template and make any changes you want. Once you hit the order button, you’ll get the cards within one or two business days, depending on the time you ordered them.

Of course, you can also create additional cards for new staff members with that same ease and speed. And if you have questions, we’re always happy to help! Just call our office on 0800 007 5566 or contact us on Live Chat.

As you can see, it’s easy to keep up with business card best practices and create cards that are attractive to your ideal audience as well as effective! Always remember to ask yourself what you want people to do, and then invite them to do it… right on your business card.

2016 Christmas Prize Draw

christmas prize drawIt’s December and time for our Annual Christmas Draw! And for this year, we have something really special – and fun: Our grand prize is a family ticket for 4 for Chessington World of Adventures! It’ll be an unforgettable experience for the whole family!

Everyone who enters will also receive a share tin of Quality Street chocolates to pass around the office or to take home to the family, while stocks last (one per customer please).

How do you enter into the Christmas Prize Draw?

All orders over £150 will be entered into the draw automatically! Anything you order will count, from Christmas gifts to special order items to routine supplies!

Closing date is 20th December, and the prize will be delivered on the 21st (Wednesday).

Which items qualify for the Christmas Prize Draw?

If you’re wondering which items count towards your qualification for our chocolates and grand prize, the easy answer is “everything” – anything you order from us here at Crane, whether or not it is Christmas related.

But if you’d like some more specific ideas, check out the following…

Christmas gifts for your team

Think about what are you planning to give your team members in the office? There are so many options, from edibles to collectibles, or even special useful items.

From chocolates to gourmet coffee with a collectible mug to a nice set of pens… they all make nice gifts. What’s best will depend on the person – and you know your colleagues better than we do.

Some might prefer tea, others a side of smoked salmon or a bottle of fine wine. But most people love chocolate and sweets!

Still wondering? We’ll be happy to make suggestions. Just call us on 0800 007 5566.

Our Christmas Concierge Service

And that’s not all. As we mentioned last time, we’re bringing back our popular Christmas concierge service! So if you need help with finding the perfect gifts for your team, you can also leave the details to us.

Yes, even if your perfect gift is a gift basket! Those are very popular right now – and they’ll be available as long as supplies last!

Stock Up On Office Supplies

Of course, you can also top off your order with normal supplies (ink, pens, paper, staplers, desk organisers), and/or business cards and letterhead to qualify for our Christmas Prize Draw!

Last Call for Personalised Christmas Cards And Gifts

If you still haven’t gotten your personalised Christmas cards (and gifts), now’s your last chance to order them, or your items won’t arrive before Christmas! We’ll do our best to get them to you in time, but this is crunch time, so don’t wait.

In fact, not everything will be available at this time, especially not for personalisation. So as always, just call us on (0800 007 5566) to find out. Or use our Live Chat.

Looking forward to making your Christmas merry and your shopping easy!

Crane Franchise Benefits

crane franchise benefitsToday, I’m going to share more details about our new franchise, how both franchisees and their customers as well as our regular customers can tap into our Crane Franchise Benefits.

As I mentioned before, we have created really great back office systems and processes. Those benefit our current customers and allow us to deliver outstanding customer service. They also benefit our franchisees – and THEIR new customers, so more and more business owners and customers will benefit from our systems.

In the meantime, I’ve been getting questions about our new venture, and I’d like to answer some of them right here:

Who is an ideal candidate for a franchise?

If you’ve always wanted to start your own business but you’re not quite ready to strike out completely on your own, franchising may be ideal. It offers you a tested business model, ongoing help and support, and greater access to finance.

What makes our products ideal for a franchise?

We sell products that businesses need on a daily basis. If you take a look around your office, you’ll likely see several (or even dozens) of the kinds of items we sell. Paper, pens, ink, staplers, business cards, stationery, envelopes, promotional gift items (yes, including pens), calendars, desk organisers, and many more. This means that our (potential) customers are just about everywhere.

Crane Franchise Benefits From The Perfect Combination

When I first started, one of my mentors told me to focus on consumable items – and I’m glad I followed his advice! Almost all of the products we sell are used up quickly, so our customers need to get more on a regular basis.

If you look at franchises around you, you’ll probably see McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, and many other food-related brands. They all offer consumable items. Unfortunately, their items are also perishable, which causes certain challenges.

Our Crane franchise offers the best of both worlds – our products “run out” and need to be replenished, but we don’t have to worry about them actually going bad and having to be thrown out!

Could you run a Crane franchise as a part-time business?

Since we’re doing most of the back office work for you, and you can hire a sales person or three to help you grow your customer base, you could indeed run your new Crane franchise on a part-time basis! Depending on the size of your customers’ businesses, you may be able to break even with as few as 30 accounts. That’s very achievable! Anything beyond that takes you straight into profit!

How Crane Franchise Benefits You

If you’d like to know how you can tap into the Crane Franchise Benefits, why not request more information and a prospectus below:

Crane Business Solutions Franchise

Crane Business Solutions FranchiseAre you interested in owning your own business? Starting a business from scratch can be a daunting and risky enterprise. It can also be very expensive, with no guarantee for success! But we’ve decided to provide a way to bypass most of those challenges –  Crane Business Solutions Franchise.

We have worked hard to create really great back office systems and processes, specifically our CRM system, sales-i, which make running the business much easier than it used to be in the “early” days.

Here’s an article where they wrote up a case study about us:

Our CRM system gives us a methodical approach to building and running our business and providing our clients with excellent service and reliability. And that’s one of the key things that our clients appreciate when they buy from us.

We also use systems to enhance our marketing, including our shopping cart system we use to send out our weekly newsletter, and Lead Forensics, which provides valuable information about who visits our websites.

Systems And Processes Make Running A Business Easy

Our systems also made life easier and much more efficient for our salespeople! They have been able to work with many more prospects and customers ever since.

When we opened our second office on the Kent coast, we implemented all the systems from day one. It was amazing how easy it was to run the new office from the start! It allowed us to work from a clean desk right away. There was no hunting around for files and folders!

Crane Business Solutions Franchises – Business Start-Up Made Easy

After putting all those systems in place, we realized that they would also really help a potential franchisee. And so, as we considered expanding our reach, we decided to go the franchise route! With that, the Crane Business Solutions franchise was born.

We saw the opportunity to provide our franchisees with a business that is practically done-for-you and easy to run. Starting a business can be a long, laborious and expensive process, which I remember well from when I first started Crane Business Solutions literally from my own bedroom.

Now, my new franchisees get their business handed to them with all the processes and systems in place. There won’t be any guesswork, no costly trial and error. Instead, they can hit the ground running. With Crane Business Solutions Franchise, the long learning curve has been eliminated!

Ready to find out more?

Just fill in the form below and we’ll send you the access link by email!

Christmas Gifts Can Be Great Investments

christmas giftsIt’s October and Christmas is less than 2 months away. So it’s no longer particularly “early” when it comes to preparing for Christmas, which includes ordering Christmas gifts.

The first item on your agenda should be ordering your personalised corporate Christmas cards! You may also decide to get charity Christmas cards, where a portion of the proceeds is donated to your favourite charity.

We carry a wide range of Christmas cards in a variety of styles, some of which can even be personalised on the front. This will make yours stand out, especially when they’re on display in the offices of their recipients.

I’d like to invite you to check out our selection of personalised Christmas cards, which we have just newly updated:

We have a broad selection, from traditional to glamorous to funny and more. Take a look!

And remember that it’s important to include a hand-written note in those cards, yes, even though they do include the personalisation! At the very least, sign them – or have someone in your office sign them for you.

For an even bigger impact, consider adding a personalised gift! We have a wide selection, from very affordable to impressive corporate gifts. While some gifts cost more per item, the minimum order requirement is much smaller, so the total amount remains pretty manageable.

Christmas gifts are a bit different from the branded gifts that you might send out during the rest of the year. They have to be a bit more impressive and festive, and signal a higher value.

Unlike the pens and notepads you give away year-round, the Christmas gifts need to be a bit “bigger” – not necessarily in size but in perceived value. In fact, you can get “premium” products even in a category that would normally be considered too “small” – for example a premium pen in a gift box!

Here are a few ideas…

1) Calendars and Diaries

As I mentioned before, calendars and diaries are ideal Christmas gifts. Everyone needs a new calendar, and generally several, so a calendar really comes in handy as the old one expires. Just make sure you pick a really nice one!

2) Premium Versions of “Everyday” Items

Regular branded pens are not suitable as Christmas gifts, but really nice premium ball pens and/or a fountain pens could be very well received, especially if they come in a gift box, possibly as a set. They also have the advantage of reminding the receiver of you whenever they use them.

3) Nice branded versions of “regular” office utensils

Staplers and hole punches often wear out, so a high quality version, properly branded, can be a nice option.

4) Leather bound purses, diaries, binders, or folders

Whether it’s real leather or a high quality eco-friendly imitation, these items look very nice and are likely to be used as well. That’s important as these items are supposed to serve as reminders of you and your brand.

5) Other classy gifts

There are many more options, from wall or desk clocks to crystal decanters and tumblers. We also offer a wide range of silver plated items, from sticky note holders and business card holders to photo frames.

Why not visit our selection of executive promotional items and take a look around. We’re sure you’ll be inspired. You can find our executive gifts here:

And when you have any questions whatsoever or can’t quite find what you have in mind, just call us on 0800 007 5566 or use our Live Chat… and ask! We’re happy to help.

Just remember – if you want the best selection, it pays to start shopping early.

Let us help you thrive!