How many business cards should you order?

In the modern world of business and networking, there is so much conflicting advice on distributing business cards. Some say they distribute them to everyone you meet, whether they are the pizza delivery man or the CEO of an international company. Others say they distribute them more strategically, only to qualified leads or prospects you have already chatted with and connected with. When it comes to ordering new business cards, the number you need obviously depends on which of these strategies you follow. Some people will get 1000 cards in a few months, others will do 500 cards over two years.

Here are some additional factors to consider when deciding how many business cards to order.

Do you like to update your brand often?

Often those who work in the field of creativity and design like to create new twists and fresh images for their brand and their business cards. They get bored of handing out the same old card after about six months. In this case, guess how many cards you will deal in that time period and only order that amount.

Are you likely to move in the next year or so?

A move can result in a new landline number even if you don’t print your physical address on your cards. There’s nothing more unprofessional than crossed out numbers on otherwise well-printed business cards, so order a smaller set of maybe 500 cards to last until your move.

Do you plan to get new qualifications or accreditations in the next year?

If you are likely to want to add those credits to your card, then it will only make sense to order enough cards to last until then.

Do you attend many networking events?

If you regularly distribute a lot of business cards at networking events, you’ll get 500 cards in no time. In this case it makes sense to have an order larger than 1000 or more cards, so that you don’t have to keep reordering more.

Do you work mainly online?

If you mostly work and network online and only deal a few cards every now and then, even a small order of 500 cards could last for years. If so, work intelligently with the contact information you provide, so it’s less likely to be out of date. Leave out your physical address and landline and simply provide email and web addresses and perhaps your business mobile number. As long as your website is up to date with your contact information, your card will also stay up to date. Or find a print shop that’s happy to print short runs of cards and only order 200 at a time.

As a general rule, order enough cards to last six months, or maybe a year if you’d rather not keep tweaking your design.

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