Business cards supposedly reveal a lot about a person. There are seemingly dozens of decisions to be made when choosing a business card, rounded versus square corners to color choice to card stock thickness. Like it or not, people judge on the aesthetic merits of a business card. It has to be clean, professional, pleasing to look at, but also reflect what the individual or company wants to stand for.
Most people and start-ups cannot afford to hire a graphic designer and printer to create customized cards. Online sites supplying templates hardly provide a better option for two reasons: they’re ugly and expensive.
On AllBusinessCards.com, business card seeking individuals can actually design their own cards, choosing details like font layout and background color. Anyone who has used Microsoft Word or Paint can pretty easily use their online designer (take a gander here). And at 1,000 cards for $19.99, they offer one of the best deals on the internet.
Jeremy, founder of AllBusinessCards.com, took some time to answer our small business Proust questionnaire:
How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?
We provide tools that allow people to design and order high quality business stationery online. The user can select from thousands of background templates within our ever expanding product line and have a professional looking design ready to be ordered within 5 minutes.
What made you use crowdSPRING?
It was recommended to me by the VP of Marketing at another company of mine (conductor.com). After hearing about crowdSPRING, I took a quick look at the quality of the designs that were being produced and immediately knew that this was the solution for me.
What are some industry specific challenges you faced?
We just finished developing a new custom online design center for our sister site. Without getting into the complexities of commercial printing, having our engineers build the site to work within the CMYK [cyan, magenta, yellow and black] color space and provide files that were 100% print ready was one of the many challenges we faced while developing the software. Essentially, our technology team needed to understand the printing process almost as well as the printers themselves.
What was your biggest learning curve/experience?
Two main things:
1) Don’t let the the legal and accounting bull%$#^ get in the way of starting your business. Find yourself a good accountant and learn along the way. Doing things this way is far less overwhelming then making a huge list of everything that needs to get done.
2) Treat your employees well and have a backup plan in case a key one leaves. All companies have employee turnover and you need to learn to deal with it. Treating your employees with respect and paying them what they are worth is essential. However, you can’t please everyone all the time. It is inevitable that a chief employee will leave your company. You should always have a plan for when this happens.
What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?
A few years ago, I checked an old Yahoo! account of mine I used for business purposes. I had received an email from a woman asking why I had been ignoring her phone calls and accusing me of cheating on her. I proceeded to explain I was not the person she thought I was, but she persisted. It turns out her husband had ordered business cards from us in the past and, for some reason, she thought my email account was created by him behind her back for the sole purpose of being able to communicate without her knowledge.
If you could go back, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?
Sometimes what you envision your customers need is not actually what they need. I would have interviewed them during the design process and polled them on what features they deemed most important Then I would have concentrated on building those features, rather than building what I personally thought was most important.
How do you see your company growing in the future?
The best referrals are our current customers. We are lucky enough to have many great, happy customers who are really helpful in getting the word out about us. We are also always working on improving the website, expanding our product line, and trying to find new avenues such as social media to market through.
Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.
Six words? Not sure if this is a typo, but six words just won’t cut it here. See below for my full answer:
You can’t let your failures drag you down. There is no doubt that you will go to bed unhappy, depressed, and convinced your business is going to fail many times over the course of starting your own business. You need to be able to wake up the next morning and not let your passion die down. The bottom line is that you can fail 100 times, but it really doesn’t matter as long as you are successful once. Hopefully that success will last the rest of your life.
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