New Practice Fundamentals: Business Cards

February 26, 2019

5 tips for creating the best business cards for your private behavioral health practice

Although modern technology has changed and enhanced the many ways in which we conduct business, some things have remained the same. For example, nothing else can give a first impression of the practice quite as personally, creatively, and effectively as a good business card. But the possibilities are vast, and coming up with a great business card design might seem daunting if you don’t know where to start. The following are five important rules to remember when creating the best business cards for your private practice.

Desired action
Sometimes it’s helpful to think about the end goal and work backwards. A good business card is one that facilitates the action one hopes the recipient will take. As a behavioral healthcare provider, this might mean a prospective client, referring area provider, or colleague reaches out to connect later on.

Make sure the contact paths obvious and easy to follow. Having multiple options, such as a telephone number, email address, and a website URL are useful in accommodating all manner of preferred communication styles.

Simplicity
A business card has limited real estate, and can easily get crowded. Packing too much information into a confined space will likely cause the recipient of the card to lose interest quickly. That is why it’s important to convey only the most critical information and cut out anything non-essential. For a behavioral healthcare provider, this will include name, credentials, and contact information. Branding colors and logos are a nice touch, but shouldn’t draw attention away from what’s important. Finally, consider leaving the back of the card completely blank. It presents an opportunity to write some personalized sentiment, and in an industry as interpersonal as behavioral health, the small things matter.

Accuracy
Finding out the information on a business card is either outdated or inaccurate is a serious disappointment. Remember that a business card is in many ways a first impression. It is a chance to reflect the practice’s standards before the card’s recipient interacts with you any further, so start things off on the right foot!

As time goes on, phone numbers or addresses are likely to change. One thing to avoid is manually crossing things out and writing in updated information by hand. The overall appearance is sloppy, and could reflect poorly. If anything must be updated, it’s best to simply print new cards.

Professionalism and brevity
This may be stating the obvious, but avoid using personal email addresses. This is especially true if the email address doesn’t align with the practice’s brand (“motherofdragons283ac@aol.com”, for example). An equally important consideration is brevity. Prospective clients and colleagues don’t enjoy the benefit of “copy and paste” where business cards are concerned, so having an email address that is easy to read and copy is best.

Too long
“jessicamarie.muldenhauer@snohomishmentalhealthalliance.org”

Simplified
“j.muldenhauer@smha.org”

Presentation
Make no mistake – the business card will be judged as a representation of the quality of the practice. If the card is dirty, smudgy, damp, bent, or faded in any way, it will likely send the wrong message. Always keep business cards where they can stay clean and intact, such as a designated display holder or a carrying case. Try to avoid keeping them in a wallet or purse for long periods of time.

When considering everything that goes into running a private behavioral health practice, business cards might seem like a comparatively small detail, but for many practices, they represent an opportunity to keep the practice’s brand in front of prospective clients, referring providers, and colleagues. Being mindful of effective practices when designing a business card will contribute to the continuity of client volume and the development of fruitful business relationships over time.

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Last Updated: February 25, 2019