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Traditionally, small businesses had their business cards printed by a local printing company and had to order at least 1000 at a time - FYI, I've gone through less than 2000 cards in 6 years of business - and full-color was prohibitively expensive. These days, many small businesses are getting their cards printed from online companies such as VistaPrint for a fraction of the price. You can also order as few as 250 at a time. So, if you are planning to put your store hours on your card, consider ordering the minimum number of cards. If your hours do change, you'll have to pay your designer for an altered file and pay a minimal upload charge to VistaPrint, but you won't have a lot of excess cards going to waste.

Let your designer know who will be printing your cards so that they can provide you with final artwork designed specifically for that vendor, as each printer tends to have different requirements.

Once you've approved everything and your designer has turned over the files, please make a backup disc and store it in a safety-deposit box or other safe location. Online backup providers, such as First Backup are another option.

Your logo and business cards should be designed by a professional, but once they are done consider purchasing a desktop publishing program such as Microsoft Publisher and try creating your own letterhead, envelopes, address labels, display signage, and even bookmarks. Doing the work yourself is much more cost-effective and allows you a much faster turnaround time for changes. Keep in mind that you may need to purchase the fonts that your designer chose, if necessary, to maintain a consistent image.

If you have any questions about choosing your business logo, please email me at fictionaddiction@juno.com or post your query to the BookThink Open Shop Bookstores Forum and I'll do my best to help.

Now that you've successfully organized your business, it's time for one of the most important business decisions you'll face: Location! Location! Location! Stay tuned for my next article: Store Location and Lease Negotiation.

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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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