Many entrepreneurs choose to design their own marketing materials when they launch their businesses, especially by creating their first business card. Or sometimes they will have an amateur designer, friend, or relative create the design. There are several reasons why this is not the best idea. An amateur plastic business card design can make your business more likely to fail for a number of reasons:
Your business will not look stable. It will appear to be more likely to fold or to fail. Clients will not have confidence in doing business with you. Would you do business with someone who seems to be on unstable footing and who might not be in business by the end of your project or after you have purchased an item?
You will look like a very small business. Large, successful businesses would never consider doing business without professional, originally designed business cards. Using materials that are not professionally designed (i.e., Microsoft or Vistaprint templates) makes your business appear even smaller and can possibly indicate that you cannot perform to or meet the standards required.
You will look unpolished and rough. Not having a professional "look and feel" can make it appear as though your business does not matter to you. Customers may get the impression that you do not care about the way your business presents itself, which might indicate that you would not care about the quality of your work or the way that your work reflects upon their business.
About half of all businesses fail within their first few years. One source of failure that is commonly cited by experts is sloppy or ineffective marketing. If your marketing materials do not stand out from those of your competitors, your sales will suffer.
When you start a business, you need to create the quickest possible route to business success. A great business card can create this by contributing to your business's visibility, credibility, and memorability - three factors that will help your business to grow and achieve success. So, while putting off your business card development may seem like a prudent idea from a cash-flow point of view, it could result in your business never getting off the ground. It can also lead to your business folding when it would otherwise succeed.
If you think that you can't afford great business cards when starting your business, consider the outcomes - how can you afford not to?