I had a catch up and congratulatory dinner with an old friend this week. She’s starting her new business. Or, should I say, another business. It seems that everyone in California is involved in two or three different business ventures.
My friend was happy to point out her expensive business cards as proof of success, which, admittedly, look, well, expensive. I was impressed. She printed the cards using her Mac. I thought about it for awhile over drinks. What else do you need to start your own business besides a name on a business card? Not much.
What’s In A Name?
It doesn’t take much to get into business in the good old U.S. of A. An idea helps (1). So does a good business name (2). And, of course, a business card (3).
My friend remembered a review we did years ago on a Mac application called Business Card Composer, now at version 5.
Simply put, BCC creates business cards with a few clicks. Today’s color printers make home made business cards almost indistinguishable from the expensive cards at a print shop.
Indeed, many print shops use Business Card Composer to create cards for their customers. It’s that good.
3 Things You Need
Depending on your needs, experience, education, and diligence, there are only a few basic things a Mac user needs to go into business. Beyond idea and business name.
Top on the list is the business card because that becomes the second contact point (after the personal introduction, of course). Creating a good business card used to be the domain of professional artists and expensive print shops. No more.
BCC comes with over 700 ready-made designs. The built-in Assistant makes it easier than easy. It’s all point and click. In fact, the most difficult thing you’ll encounter is which kind of paper to select.
Business cards come in all shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and the right card can set you apart from wannabe competition. Design? What if you can’t design your way out of a paper bag?
BCC also comes with over 24,000 clip art images, and you can add your own (photos are nice for real estate agents, and who in California doesn’t know someone in real estate?).
Contacts, Tools, Barcodes, & Google Maps
You’re a Mac user, right? That means Address Book. BCC pulls in your basic address and contact information automagically. So what if you’re not a designer? They cost money. Your shoestring budget doesn’t mean a shoestring design.
BCC has tools to modify any of the template designs, add different images or graphics, resize and reposition with a simple drag motion. Even add Mac OS X’s Core Image effects and filters to create a truly unique business card design without the expense of a designer.
Go fully high tech by integrating a 2D barcode onto your card. Yes, a barcode. Not the secret place where you meet for drinks. But a grocery store barcode that holds more information. Who has a barcode scanner? Every Mac user with an iSight camera.
Maps are important and BCC makes it easy to drop in a Google Map to a business card design.
Interface Me With An Interface
Business Card Composer may be one of the most Mac-like applications you’ll ever use. BeLight Software is known for creating top level Mac applications, perfect for the small business owner with big aspirations and inspiration to match.
How easy is BCC to use? Can you click your mouse? Do you know what you like? Can you buy business card paper at Staples, or Office Depot, or Office Max, or Walmart? Yes, you can.
Here’s the only rub. There’s a learning curve. Taking a stock design and adding your contact information is an absolute no brainer. No wonder so many Americans go into business for themselves. In two or three clicks you’ll be printing a quality business card.
The problem has to do with options and features, and there are plenty of each, which makes BCC an attractive application for professional designers who want to do expensive business card designs.
It’s easy to think of Business Card Composer as Photoshop for business cards. Stick with the basic templates and you’ll be happy. If not, there are more professional features that only the obsessive compulsive disorder crowd will appreciate.