Think about it for a minute. What does your business card really say about you?

We’re provoking you to think about that question because too few small businesses and entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom—and in the rest of the world for that matter—take the time to consider what their business card communicates to potential and current clients.

As Steve Golding, Davinci's UK General Manager, sees it, most small- to mid-sized businesses realize the benefits that having a virtual office at a prestigious business address can deliver to their business. That’s a given, really. But those same small- to mid-sized businesses overlook the importance of getting the right messages onto their business cards. Golding says first impressions are all too important to those running small businesses and poorly thought out business cards can be a real turn-off.

Davinci Virtual surveyed some of its 1,500 UK virtual office clients. The results: the biggest no-no was to include just a mobile phone number on a card. Use of a landline implied longevity, stability, security and also gave the impression of being a sizeable business.

"We found that the use of just a mobile number implied the business is small and probably run by a sole-trader. Using a PO Box number for a mailing address also gave potential customers a lack of security and an inability to contact the supplier if dealings did not go as planned,” Golding says. “On the other hand, having a London virtual office for example with a central London address implied the business was established and secure and gave potential customers improved peace of mind."

Another indicator to business size was the lack of a Web address. Golding says most 21st Century businesses have access to a computer and Web sites are viewed as essential tools established businesses. Successful businesses, he says, are those that have a simple and easy to remember domain name and one that doesn't divert to a rival or gets lost in cyberspace if it is miss-typed.

"E-mail addresses also reveal a lot about the quality of a business. The most professional addresses use the first initial and last name layout rather than the use of just a first name, which implies the card holder is either the founder of the business or running a very small operation,” Golding says.

"Lastly, the quality of the business card itself also reveals much about a business. Thin shiny cards imply that they were printed by a machine at the local railway station and most businesses overlook the opportunity to print a list of their USPs on the reverse. Overall, designing and printing a dynamic and entertaining business card is probably one of the best kept secrets in business today."