How Many Business Cards Should I Order? (We Break It Down!)

Sick of running out of business cards at critical networking events?

Determining the optimal quantity to order is frustrating.

How Many Business Cards Should I Order?
How Many Business Cards Should I Order?

But follow this in-depth guide covering professional tips tailored to your needs, and you’ll have the perfect supply ready to capitalize on opportunities.

How Many Business Cards Should I Order?

When ordering business cards, a good rule of thumb is to get 250-500 cards initially. This allows you to hand cards out generously while starting your business, without having to reorder too frequently.

For established businesses, ordering 500-1000 cards at once can make sense to have a ample supply on hand.

5 Factors to Consider When Ordering Business Cards

Before deciding on a quantity for your initial or reorder of business cards, consider the following:

Purpose of the Business Cards

Are the cards primarily for networking events, sales calls, trade shows, client gifts, or to provide to new hires?

The main use case will impact how many you should order.

Those actively networking may need more than salespeople meeting a limited number of prospects.


What’s the maximum you can spend on your initial batch of cards?

Opt for a quantity you can afford that still meets your needs.

Going over budget on extra cards you don’t urgently require is unnecessary.

Plus, you can always reorder if you run out sooner than expected.

Design and Customization

If you opt for basic business cards, you may be fine with a larger upfront order.

But for a custom, complex design, start smaller in case you want to modify the design later.

You’ll also pay more per card for custom printing.

Quantity Discounts

Printers usually offer tiered discounts at certain order minimums, so you may get a better per-card rate if you buy in larger bulk.

But don’t overbuy just to reach a discount threshold if you won’t use them.

Turnaround Time

Rushing your order to get cards sooner may increase the cost per card.

Opt for standard production time to maximize value if you currently have an adequate supply.

Job title and responsibilitiesWill your job title or responsibilities change soon requiring new cards? Order fewer cards if changes are imminent.
Frequency of useHow often do you expect to hand out cards? Order more if you’ll use them frequently.
Durability and qualityLower-quality cards may wear out faster. Opt for durability to avoid reordering sooner.
Events and conferencesStock up on extra cards if you have events or conferences coming up.
Branding and designWill your branding or logo be updated soon? Hold off on ordering cards if a redesign is planned.

How to Determine the Right Quantity of Business Cards to Order?

To identify the ideal business card order amount, assess the following:

Frequency of Networking Events

If you attend several networking events per month to generate leads, you may exhaust cards quicker than someone focused on servicing existing clients.

Consider how many cards you typically hand out at each event.

Number of Employees

For single entrepreneurs, ordering 50-100 cards may suffice initially.

Bigger companies should provide cards for all employees expected to network, meet clients, or travel for the business.

Business Growth Projections

A rapidly growing startup may use cards faster than a small business with slower, organic growth.

Think about your hiring plans and revenue goals for the coming 6-12 months.

Cost Per Card

Order conservative quantities if each card costs over $1.

You likely don’t need 500-1000 cards as a startup if your budget only allows for 100-250.

Importance of Business Cards
Importance of Business Cards

Recommended Quantities for Common Professions

Here are suggested business card order amounts for certain professions:

  • Real estate agents: 250-500 cards initially; reorder in batches of 250-350. You’ll hand out cards to many prospective home buyers and other industry contacts.
  • Consultants: 250 cards to start if actively marketing services; can order less if focused on current clients.
  • Trade show vendors: 500-1000 cards for multi-day shows; less for single-day events. Attendees expect cards from exhibitors.
  • Restaurants: 500 cards for the owner and 25 each for managers to provide to patrons.
  • Photographers: 300-500 cards to include with delivered photo products and give prospective clients.
  • Freelancers: 50-100 cards to begin as a solo contractor until your client pipeline grows.
  • Lawyers: 500+ to network with other law firms and share in courtrooms. Reorder when supply gets low.
  • Tech startups: 300-500 cards for founders, executives, and early hires who attend tech events.
Employed at small company250-500
Employed at large company500-1,000
Sales or business development role1,000-2,000
Frequent event attendee500-1,000
Recent job change250-500
Planning a rebrand250 or fewer

Tips for Designing Effective Business Cards

When designing your cards, keep these tips in mind:

Keep it Simple and Professional: Avoid cluttered designs. Use a clear, readable font and minimal text. White space makes details stand out.

Use High-Quality Images and Fonts: Invest in a professionally designed logo. Pick a premium cardstock and vibrant, crisp printing.

Include Essential Information: Feature your name prominently along with email, phone, website, and company. Other details are optional.

Make it Memorable: Incorporate unique elements like a custom shape, specialty print technique (e.g. foil stamping), or distinctive imagery.

Business Card Anatomy
Business Card Anatomy

Where to Order Business Cards?

To create a polished business card worthy of repeat impressions, consider ordering from:

  • VistaPrint: Offers premium cardstock, fast turnaround, and low prices. Great for bulk orders with frequent sales.
  • GotPrint: Print custom foil stamped or spot UV coated cards on luxe paper. Excellent quality.
  • Canva: Easily design attractive cards using ready-made templates. Affordable for smaller orders.
  • Staples: Convenient for quick printing of basic cards with flexible order quantities.
  • Zazzle: Allows fully customizable designs. Invite clients to order branded merch with your logo.


Ordering new business cards requires evaluating factors like anticipated usage, quantity discounts, design preferences, and budget.

While startup founders may only need 250-300 cards initially, larger companies should provide ample cards for networking employees.

Carefully consider the recommended order amounts for your particular profession.

And don’t forget small details that maximize your cards’ impact, like paper quality, special finishes, and memorable designs.

With a professional business card ready to make a strong first impression, you’ll be equipped to connect with prospective clients and build your business.

Related Posts:

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  2. Is It Illegal to Leave Business Cards in Stores
  3. How to Get a Business Credit Card Without a Business?

FAQs On How Many Business Cards To Order?

How many business cards should I order for a small business?

Most small business owners should start with 250-500 cards, and reorder in increments of 250 once your supply runs low. This ensures you always have cards on hand for networking.

Is it better to order business cards in bulk?

It can be smart to order in bulk if 1) the design is finalized 2) you get a low per-card price and 3) you’ll actually use most of the cards before they become outdated. Resist over-ordering at first.

How often should I update my business cards?

You should update your business cards whenever your company details change, such as with a new phone number, location, or logo redesign. Or refresh the design every 2-3 years.

What should I include on my business card?

Include your full name, company name, phone number, email address, website URL, and social media handles. Other options are your position, office address, and company tagline.

Can I order different designs for the same order of business cards?

Yes, most printers allow you to upload multiple business card designs and split the order however you prefer between the variations.

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