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On The Flip Side

Savvy ideas to boost sales.

Real estate consultant George Allen calls it "the most underutilized marketing tool in American enterprise." Is it the Internet? Human billboards? Actually, it's something virtually every business already has.

It's the back of your business card--and it's just waiting to be called into action. Allen, whose Indianapolis-based company, GFA Management, specializes in the development and operation of manufactured home communities, prints a loan amortization chart and a return-on-investment formula on the flip side of his business card. This makes Allen's card so indispensable that recipients rarely throw it away. "A lot of people have told me the only two cards they carry are theirs and mine," Allen says.

Bravo, but what if you're not in real estate? Allen, who plans to write a book on the subject, recommends the following:

  • a useful chart, or graph;
  • a calendar;
  • a map of your location;
  • a product photo;
  • a memorable quote;
  • a coupon;
  • your mission statement; or
  • a glossary of industry terms.

Gayle Sato Stodder covers entrepreneurship for various publications. She lives and works in Redondo Beach, California.

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This article was originally published in the January 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: On The Flip Side.

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