There’s a lot of debate in the business community about whether we still need business cards in the electronic age. My belief? Yes Virgina, you still need a business card.
Here are five reasons why:
1. It adds an extra level of legitimacy to you and/or your business.
Anyone can set up a website, but to take the extra time to get high quality business cards printed and have them handy to give to people you meet, shows that you’re serious about your business.
2. It’s something you can hand out when you’re face-to-face.
Even though a lot of business is conducted electronically, there are still a lot of face-to-face meetings, networking events, and other gatherings being conducted in the world. Telling someone, “Check out my website at www.supercommunicationtrainersrus.com,” is a waste of time- they won’t remember.
Additionally, you shouldn’t expect people to write down your information on a napkin, the back of their own card, or their hand. Providing a business card ensures the information will be remembered, and remembered correctly.
3. Contrary to popular belief, most people keep them.
Some people have a concern that business cards are a waste of money because most people throw them away. Yes, it’s true some people may throw your card away if they don’t plan on doing business with you. However, those who are even considering using your services will likely hold onto your card in their wallets, or they’ll bring them back to the office to add to their files, scan in, or transfer your information to an electronic database.
4. When presented properly, a business card can be a source of referral business.
Even if the person to whom you’re handing your card doesn’t have an immediate need for your services, if you ask him or her to pass your card along to friends or colleagues who might have a need, you could expand your network and gain referral business. I’ve often asked people for extra cards to pass along to friends, family, or colleagues when I’ve found a business I think is worthwhile, even if it’s not providing a service I currently need.
5. They don’t just provide information, they help you brand yourself.
A well designed business card provides others with an insight to your personal style, creativity, and professionalism, such as the Yoga studio business card to the left.
Combined with a well designed website, brochures, and other marketing materials, a great looking, informative business card will be put to the “top of the stack” at a networking event and will be the most likely to be retained.
Finally, one extra reason for having a business card, especially for those who do business internationally. In some countries, including most Asian countries, you just can’t do business without a card. In fact, in Japan, there’s a strict etiquette for the proper presentation and receipt of business cards, or meishi.