In a modern business world jam-packed with technology, is the humble business card still relevant?
“Yes”, is the answer.
While today we have more methods than ever to communicate and network with each other professionally, there’s still something to be said for the personal touch a well-designed, branded business card can offer. Indeed, a business card can come in handy when you least expect it or be the perfect lasting impression at the end of a successful meeting.
But when are business cards best utilised in today’s business game?
Always be prepared
Networking opportunities can pop up when you least expect them, whether it’s a chance conversation in the pub or while you’re picking the kids up from school. Because business cards are effortlessly portable, it makes sense that you should always have a few handy in case you bump into somebody who could benefit from taking one.
A must for travel and face-to-face meetings, some professionals will tell you that your work never stops. Whether or not you believe in that mantra, having a business card ready to go at any time can often pay dividends.
Stock up for networking events
Large-scale networking events can be hugely beneficial to small businesses when utilised effectively. Turn up unprepared and you’re unlikely to make the lasting impression you want to. But come armed with solid branding, a well-packaged product and a clear message, and you’re likely to make a few new valuable connections.
Your calling card plays a big role in that process as the final piece of your pitch. When you consider that a big event might entail hundreds of these mini pitches a day, a bunch of business cards will be highly useful.
Infiltrate local establishments
Think about how often you walk into a local business and see sets of business cards on a countertop or waiting room table. There’s no real secret to that business card being there; you can do the same by getting your business cards out to local businesses who you think might entertain some of your target demographic.
If you know local businesses in the area with good footfall or with customers who you think your services might appeal to, ask if you can pop a few business cards down. You can always offer to return the favour and it’s a great way to open communication channels with other small businesses in the area.
Just remember to always make sure you have the proper permissions to distribute any marketing materials.
Find new connections through family and friends
For many small businesses with limited reach, word of mouth is just about as valuable as any other marketing tool out there. This messaging can be hugely effective for those looking to make an impact in a local area, and you can use business cards to support those efforts.
Give your card to family, friends and happy customers, and you might find a few referrals coming through the door.
Cost effective, free to distribute and handy for every situation, the humble business card still very much has a place in the working world. As you can see from the methods mentioned above, it’s a cheap, simple, and largely effortless networking solution that could bring in extra customers.
The bottom line: don’t underestimate the power of using business cards as part of your business or personal brand.