Just a few days ago I went to one of my friends office who owns a software development company. While having a chat with him I asked him to give his business card so that I could give to the ones who are in need for some kind of software. The answer that I got really stunned me. My friend did not have a business card with him. He had never made one. He used to get his all business online from sites like Elance. All his business was on mails and sometimes on phones. Thus, he never felt like wasting his money on business cards. I own a web design company and I have a stack of business card with me. I have made business card not just for me for my other employees too to whom I always say to exchange the business cards with new people they meet.
Sure, technology has changed many a businesses. It has improved every bit of the business. Today, an email is more important than a talk between two business associates. Technology has also helped in cutting costs of many a things like printing of bills and invoices. But still, business cards are not just papers. They are more than just ice-breakers. There are loads of advantages of having a business card with you.
Below I have jotted down a few points emphasizing on the importance of business cards for small, medium or large companies.
1. Start a conversation
Business Cards are the best icebreakers for any businessman. In the crowd of strangers, business cards relieves the bit of shyness amongst people. It breaks the formal atmosphere the person is in. It helps starting a conversation. You cannot start bragging about your business niche. The business card does that for you. A nicely designed business card grabs a person attention and makes him ask questions about your business, costing and all the other details.
2. Up-to-date Contacts
Suppose you met some person in a meeting and told him about the services you have to offer. The person seems to be impressed with you, but due to some emergency he leaves without saving your contact information. When that person needs to contact he has no way of contacting you and you have surely lost a good deal! Instead, if you had a business card you could hand it over to any person and the person could contact you any time he wants. He does not need to save your contact information, he has you business card which is enough! You could easily fill in your business card with email ID and links to your website and social profiles.
A business card helps to add the extra bit of credibility to you and your business. It shows that you are serious about your business and that you have a nice set up of work. It shows that you are not just any freelancer who just doing a part time work.
Suppose you are meeting a group of people and in the process you explain them your services. They ask for your business card so that they can stay in touch with you. If you do not have a business card you have to say No, which would be the worst case scenario for you. It shows you in very bad light and shows that you are not at all a professional person. A creative or custom designed card shows that you are more than just a name and phone number. You could easily Make your card stand out by using a professional printing service that offers a variety of patterns and colors. They also have a huge collection of templates for cheap business cards.
I have made an understanding with 2-3 more businesses wherein, I have their business cards and distribute them to people who are interested in their services, while they have my stack of business cards which they distribute to people they meet. This really is a very effective way of increasing your customer base. This type of networking really works for many a people and help you get good referrals. In this way my business cards reach out to different people belonging in different sections and events where normally I could never reach.
Suppose you cater to a couple of clients and they are visibly happy with the way you have done your job. In such an event you hand over a few of your business cards to them and ask them to give them to the people they know and provide a bit of information about your services. I have got a few clients who have themselves asked for my business card straight away. This way you have a genuine chance of getting many referrals from a satisfied customer.
In the age of technology where smartphones and emails do all the work for you, business card is traditional method which you could easily blend in with your newer methods and get the best out of it. For example, you could have QR codes on your business cards that take you straight to your services or portfolio page on your website, which could easily impress any person. In the age where your contact information or your website address could easily be lost in translation, you need something tangible that could help people remember you and your services. Business cards give you that opportunity!
We would really like to know how you use your business cards to make them effective. Let us know your ways in the comments section!