Is the business card dead?
Some time ago I was the owner of a successful Print and Design Company and one of the successful products we printed were business cards. It was expected for a business to have letterheads, compliment slips, and business cards, we even offered a starter pack of these items at a low cost for new businesses. At the time the business card was a necessity for a business as it gave an air of professionalism to the company. Articles were written on how to make the best impression using your business card and as a printer, I took great pride in developing my own colourful and unique business card.
But I have to wonder in the 21st century with all the enhanced communications do we really still need the business card or is this long-standing business item just fading away?
Whilst writing this I can see a full box of business cards sat on my desk I ordered at the beginning of the year still full. You could argue that there are fewer opportunities to hand them out with more online meetings or that like the fax machine they are no longer a viable business asset.
The business meeting.
In the past, most of the business cards I gave away and collected were at business meetings or networking meetings. The tradition and formality of passing and accepting a card at the meeting with a client or prospect.
Let us consider the business card, it typically includes an email, phone, address, and website. To book an in-person meeting I would need to know a phone number, if I schedule by phone then I follow up with an email or send a link to my calendly, so I already have the email and phone number.
To meet with a client I will need their address and to get more information I need the client’s website URL. A business card gives me no more information than I cannot obtain from a search on the internet.
So forgo the expense, the formality, and save paper.
Linkedin also offers a profile with a QR but this is only available on a mobile view.
When I first started networking I took a box of business cards with me and made sure I came away with everyone’s business card just so I could connect with them after the meeting and add it to my email database, prior to GDPR.
Today as all the networking I do is online I had to come up with a different way of exchanging my information.
The answer became clear when I realised clients could remember my email via name @ his company.com.
I also created a QR code with a linktree now all my links are part of my Zoom background.
To understand if business cards are worth it for you, consider why you think you need them when there are other ways available now for professionals to build their image and network with new contacts.
Business cards can still provide you with value, but don’t stock up on thousands of them as you would have in past years, thanks to modern media.