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Is the Humble Business Card Obsolete?

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Is the Humble Business Card Obsolete?

Have you ever tried to negotiate with a one and a half year old? I have, this afternoon, when three minutes before I had to walk out the door I noticed he’d scattered and/or hidden the entire contents of my wallet. I found my licence fairly easily and scrounged up some cash but the rest was MIA.

It would have been fine if not for the fact that my only remaining business cards were among the missing and I was on my way to a new networking event.

“Do you have my business cards? If you give them back I’ll give you a surprise.” At this point I was desperate but still hopeful.

“Banana”, he replied. It was then I knew, it was a lost cause.

As I made my business card-less way out into the evening I got thinking about the whole business card debate. The rise of social media, in particular LinkedIn, and virtual business card apps have some experts claiming the humble business card to be obsolete. So maybe I could get away with this …

But upon arrival, I hadn’t even made it through the door, before I was asked for a business card. I stuck my keys in my pocket, smiled and tried to come up with the least unprofessional excuse. And then I was saved. In my coat pocket was my emergency stash of business cards.

By the end of the night I’d gained several new leads and lost count of how many business cards I ended up giving away. Most of all I came away from that event knowing without a doubt, business cards are still one of the most powerful marketing tools a business can have. A tool you as a Small Business owner should never be without and this is why:

Business Cards Show a Level of Professionalism

Now that’s not to say showing up at an event without cards makes you any less professional. I am incredibly professional but it was sheer luck that saw me end up with a handful of cards.

The perception of professionalism comes in the preparedness. That you are someone serious enough about your business that you’re ready at any moment to take hold of an opportunity.

It’s the First Impression of Your Brand

Your business card is a visual representation of what you’re all about. It’s the gateway to who you are in business and it’s the first impression that many potential clients will get of your brand.

Handing Over a Tangible Piece of Your Business

When you hand over a physical object, something that can be held, you are handing over a tangible piece of your business.

It’s easy to get email addresses or phone numbers and stick them into your database, but in the chaos that can sometimes be Small Business ownership these are just as easily forgotten about. A business card can be a great visual reminder keeping your business present in the minds of potential clients and contacts.

If you don’t have any business cards, get some. If you have a pile sitting in a box on your desk take a handful and stick them in your car, in your jacket pocket or in your bag. Hand them out!

To the Lone Rangers Networking Group I thank you for not only a great event but for reminding me that business cards are still very much a relevant and powerful marketing tool.

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