Despite being a small tool in a entrepreneur’s or business professional’s arsenal, business cards can still have a huge impact on the success of your business or career even in the digital age. The impression your business cards make, however, depends on how much effort you put into the design and where you do business.
Historically, businessmen in the U.S. and United Kingdom have not placed much importance on business cards — they simply act as a networking tool to make sure clients have current contact information, according to Work Etiquette website. A few cultures, such as Japan, consider exchanging business cards a high honor and place more importance on high-quality cards.
Composure Marketing website suggests that professionals still carry business cards, even those in the tech world who usually communicate digitally, because there are plenty who still use them, especially older businessmen. Not having a business card to exchange with someone could make them feel behind the times and displays poor business etiquette.
Business cards, along with your dress and manners, form a client’s first impression of you, according to John Williams of “Entrepreneur” magazine. Using business cards gives an impression of professionalism and that you take a lot of pride in your work. Also, business cards may keep you in the mind of a client once he gets back to his office and finds your card in his pocket.
When promoting a company, business cards can be an effective form of marketing that improves the legitimacy of your company, especially if the card stands out. The design of the card quickly communicates what your company is about, and piques the interest of people who see it.
Diane Darling, CEO of Effective Networking in Boston, suggests putting your most impressive qualification right under the name. College graduates can list their university and major if they do not have a job title.
Consider printing significant accomplishments or the web address of networking sites that you use on the back of the card and purchase a web domain for your name to get a custom email address.
Avoid lamination or other materials that could smudge notes people make and never put your picture on the card. You may want a professionally designed card, even with the presence of websites that allow you to make your own custom cards.