Picture this, you're running late and rushing off to a very important meeting. You see a business associate that you have not been able to reach for long time. He is also rushing, jumping into a waiting car he rattles off his number to you as the car speeds away. You think you got it, you enter the digits into your phone on your way to your meeting. The next day you make that call, it's the wrong number., now you have to try finding him on social media...you remember he was a very private person with no social media presence... Now, wouldn't it have been easier if he just handed you his business card?
- Not everyone is going to stop and put your info into their phone, especially if they're in a hurry. If they can grab your card, especially when trying to make their way around a conference etc. They can grab your card and go. Please let them.
- You need cards at conferences, craft markets, and generally bumping into ppl who might be interested in your servies - unexpected meetings take place all the time everywhere. Not every time is someone going to have a smart device, or pen and paper. If you do and you can write out your info etc and give it to them, great but Ummmm...do you really want to represent your business on a scrap of torn out paper or a napkin?
- Your business card is another example of something that represents your business when you're not there to do it. I have had clients hire me solely by the design of my business card. One client called and said "My husband brought home your card and I said, WOW, if this is her business card, she must be good!" She hired me on the spot.
- Let's face it, depending on the nature of your business, many of your ideal clients are NOT on social media or even online. Of course, they can get referrals from others who have seen your social media posts etc. I am in no way saying don't use social media, that would be ludicrous. What I am saying is, use every opportunity available to sell your business and leave a lasting GREAT impression. Your business card is just one of the possible ways. Are you going to say "Check me out on Facebook!" and prattle off your business name? Unless, your business is known and already winning in the entrepreneurial game, or that person is really, truly in need of your service, they're not going to remember. They're going to nod and smile. Then there's the challenge of spelling your business name and correcting their spelling of it, "No, it's 'i' as in 'insect', not 'e'..." Hand them a business card, the spelling's correct, there's no confusion, no wasting time...and time is $$$$$.
- Has your phone ever died on you? Recently, a client's phone died, I mean died, not the battery, but the phone. She wasn't very tech savvy and had all her contacts saved to the phone. She lost all her clients' contact info, only a few were able to message her on Facebook because they were actually following her page.
- Save yourself that icky feeling. When was the last time someone asked you if you had a business card and you didn't? You either get that awkward feeling of not being on your A-game, a bit inadequate, or defensive. Basically, you feel stupid, and you shouldn't, so just get a couple hundred and have them handy. The key is to know your ideal client and possible ways of reaching them, it could be through a supplier, contractor or friend. You judge and distribute accordingly.
Knowing your products and services well and understanding your distribution will help you decide if having business cards is right for you. Context is key. Depending on what country you live in and the number of people who regularly use social media, the internet and consider themselves tech savvy, you can decide if printing cards makes sense for your business. But, if you live in Trinidad and Tobago, do craft markets etc. you need cards, your market demands it, and they actually use them too. You will hear dissonance from a good few people on this topic, some will say you don't need cards... they're outdated. I'm here to tell you, you actually do. You just don't need thousands, and you need well designed cards, that speak volumes about your brand.