Why use business cards in this digital age? It seems that everyone, from toddlers to grannies, has a digital device in their hands or pressed to their ears. Isn't the traditional business card superfluous or at least old-fashioned?
Well, no. Here are seven reasons why you should still bother to get business cards printed for your small business and hand them out.
Ease and Simplicity
You could email the information to them, but that necessitates getting a person's email address and inputting the information. How is that faster than just handing someone a business card?
It's true that some digital devices make it fairly easy to transfer info between them, but this typically only works between compatible devices. The chances of all your potential customers having the same kind of phone are extremely remote, making business cards the better option.
Not Everyone Has a Smartphone
Surprising as it may sound, there are still plenty of people who still do not own a smartphone (or at least don't always carry it around with them). Some people even have computers in their homes but don’t use them on a regular basis. If you want to sell things to some of these people, business cards can help.
They're never inaccessible because of dead spots or Internet outages. You can use them at a remote fishing camp or at an industry conference in the mid-city hotel. You can even exchange them in situations where your cell phones need to be turned off, such as on planes or in hospitals. Keep a few in your wallet or purse, and you have them whenever you need them.
People want to deal with businesses that they feel are trustworthy. When faced with businesses that don't have well-known names or firmly established reputations, they judge a business on its appearance (and what other people say about it). Having nice business cards is one way that you cue people that you are running a real business they can trust.
Marketing and Promotion
Obviously, you promote your small business when you hand out a business card. You're hoping that the person you're giving it to will use the information on the card to contact you. But why stop there?
Turning your business card into a brochure goes beyond giving contact info and tells the prospective client or customer why they should call you, too. Take it a step further and turn your business card into a promotional item that will serve as a visible daily reminder of your business.
The ritual exchange of business cards is central to establishing business relationships in many countries. In Hong Kong, for instance, if you are given a business card and don't offer one in return, you can basically close up business then and there.
In Japan, too, the quality and condition of your business card says much about how you intend to conduct yourself and business.
A lot of business networking happens virtually these days. But, while virtual or online networking has expanded business people's networking circles, it hasn't superseded face-to-face networking. That in-person style has long been the tried-and-true method for creating business relationships, finding business opportunities, and increasing sales. And business cards play an important role in these functions.
A Proven Way to Grow
Why use business cards? Because the old-fashioned paper rectangle is still the fastest and easiest way to share business contact information with other business people and prospective customers and clients. Even in this digital age, they're still one of the best ways to remind people about your small business—and to grow it.