Can I Have Your Business Card?

“Do you have a business card?”  How many times have you been asked this question and your response has been, “sorry I’m all out.” As a professional, having a business card is essential and is your ticket for success. The business card represents you and your business. It gives new contacts a first impression of you and your business. That’s why it’s crucial to have a business card that’s well designed, easy to read, and provides all the information necessary to get in touch with you.Over the years, I’ve seen all types of creative business cards–from neon colors to mock credit card designs. And even though these business cards may stand out, the question is, what message do they convey to the new contact? If your business card is printed on neon pink construction paper with misspelled words, what does it say about your business? Since the card represents you, it should have the same look and use the same design as the rest of your promotional materials. This approach will help you to establish a brand for your company and/or nonprofit organization. Furthermore, business cards are essential because contact information can be stored and easily accessed.Nowadays, everyone uses their cell phones and PDAs as their way to store contacts, so why do you need a business card? While it may be convenient and technologically savvy to keep track of your contacts this way, it should not be the only way your contact information is stored. There are 3 major risks to paper-free networking:(1) You may not be able to collect all the new contact’s info (i.e. phone numbers, email addresses, fax numbers, website address) because some phones aren’t technically capable of collecting all this information. In a networking event, you may not have time to accurately get all of this information into your contact’s phone anyway.(2) You may not have the space to store the persons company information or the position they have at that particular company.(3) Even though technology is advancing almost daily, phones and PDAs are still not perfect and are prone to function improperly. Problems with the SIM card, an overloaded memory card, or a simple malfunction could wipe out all of your contacts. I met a gentleman who lost 30 years of contacts because his phone died on him. Think about the personal and professional impact that has.Your contact list is your gateway to success in business, why leave the future of your growing business to chance? Invest in getting business cards to professionally represent you and your business. And if you have the habit of collecting contact information in your phone, then I get into the habit of asking for the business card as well.