I spent a recent weekend performing a long overdue purge in my office. I found things that made me smile (nice notes from growers and hand-made cards from my children), a few things that made me shout, “So that’s where it went!” and a few completely useless items (one being a piece of obsolete photography equipment from 2002).
In my focus to start 2020 with as little clutter as possible, I went through each and every business card in my collection. It seems a bit ridiculous, but I categorized them to help me find the best source for my needs, and the exercise jogged my memory about people, places and ideas. However, out of all those business cards collected throughout the years, there were at least 50 that gave zero indication of the nature of the business. Is it a nursery? A consulting firm? A retailer? I threw the cards in a pile with an initial intention of Googling the business names. Well, in the immortal words of Internet memes, ain’t nobody got time for that. Instead of being in my files waiting to become a long-term, trusted source, the cards are in the recycle bin.
It’s almost prime trade show time. When is the last time you reviewed your business cards? Do you have a tag line or a call to action on the card that makes it obvious what you sell or what services you provide? If not, it’s time to add one STAT.
Patricia Schaefer from Business Know-How (businessknowhow.com) suggests adding a selling proposition to your card. “Your card should state at least one very powerful reason a customer should do business with you,” she says. (For example, an auto service center's business card that reads in part, "complete automotive repairs" and "all work fully guaranteed," lets people know that the center handles all types of repairs and builds trust by mentioning the guarantee.)
She also warns against small fonts. I agree with that assessment. I’ve reached a certain age where my arm isn’t long enough to see small print.
Forbes asked its “agency council” (a community of PR, ad and media execs) if they thought the business card was dead. Some gave a resounding yes, but several thought business cards are still relevant. Leila Lewis says cards are still the quickest way to exchange information, but she adds, “there should always be a follow up via email or social media.” Aiden Cole told Forbes, “A business card is a physical reminder of who you are. It can also spark a memory of the time and place you met, separating you from others.” Kristopher Jones believes cards “can still make a powerful impression on prospective clients.”