The End of Business Cards?

I checked my drawer the other day to see how many business cards I had left from the last print. To my surprise it was a lot more than I had thought.

This leaves me with a dilemma. In one sense, I need my cards updated. My business has evolved, and although the call to action on the reverse side is still relevant, it does not precisely chime with my favourite niche.

On the other hand, I am not handing out many cards these days. Once upon a time when I started with breakfast networking groups, we handed out loads of cards, gave other members a supply to give to their contacts, and generally hoped they would bring referrals. Now, I mostly give cards to people who actually ask me at networking meetings and elsewhere. I think that is because everyone is now aware they can find everyone else on-line, or at least they should be able to do so.

A deterrent to handing out many cards is the likelihood we will get on people’s email mailing lists. I guess we know if we go to a trade exhibition and get asked for our card that is because we will be put on the trader’s email marketing list. I do not feel guilty about unsubscribing from those, but when someone I meet while networking adds me to their email list, I feel worse about unsubscribing even though I did not give them permission to add me in the first place.

The reality is that there is much less call on my supply of business cards. I am more reluctant to hand them out and do not feel I am expected to. My contact information, my skills and my businesses’ niche services are on-line for everyone to see. Do we really need to order 1500 cards at a time as I did several years ago? In five years’ time, will I need any at all when there will be some app for each of us to pass our details and spread the word?

What do you think?

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3 Responses to The End of Business Cards?

  1. I can see why simply handing out business cards is losing its touch. A lot of networking can be done online without the need of printed materials. At the same time, there’s so much more than a just a business card, there are ways to revamp them, make them stand out more and turn them into visual reminders for potential customers. I wouldn’t give up on business cards just yet.

    • Jon Stow says:

      Especially with your profile, Catherine, I can understand your point of view, and I do agree that having a nice substantial business card in your hand does give an added impetus to contacting someone if you do need their business expertise. However, gone are the days when we handed out cards like scattering confetti.

      Yes, business cards do have their place as does all paper promotional material. Some potential customers do like something of substance in front of them; just not so many as in the past.

      Thanks for dropping by and for your input. 🙂

  2. I think business cards are still the best way to show your potential customer what you are all about. Thanks your sharing, great post.

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