The business card has been in existence since the 17th century. It became prominent at the industrial revolution as many business owners used it to build connections. It continued to thrive most especially in the 20th century which was regarded as the Golden age for business owners because the number of entrepreneurs was increasing significantly and there was no digital technology for meeting and there were no company details for foreign business directories. The business cards became a necessity to be carried along by entrepreneurs who travel around for international meetings.
The new internet age has made business cards slightly lose their taste in businesses. Now, there is a wide gap between a small cardboard business card with printed contact information and today’s fast-paced digital work environment. It is very easy to rely on the internet for your company’s detail if you forgot your business card while going to a meeting.
Since the internet has made a lot of business connections important, young entrepreneurs feel the business cards has lost its importance and purpose compared to the essential accessory it was to young entrepreneurs in the 20th century.
Despite the fact business card is archaic, they still have their purpose. It’s just like CVs and carbonless forms templates, the traditional business card is not yet on its deathbed.
People who often buy the idea that business cards have become redundant are often young entrepreneurs because they grew up with internet and technology, and also social media.
The truth is most established businesses, decision-makers, investors, and business owners that use business cards doesn’t mean they are of the older generation. It is still expected that entrepreneurs should have a business card with them. It shows credibility, authenticity, aspirations, determination, and professionalism. If an entrepreneur has the prospect of having a business card with him in the event of an accidental meeting, he will likely be able to face other challenges posed by the business card.
A business card may be old fashioned but it sure still has its relevance in the business, some of it is highlighted below.
1. PERSONAL COMMUNICATION
Some people think smartphones have eliminated the need for business cards because they can use LinkedIn and email to still communicate with them.
The problem here is there will be a breakdown of personal communication that a business card will offer because LinkedIn and Email don’t offer the same aesthetic value as a business card.
2. TARGET AUDIENCE
Another factor to consider is that in many situations, you might not have time to take out your smartphone when you find potential clients especially when there are many entrepreneurs like you trying to get time in touch with them.
The obvious thing to do is by finding contacts on social media. But when there are a lot of entrepreneurs, this plan may not work because they might not remember you.
A well-designed business card will stand out, convey your brand message, and leave a lasting impression on the potential clients who receive it.
3. MARKET STRATEGY
Business cards can be used as a direct form of marketing and it cannot be replicated with digital technology. They are cheap therefore you can make many copies and leave them in strategic places i.e. public libraries, the foyer of major office blocks, you can even post them directly through letterboxes.
You can even give the business card to your major employees that are in the sales and marketing department so that they can give the cards to potential clients when they meet several representatives or when they go for an industry exhibition.
Digital marketing offers none of these physical advantages. A prospect may see your company online and go to other sites forgetting about yours.