Rebecca Jackson

Those little business cards, why have them?

I have only had a couple of jobs where business cards were the norm. To be honest, at first I thought it was wonderful. A little card, all about me. When people asked for one, I could say “yes”. I had recently begun to wonder why I still had them. I mean, I have LinkedIn and Twitter now, so why did I need to carry lots of little cards around?

When we relocated to a new building I decided not to order more. I piffed the old ones into recycling and decided that digital was the way for me. What did I use them for anyway? It was a waste of money and paper. Until the last conference I attended when I realised (re-realised) why I had those little cards.

  1. Exchanging business cards is easier (as long as you have them) than trying to remember names or note down recited emails
  2. It’s a quick way to impart your details when time is not on your side (like at conferences or in a chance meeting)
  3. It’s a bit of branding to share, you are connected with your organisation or personal brand by that stylishly designed little card
  4. When you check into hotels, and they want you to fill out that form to check in, business cards save time
  5. When there is a big glass fishbowl at an event or in a restaurant you can put your business card in to win a prize

Without business cards I might miss out on the joy of exchanging perfect rectangles with someone in a business suit while we scrutinise the font, embossing and the shade of paperstock.

So I cracked and ordered more. The ease of being able to hand over the white rectangle won out over inelegantly trying to take down an email or promising to find each other on LinkedIn. I think I will investigate some of the apps available for scanning business cards so I don’t have to invest in a Rolodex.

Do you still have business cards or have they gone the way of the telegraph for you? Please share your thoughts below.

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4 thoughts on “Those little business cards, why have them?”

  1. The way business is done, business network is done – both have changed and evolved in the last decade…but still the act of placing a physical card/reminder of you/your business in someone’s hands- goes a long way than connecting on linkedin or sharing emails…In my opinion, we respond more to something which we can touch and feel, rather than snapping a shot on iphone or sharing profiles.

  2. There’s a also a handy iPhone app called Card Munch – created by LinkedIn – you can use with business cards. It allows you to take a photo of someones business card and it not only automatically converts all the information to text as a contact, but it links to that person’s LinkedIn profile if they have one. A great free app worth checking out.

    1. I thought nothing of having a business card, until I started attending more conferences and industry meet-ups. I stood in a corner of a room and watched everyone exchange those little pieces f cardboard, wondering what on earth people were going to do once they had transferred those details to their address book on their computer, or what have you. They would throw them away.

      I have now, despite still having a stockpile of business cards sitting in a box, done away with the business card. At least, in physical form. I have Bump, which allows me to transfer my electronic business card to another mobile device using the same app. I am considering using a website, like about.me, as my business card. Whatever form I choose as the final product, I am choosing to do away with the physical for the electronic, if for no other reason that the environmental. All the cardboard and ink and gases released from production for what? A few minutes of remaining in someone’s mind, or the hopes of winning a prize? I would rather not.

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