Business is tough these days. It is becoming harder to stand out in your industry and budgets are decreasing. Technologies are changing. Not just the evolution of digital printing, but also online.
Websites have taken over the traditional brochure, email taken over physical mailing and google search taken over Yellow Pages. Networking has gone online. In summary, business marketing, particularly for small businesses has evolved.
Where does the traditional business card fit within all this? Do we still need them?
Absolutely. They are a necessity of any business. It is your lead generation calling card. At any networking event or meeting, business cards are exchanged. They are a physical reminder of you that people still love to receive. Yes, the technology is there with the smart phones, iPads, online address books and even apps to scan in a business card, however at the end of the day the physical card is your image – the first point of call, easy to hand-over in a face-to-face conversation or networking event.
This is why business cards are one of the first things people order when they are going into business. It is their first foray into design and printing. They tend to think “I need a business card. Oh, and I need a logo to go on it”. It is making the statement of “I’m in business now, take me seriously”.
Which is why it is important to get the 3 key elements of a business card right:
- Design – professional image
- Quality of the printing and the card-stock – first impressions count
- Content – use the card to communicate all ways of networking with you, including your LinkedIn username, Facebook Page Name, Twitter handle, as well as the usual website, email and phone numbers, and (depending on your business) your office/shop address. Balance the content with design and try to avoid clutter – many people utilise the back of the card
Consider how many cards you need and remember the power of referrals. When someone wants to refer Your product or services, it is so much easier when they can hand over a physical card on your behalf. It is therefore important to plan to have an appropriate number available.
So, whilst the ways of doing business is changing with technology and we are becoming more reliant on online profiles – the business card will still prevail as the first point of contact.
What may change long-term is what is on the card and the quality of the card-stock and printing. Trends will change with the technology, as they have done with uv spot-gloss, digital printing, etc. Remember to think about who your customer is and what they will be looking for and consider the above 3 elements each time you do a new print-run.