Technology has changed standard business practices
There was a time where business cards were the easiest way to get someone’s contact information. However, nowadays, you can easily find a business connection’s website, social media profiles, and contact information with just a quick search of their name on Google. Moreover, when you meet another professional at a business or social gathering, it’s easier to directly exchange numbers via your mobile phones than through business cards (which you’ll later use to enter their number on your phone anyways).
So, given the easy accessibility of information about people via the internet, and rapid communication via mobile phones and other digital devices – why are physical business cards still relevant?
Well here are 5 ways your business card can help you make meaningful connections.
1. Help you connect with older generations
If you grew up in the internet and digital era, you may not feel the need to have a business card. However, many people in their 40s or older still hand out their business cards when networking. And the thing is, older people also tend to hold senior positions and be decision makers in their companies and industries. So, it’s in your best interest to follow their networking practices and make a good impression.
Moreover, older generations are generally not as attached and informed about their electronic devices as younger professionals. So they may not think of Googling you, and it could take them longer to add your contact to their phone (if they even carry their phone everywhere in the first place).
2. Communicate your brand message
Whether you are employed or work for yourself, your business card should communicate the value you offer. Simply put, your business card gives you an opportunity to brand yourself and market your brand.
Branding is not only about the colour scheme and logo you choose, in fact, what’s most important is what you say about yourself – your tagline.
For instance, if you are a recruitment consultant then one side of your business card (the side without the contact info) can say:
” I make your dream job a reality” or
” Connecting talent with opportunities”
So make sure your business card does more than simply passing on contact information, but gives insight into your brand.
3. Stand out from your peers
Because fewer people (especially the younger generation), are using business cards these days, having some can help distinguish your brand from your peers and competitors.
For instance, if you are the only 20-something person to give a business card to a senior investor at a networking event, chances are, they will remember you more than the other young people they talked to.
Moreover, it’s a great reason to make a follow-up. For instance, if you receive a business card, then you can email or message the person and let them know that you were happy to meet them and hope that you have the right contact.
Whereas when you quickly exchange numbers via mobile phone, you already know for a fact that you have the right number. So what’s your excuse for calling?
4. Keeps you prepared
Has someone ever given you their number on a napkin, or failed to take your number because their phone was dead? While this is fine in casual settings, it demonstrates a lack of preparation and punctuality in professional environments.
However, if you have a business card then it doesn’t matter if your phone is dead or if you have a poor internet connection, as business cards can be used anywhere at anytime.
5. Legitimises your business
Nowadays, everyone seems to have a foundation or start-up. However, it can be challenging to distinguish between the serious small businesses and the scammers. Therefore, a business card that communicates your brand’s intentions and provides website, cell phone, email, and social media contacts, shows that you have nothing to hide and want to make your business visible.
Moreover, if you present people with a well-made and informative business card, they are more likely to take you seriously and actually want to learn more about you. So, a business card will help legitimise your business – especially if it’s relatively unknown.
Business cards are here to stay
While Tanzania has had many technological advancements, a business card is an old school professional tool that gives a positive impression of you and your business to potential clients and partners. So, even if you work in an incredibly digital-savvy industry, invest in some business cards that represent your brand well and have some with you at all times. As you never know who you will meet.