How Beneficial Is A Business Card In The Digital Age?

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Biz cardsIn today’s world, a smartphone or Blackberry can be used to do just about everything that is needed to network, so what is the benefit of having an actual business card?

One benefit that has not changed about the business card is the element of surprise.  Whether a person’s strategy is to begin a conversation by presenting their card or to hand one out in the middle of the dialogue, the exchange itself can be surprising and even memorable.  Having a smartphone or Blackberry device can take away from that personal interaction that goes along with building a rapport and trading business cards. 

A business card also allows the person who owns it the freedom to be creative and, in turn, display their personality in the process.  In many ways, leaving a business card with someone is like leaving a part of your business or expertise.  It goes along with that belief that “first impressions are everything.”  Pulling out a device and exchanging contact information may be handy but it is not very creative.

“Some people still want something tangible that they can hold in their hand or put on their fridge,” said Felicia Forbes co-owner of Elites Inc., a photography company.

“You can leave it places when you don’t want to have a long conversation,” added Forbes.

Another aspect that is important to consider is time and how it plays a role in the first meeting.  Each meeting will most likely be unique to the person and circumstances.   Under certain conditions, a business card can be the speedier exchange of information. On the other hand, if they are not easily accessible when the time arises to present them, one could easily miss out on a good networking opportunity.

Simone Santos, Queens resident and networking events coordinator has found out that there is a way to fuse the traditional business card with technology.

“Business cards are a good way to promote, network, and market your business. However, they help generate more business when they ‘stick around’,” says Santos.

“Stickers, unlike ordinary non-stick cardboard cards are easily misplaced, dropped on the ground, or forgotten. Stickers get appreciation that lead to reference and longevity,” says Santos adding that the stickers can be placed on phones and computers alike.
   
In many ways, business cards are timeless.  Regardless of how they measure up to a digital counterpart, such as a VCard, they do provide a means of credibility and professionalism for the recipient. They also allow a space for the client to see the businessperson’s character.  Here are some good business card making websites:
   
Moo.com, Overnightprints.com, and Vistaprint.com