OK so I went through the process of deciding what to do about business cards. Should I order them? If so, how many should I order? All the time I was wondering… is it worth it or necessary to have a physical calling card?
As I went through this mental obstacle course several things came to mind, some went through my mind and some just went out the window. I had heard some of my favorite social media guru’s talk about how they thought business cards were a thing of the past. They all said, that as soon as they made contact with someone, they put that info into an email or social media contact thus eliminating the need for cards.
As this is a Start up, and as such, I try to keep the costs down to the minimum. The costs of designing and printing cards seemed to be one cost I could minimize. The design was not as much a problem, as I knew my very talented graphic design intern was able to take on that part of the equation. Yet if I used her skills to create business cards I would not be able to use them on other projects, thus there was an opportunity cost to that decision.
Yet I thought back to the last couple of months and my time without cards and I remembered that every time someone asked me if I had a card, I cringed and thought to myself, why don’t I have a card for the love of…. Every time I went to a networking meeting and felt like an amateur, as I wrote down my info on the back of the other person’s card, I thought ….hmmmm I need some cards….
Of course we all have had those boxes of business cards left after a job that stuck around to remind us that we once had a certain role or position. We all have looked at that box and thought what a waste of money. We all have thought, what am I going to do with these things. It seemed wrong somehow to toss them out, yet what good did they do for us.
With all this in mind I started considering the offerings of your basic on line business card printer. The decisions coming at me seemed even more daunting. I considered how many cards to make, should I get an upgrade in paper, how about embossing or special coating, did I need the rounded edges or special shapes. Then the extras began to show themselves, should I get the card case, matching note cards, stickers, magnets, a hat, a mug, a giant 3 foot by 2 foot magnetic sign for my car door…. What did I actually need?
If I believed the advertising I should have been able to get decent cards for just $9.99. Yet each time I went through the process I could not getting off the web sites for under $35 bucks.
I decided it was worth it, I needed the cards and the price was not too bad. This was one area that was just worth the investment. I needed the cards to be able to network and be the professional I said I was. Of course I would need a card case too, yet I did forgo the huge sign for the side of my car… for now.
I pulled the trigger and ordered cards for Buzz Well Media and for the Ivan Tomato Rescue Project. Both ventures needed cards and needed them ASAP. So I had to say ‘sorry’ to the Guru’s and while I may never use up the entire box, I need them to do business and ordered 500 of each.
I truly believe that in some business environments the cards are overkill, you don’t need them. Unless you are out there moving and grinding it with the people you may never need to hand out a single card. If you are networking and doing business you need a card. you need something that represents you in a professional way. The days of the calling card or business card are not behind us yet.
In reflection, I am actually happy about this. I enjoy the formality of a card and frankly need all the help I can get in remembering names and connections.
So I am exciting awaiting the delivery of my new cards and can’t wait to proudly use them to help build relationships and my business.