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BLOG: Business cards, still worth it?

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Business cards blog

AKRON (Sept. 18, 2014) — I love technology. I think it’s awesome there are apps that allow me to upload business card information, having the ability to integrate information from my LinkedIn contacts, etc. However, I think there is still a very important place for business cards in — well — business.

This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, in part because I ran out of business cards at the recent International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC) Show on the last day and I felt a little lost. Why? Because giving someone your business card is giving them a piece of your information — a symbol for them to remember you by — and it can be a great resource.

Exchanging cards is always a great way to ensure that you remember my name.

When I got back to the office, I started to go through my business card binder to see all the different styles, types and formats.

Best One business card

The one that intrigued me enough to write this blog belongs to Natalie Steward, manager at Best One Tire & Auto Care of Crossville, Tenn., because I thought she did an awesome job of utilizing both the front and back of her business card.

On the front, she had the standard information — phone numbers, fax, address, email — but on the back was a non-glossy list where people could write in tire size, description, sidewall and price. I thought this was a great way to speak to customers about what they are looking for and give them a takeaway if they chose to leave the store, while keeping your name and phone number literally in their hands.

So I started looking through more. One had a QR code on the back that would pull up the company website. Some have additional information, such as social media sites on the back. Some just have sleek designs to stand out.

I know for me, when I started working for Tire Business' sister publication Rubber & Plastics News, I received new business cards that utilized both sides, one for each publication.

I have some business cards in my binder from international contacts that have English on one side and the card owner's native language on the other.

These are all great ways to get the most from your business card.

While I do not necessarily recommend dual-sided cards if you have a main career and an unrelated side job, I know that plenty of you out there hold board positions with industry associations and something like this may come in handy.

I know I have been at events in the past where I was given a business card by a person, but one that didn’t represent the company I was speaking to them about. It was confusing for me. As I mentioned above, the business card can be your lasting impression, so you want to make it as clear as possible.

The key is branding — finding a way to have this little card represent your company in such a way that you can stand out, but in good ways. Some non-traditional business cards can work. A friend of mine said his favorite business card he ever received was actually a jump drive. Sure, it did not fit in a binder, but it was definitely memorable.

If you are sticking to a paper card, I would suggest one that can fit in the space of a normal business card, even if you are utilizing a unique shape. Why? Because we would like to believe that people are keeping them. Whether it be in a binder, Rolodex or somewhere else, if your card doesn't fit, it's probably going to be left out. That is the opposite of what you want from your business card.

One day business cards may be obsolete, but I don't think today is that day. Even with different technologies, there are still plenty of people out there who are still using traditional means. You don't want to take out a large part of your customer base by only connecting one way.

Still need convincing? Check out this article from Entrepreneur.com that gives some great tips about how we use the cards that matter.

Here are three key takeaways:

  • Know your audience
  • Remember brand consistency
  • Don't go over the top
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TB Reader Poll

Previous | Published March 18, 2019

Where can you expect to see the most growth in 2019?

Tire sales
45% (34 votes)
General automotive service
15% (11 votes)
Brakes, shocks and other undercar services
7% (5 votes)
Add-on business
15% (11 votes)
Anywhere we can get it.
19% (14 votes)
Total votes: 75
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