Do we really need business cards?

Do you still need business cards?

I’ve just been sorting through a stack of business cards, neatly filed away in a storage unit and pretty much untouched since I first received them. When I first started my business, the exchange of business cards was a ritual frequently performed at the many networking meetings I attended.

Sifting through the collection, the majority are similar in shape and size. Only a few are a different colour from the usual white or off-white.

Some are slightly different in size, a little larger, a little smaller, slim-line, half width, rounded edges, lamented.

A few have appointment tables or a calendar on the back (easy to tell how old those are). On many I’ve written an email or notes from our meeting for later reference or follow-up.

Others are plain on one side – I can reuse those for notes or prompt cards.

Only a handful actually stand out as being different – with a striking image or quirky design.

Shortly after the meeting I will have:

  • added the person to a list of contacts.
  • emailed them on my return to the office.
  • connected on social media – Twitter or LinkedIn.

So now all these business cards are pretty redundant.

How often have you searched through a stack of business cards to find the details of someone you need to get in touch with?

Digital vs printed business cards

Much has changed over the years.

Now I mainly work from home and do much of my networking online. I rarely hand out my business card, only if asked or when it’s useful and relevant to exchange details, not just as a matter of course.

We are so much more digitally connected. Most businesses have a website or social media profile. There are apps to digitally scan business cards, send a vCard by text or email from your contacts or ‘bump’ your contact details directly between smartphones.

If I need to find someone, I rarely if ever search out their business card. Their details will be in my contacts or we’re connected online. If you want to find their website or a social media profile there’s always Google.

How often do you hand out or receive business cards or do you only connect digitally?