The Origin of Business Card and Why It's Here To Stay
Business cards originated back in the 15th century and made their way through to be what they are today. It’s possible to trace their use back to China when they were used as calling cards to demonstrate the intention of visiting with someone. They started life as a self-promotion tool and continue to be used for this purpose centuries later.
In the 17th century in Europe they became even more popular, through to the 18th Century and then from Europe, they made their way to America in the 19th century. The etiquette surrounding the use of business cards, or calling cards, was very precise and one needed to follow it or risk being frowned upon, whereas now, it’s acceptable to hand your card to anyone you like, in any social or business setting
Have you ever been asked for your business card at an event, meeting or other gathering and you don’t have any on you? It could be embarrassing because it may come across as lacking professionalism to the other person.
The majority of people would agree that it’s important to have business cards on you at all times so as not to miss the chance of promoting yourself and your business. In this digital age, you’d be forgiven for thinking that business cards are no longer necessary because almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet of some kind but there are some people who still prefer the older style basic phones and use only a desktop computer or laptop. Having a business card at your fingertips means that you are able to pass on your details without pulling out your device and asking them for their email address.
Besides the fact that it appears a lot more professional. Business cards are also always available and legible as opposed to devices which may be offline whether due to a flat battery, no internet connection or because the setting you’re in may necessitate all devices being off, such as on a plane. The user is unable to search for your contact information but if they had your business card in their wallet, it solves the problem.
Here are some more great reasons why business cards are still an integral part of business:
When handing over your business card to a potential new lead, you want them to leave with a good first impression of you and your business. If you don’t have a card to give or if it’s cheaply made, this could damage that all important first impression.
Swapping Business Cards is Personal
Swapping information digitally it is quite impersonal and having two people sharing their information while looking down at their devices is not as personal as looking the other person in the eye with a smile while handing over your card and it goes a long way to making a genuine connection.
They Make Networking Easier
Networking often takes place virtually nowadays, but with face to face networking, offering your business card can facilitate a conversation with a potential lead.
They Put a Stamp of Professionalism on your Business
Having printed business cards provides an air of professionalism and legitimacy to your business and people always want to deal with legitimate and trustworthy businesses. Having smart looking business cards is paramount to people taking you seriously.
In Some Countries they are Key to Building Relationships
In certain countries business cards are required in order to build relationships and enter into business exchanges. Having a business card is a necessity but also the look, feel and overall quality speaks volumes about you and your business