5 Reasons Why Online Businesses Still Need Business Cards
According to tech news blog ToMuse, of the 191 online businesses that were started during and just after 2015, 113 of them were still in operation two to four years later. In other words, just as with offline businesses, running and sustaining your business isn’t easy. However, online businesses should keep in mind that offline promotional tactics can still be used. Using techniques such as business card distribution can be an effective way to stay in the game.
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Everyone Wants to Do Business with a Professional
Business cards have long been a quick, cost-effective and expedient way to market yourself to the public. A mainstay of traditional business etiquette, businessmen and women wouldn’t attend a business event without them in order to be taken seriously. Being able to present a business card immediately distinguished you as a professional who was on top of his business. You may be thinking, “Yeah, well that was then and this is now, I don’t use a Filofax anymore, I use well formatted Excel sheets.” Well, let’s bring this scenario to the present.
Working online, you probably have coffee stains all over your desk. Your industry doesn’t allow for much face-to-face time with the public, but the operative word here is “much.” Eventually, you will have to leave your cave to connect with possible investors, clients and customers. When you do, you’ll be sure to clean up and act the part of the consummate businessperson, but there’s one problem: people still ask – and expect to see – your business card. That’s when things get a bit awkward. Will you say that you ran out or forgot them at home? Either way, you come out looking – you guessed it – unprofessional and not serious about your business. Don’t make the mistake of irreparably altering the way people see you.
Cheap and Simple Marketing
Usually, business cards can be ordered in 250- to 500-card batches. Just to give you an idea of the low cost of purchase, you can generally buy 500 cards for around 10 bucks. Yes, seriously. Whether you decide to choose from a number of online companies to print them, order a pack from your local printer or enroll in a couple of business card tutorials to do them yourself, adding business cards to your marketing arsenal couldn’t be any easier…or cheaper.
Let Business Cards Promote the “You”
When you think of business cards, you should think of them as a time-tested marketing tool that can be easily updated to fit your needs.
Make sure to include all of the below on your business card:
Website URL, E-mail address, LinkedIn URL, Facebook URL, Twitter name, Direct line, Cellphone line, Mailing address
Handing over an item that houses at least eight points of contact is a smart way to connect with potential clients and customers. What about current apps that allow you to send contact information, you ask? You have a point, but these apps still have their problems.
Bump, for example, is a networking phone app for iPhone and Android users. At a click of a button, you can send your contact information right through your phone. Here’s where things get a bit sticky, though: What if the person you want to connect with doesn’t have the aforementioned phones? Or what if they have those exact phones but haven’t downloaded the app? What does this mean for you and your potential connection? It means a lost opportunity, where fumbling with each other’s phones robs you from possibly making a lucrative connection. Don’t get lost in the shuffle. Next time, just hand her your business card.
Business Cards Legitimize Your Business
Just because you are online doesn’t mean you won’t have offline needs. What about when you ship your products out to your customers? Attaching a business card to your product ensures that any customer who wants to have repeat business with you can. It also puts customers at ease to see that the online company they are dealing with has standard details, i.e., physical address, direct phone number, person of contact, that any offline business would have. For the small expense, business cards go a long way.
Business Cards Also Break the Ice
Whether you are at a dinner party with friends or at a high-powered business conference, giving someone your business card is an effortless way to not only start a meaningful conversation but also build a relationship. If you know that you would like to pitch your online business to that bigwig across the room, giving him your business card for starters is a professional way to jump start the conversation. Outside of your physical appearance, a business card is one of the few lasting impressions that you can make. Long after the event has passed, that person-to-know will still have your card in his possession – and that can mean future business for you.
With the NY Times , saying that only 48.8 percent of businesses monitored between 1977 and 2000 survived after five years, having any business, whether online or off, is tricky business. If you are intent on being one of the survivors, no stop should be spared in promoting your venture. While there are clearly many more complicated reasons some businesses manage to stay afloat, business cards are an easy way to stay above the fray.