Even in this age of technology, local experts share that one of the most basic business tools is still a hot commodity.
“I believe that business cards are still a great networking tool,” said Dana Wehrli Director of Career Services, Student & Academic Support Services Lindenwood University. “Business cards are an introduction, like a handshake, and provide a tangible artifact for new contacts and potential clients to follow up with you.”
Wehrli said business cards are also a great way to help leverage a brand or to promote an organization’s mission, products, and services.
“Let’s face it, our memories are not always reliable and smartphones are sometimes inaccessible,” said Wehrli. “Business cards can be shared on an airplane, at a job fair, and whenever you find yourself in a cell phone dead zone. When a person’s first or last name isn’t spelled in a traditional way, a business card makes it so much easier to find and connect with that person on LinkedIn or to follow up with an email.”
Wehrli recommends that her students use business cards as a networking tool.
“The size, color, and format can vary a bit depending on one’s career focus,” said Werhli. “For example, a graphic design major may wish to incorporate a colorful logo to showcase design skills. And a photograph can be a nice addition that allows your network to “put a face with a name.”
The local owner of Thomson Printing, said business cards are still a good business for him.
“Believe it or not (business card) quantity has not decreased that much throughout the years,” said Mike Thomson. “We print a lot of (business cards). For anyone doing sales of any type that requires meeting people directly, most prefer to have a card to leave.”
But the format and style of the business card has changed over the years, Thomson said.
“In the 80s it was common to see most business cards on a lightweight stock. Clients (now) want heavier stock,” said Thomson.
More colors, fancier effects, and multiple sizes are not only acceptable now but encouraged.
“(It’s) not uncommon now to see a one or two color card, but cards are trending to 4 color,” said Thomson. “(We are) also producing a lot of cards with foil and coatings. You can get some great effects which will separate you from the crowd.”
Business cards have also changed in size. The standard size of a business card is 3 1/2 x 2, which was originally designed to fit in a Rolodex.
“Today, size not as important and we see clients making cards slightly larger or smaller to stand out more,” said Thomson.
Fax numbers are no longer a must-have piece of information, and technology can now be incorporated in the business card with the addition of a QR code.
“(We are seeing) fewer fax numbers on cards” said Thomson. “Some clients are putting QR codes on backs of the card.”
Regardless of the choice, a business makes with its cards, Thomson said simplicity is always best.
“Some clients try to make a business card a brochure. The less crowded a business card is the more effective it is. You want the company name to stand out,” said Thomson.