Munya Duvera
2 minute read
17 Sep 2015
12:13 pm

Business cards are not a magic wand

Munya Duvera

A businessman once asked me why there is so much hype over a business card and it got me thinking; what really is the big deal about business cards?

Image courtesy Chance Agrella/Freerangestock.com

Literally, an entire industry has been created around it. You have logo designers, branding and image consultants who tell you about choosing the perfect colours and suitable logo that represent your character and ambition. They charge ridiculous amounts to design a business card; and the one question that keeps ringing in my ears was: does all this help an entrepreneur get any business?

Serving a purpose
In the business world, a business card is a tool used to exchange contact details. And to be fair, it does serve a purpose. For one, it is less of a hassle and quicker than having to write your contact details on a piece of paper or to pull out your phone and type in the person’s details.

But the question at hand is: does it enhance an entrepreneur’s chances of landing business or not? Would people not take you seriously if you did not have a business card?

There is a perception that a good business card can somehow increase your chances of getting business or, at the very least, cause a person to contact you based on the professional look of your business card.

But that is far from the truth – businesses want to do business with competent entrepreneurs who can offer them quality products and services; not entrepreneurs with pretty business cards. When you meet a prospective client, you need to convince them you are the right person for the job through knowledge and competence and not by flashing a fancy business card.

I have seen entrepreneurs at networking events approaching people with their business cards held out to hand over as soon as they start talking. The way to network is to first entice the person with your knowledge and, if they are interested, they will ask for your business card.

Imagine this scenario: Who would a prospective client rather do business with – an entrepreneur who has a fancy business card but is extremely incompetent, or an entrepreneur with no business card but who is well informed and competent?

Keep it simple
The answer is obvious and the point is entrepreneurs must not dedicate vast amounts of financial resources towards designing an attractive business card, nor should they rely on it for new business. At the same time, I am not saying they should not have one. A business card is the business world’s way of doing things.

It is the status quo but let it not be more than what it is. And what it is is a tool to exchange contact details. Full stop.