One of the most popular items that you think you may need at the beginning of creating your business will be a business card. The question is, do you really need a business card when you are working in the handmade industry?
With a fair few boxes of business cards in my cupboard to match my previous business ideas (plus quite a healthy addiction to stationery), I am probably not the best person to be advising you, in fact I would recommend you halt the purchase of the 500 pack of business cards and ‘Define Your Customer’ first however, if you prefer to ignore this, I can share with you some productive ways to use a business card and some electronic alternatives.
Now before technology became what it is today, I used to watch business cards flying around all the time, especially in my young London years working in the executive firms. Dependant on the company and the ego's I was working with, the presentation of a business card sometimes became laughable.
Apart from representing your company and being quite possibly the first impression behind the brand, there was a purpose to that card. We needed that number or email because we didn't have a smartphone to record all the details or look up the business on Google.
Business Card branding has really taken off also , just look at the amazing cards that are being designed today via this Business Card Pinterest Board.
Here are a few other ways to use your card within your business...
A Customer Order
I received an impeccably wrapped order when I purchased a ring holder via an Etsy seller and within the packaging was the business card + another discount card. Of course I don't really need the business card as Etsy has my purchase history, but I can forward the card now to someone else as a recommendation.
Market or Event Stall
You don't want to work your fingers to the bone preparing for an event or market stall, only to be requested for a business card and not have one. That is of course a potential sale gone out the window as more often than not you will come across customers that fit into the 'Considered Purchaser' category. (learn what that is in the blog: 'What purchase type is my customer?')
Don't fret though, as I learnt last year at a local Business Womens Network by the Digital Marketing expert to 3 Ingredients - don't worry about not having a card and simply get your customer to follow you on your Facebook or Instagram account. (after all, all your contact details are linked to those accounts anyway).
Thus increasing your popularity on social media and providing your customer the opportunity to look at your old and up and coming products.
When I ran my handmade jewellery business I created myself a multi purpose business card, not only did it display info about my business as well as represent my brand with it's colours, logo and design - it doubled up as a jewellery tag and holder for displays.
Business Meetings & Networking Events
It is always handy to have a card to represent you and your business when heading to a meeting, especially if you are going to be networking with others. It's a quick hit to pull out a card and leave it with someone, especially if for any reason is not appropriate to be jumping on the social media wagon straight away.
Another option is to have your business card set up in your phone with a photo and sending it to your new business pal. This way, not only will you have their details, but they will have yours plus a face to the name. (Because we always remember the face - just not the name).
You can't put your iPhone in the fishbowl can you? But you can put a Business Card. Yep you will find after going to a few networking events that there is always a prize where a local business will donate something sweet for a little bit of advertising.
You will definitely need a card for this!
Do you use your business card in a different way? I'd love to hear them. Share your idea's below.