How many business cards do you have at your office or at home?
I recently asked my staff to collect all of the business cards we had on file, contact every person nominated on the business cards and see how many were still active.
Well the result made me instantly change my opinion about business cards and ditch using them personally whilst making a company policy that we would not use business cards as a company anymore.
My staff collected 2895 business cards of which, 931 were business cards for my own staff who had either changed their contact details making the old cards incorrect or the staff member had moved on to better and greater careers. Of the remaining 1964 business cards, 1627 business cards either had the contact email bounce back, the contact phone number was either disconnected or being used by another unrelated person, the person nominated on the card had left their company or the company itself had closed its operations.
I thought to myself, this is ridiculous. Everything about having so many business cards on file was against our company’s ethos and CSR; we look to protect the environment by reducing the use of paper, we have projects that are trying to solve waste issues and we train our staff to pick up the phone and voice call our associates and contacts, instead of sending an impersonal email or text message. And yet here we were a slave to an antiquated business custom of handing out a nicely printed business card showing that you are Senior Vice President or Chairman or whatever position with your contact details on it and in most cases never contacting the person who you handed your business card to.
Well Im the CEO of my company and I sit on the Board of another and the people I meet formally for business already know who I am and what company I represent and in most cases they already have my contact details as I or my staff have liaised with the contact previously to arrange a meeting. So why do I need to then give them a business card with my name and contact details on it?
In my opinion we are losing the ability to call friends and associates for a voice conversation, instead sending text messages, or Whatsapp messages or an email, and I cant see the point of handing out 100’s of business cards to people who may never contact me anyway. If people want my contact details, then they can met me face to face, have a good old fashioned chat with me and if we both deem it appropriate, then we can exchange our contact details.
So I have ditched the business cards!