What Is the Purpose of a Business Card?

by Neil Kokemuller; Updated September 26, 2017
Hands holding business cards

Business cards are an effective networking tool for professionals and also serve as a promotional tool for a business or company division. A compelling design with the right combination of color and images helps you optimize these advantages when sharing your card.

Basic Contact

A fundamental role of a business card is to quickly share contact information with someone. When you meet with a potential client or partner, for instance, you can leave a business card for that person to use in a follow-up call or email. Having a card works much more quickly than writing your name and number down. It is also easier for the contact to read your contact details on a professional card. Some software programs allow people to scan your card into a digital contact database as well.

Credential Assurance

A business card comes in handy when you need to establish your credentials. When working on a service job in a particular community, for instance, your business card can ease concerns a neighborhood resident might have about what you are doing. Your card can also help you establish credibility with a homeowner or business contact when you first show up and introduce yourself. In addition, having professional certifications or credentials on your card verifies your qualifications to fulfill certain roles.

Establish Professional Presence

A business card is a simple but effective way to demonstrate your professionalism. It is customary when you meet someone for the first time in a business setting to exchange business cards. If the other person has a card and you don't, it might cause her to question your professionalism. Pulling out a well-designed and informative business card and presenting it after the initial handshake and greeting affirms your professionalism to the prospect, contact or associate.

Company Promotion

Creating awareness is a common marketing communication goal for a company, and a business card is one of the most cost-effective tools to achieve this goal. Your card serves as a tangible reminder to those you meet about your company and its products or services. For a realtor, for example, getting cards in the hands of as many locals as possible sets the stage for future contact opportunities. When someone decides to list or buy a home, he might call the friendly agent who left him a card. A quality design and your logo strengthen the brand recognition of a card.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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