February 28 2011

Business Cards, Your Mini-Resume

Business cards are inexpensive, yet indispensable, tools in introducing yourself and what you do to prospective clients and other invaluable business connections.  They serve as mini-resumes that can be given to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

Here are a few more reasons to invest in business cards, if you need just a little more convincing that it is a cost-effective networking need.

    1.    Ice-Breaker

Exchanging business cards with potential clients and other leads is a painless method for breaking the ice, starting a conversation, and a new relationship.  It is an act of self-promotion that is neither aggressive nor attached to any obligation.  An introduction could lead to more opportunities.  And individuals on the receiving end of business cards readily accept them. One key, however … be sure that if you provide your business card to an individual, you also ask for theirs in return. Business cards should be an exchange of information, in an ideal networking environment.  Now, what if you are left telling someone, “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t have a card on me?”

    2.    Divulges your product

Your company business card should divulge what your company does.  Are you an architecture, engineering, environmental non-profit, landscape architecture, or urban planning firm?  Well, somewhere on your card it should let a potential client know exactly what you are in the business of doing.  Often, a company name by itself does not accomplish this fundamental mission.  However, a descriptive catchphrase on a business card can effectively do the trick.

    3.    Contacts

Your business card is a treasure trove of contact information.  Multiple ways to contact you are recommended, including your work phone number, cell phone number (if you do not mind always be able to be reached), email address, company website, and a physical address.  Does your company have a Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or other social networking account? You can include these on your card too.  Cover all the contact bases because the reality of human nature is that some people correspond via email, but would not initiate a phone call.  In addition, adding your social networking information will get people connecting to you and your company quicker.

    4.    First impression

Since your business card often makes that all-important first impression, it is essential that you give them some thought.  Avoid the mundane.  While the information on business cards is fundamental, their appearance is paramount.  Stock, design, and ink colors all matter.  There are unique ways that you can make your architecture, engineering, environmental non-profit, landscape architecture, or urban planning firm stand out from the competition – the business card is one of the first steps. 

    5.    Networking

When you distribute your business cards, the recipient sometimes passes them on to additional prospects.  Look upon your business card as a portable promotion for who you are and what you do.

Renée van Staveren

Renée van Staveren is the Founder of Global Site Plans. She holds a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also holds a B.S. in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College. Prior to establishing Global Site Plans and The Grid, Renée van Staveren was an Assistant Planner for A-M-M-A Transit Planning and the Program Director for Planet Green. In June 2014 Renée moved from Istanbul, Turkey, where she'd lived for four years, to return to the beautiful city of San Francisco. She is now a Manager at the Urban Land Institute's San Francisco District Council. You can find her at one of their many events, so pop in and say hello.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 6:48 pm and is filed under Architecture, Branding, Engineering, Environmental Design, Environmental Non-Profit, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


One Response to “Business Cards, Your Mini-Resume”

  1. nidiaerceg Says:

    I’d like to add that you use that new card to follow up and email the person,remind them of your having met.I love receiving email after I’ve handed someone my card it helps me keep them in the active contacts archive.

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