14 point or 16 point card stock, or maybe 100 lbs thin gloss? Full color or black and white? One-sided or two? What font should you use? Should you include your address?
I’ve seen people debate details on business cards for WEEKS — struggling with each and every decision, from the weight of the paper to the layout to whether or not the logo should be embossed.
It’s important, though, right? Business cards reflect you and your business. They are the memento people will take from your interaction. This stuff matters.
Business cards do not matter. The details DEFINITELY don’t matter. But beyond that, the cards themselves don’t matter.
Maybe they mattered in the 90’s. I remember using my dad’s old Rolodex to look up numbers for suppliers and vendors all the time when I first started in the office in 1996.
But even then, the details people sweated over like cardstock and font were inconsequential.
When you first start a business, getting your business cards made feels like the most essential first order of business.
But please, repeat after me: Business cards do not matter
Let’s imagine ourselves in the one environment where you might think you really do need business cards — a tradeshow or networking function. This is the type of place business cards get traded like kids today trade Pokemon. Everyone knows you at least need cards for this.
Let’s imagine two scenarios.
In scenario A, you meet a great person you really want to remember you and contact you on Monday. You whip out your business card. It’s 16 point cardstock, double-sided, the logo and text are embossed, it’s full color, there’s an inspirational quote on the back. It’s gorgeous. He takes it, says thank you, puts it in his jacket pocket next to the 37 other cards, shakes your hand, and walks off.
In scenario B, you say, “I left my business cards back in the 90’s with my flannels and jean overalls. Can I text you my info?” If you’re really next level, you ask to take a pic of the two of you so you remember this encounter forever. And right then, you text the photo, who you are, and a few words about why you’re connecting. Now, that text is in his phone, and he can easily save you as a contact.
Come Monday morning, who is he more likely to be able to call: the guy in his phone who sent a text, or the guy who gave him that snazzy business card that he put… it was right here… is it in my pocket?… somewhere?
There is ONE time when printing business cards makes sense. If you promote someone to a new title, and you want to make it seem really official and extra special, handing over a box of cards with the person’s name and title printed on it can have a nice impact, and give them something physical to show-off and be proud of. That’s worth spending a few bucks on.
But that’s it.