Five Ideas How to Use Your Business Cards
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I am amazed at all the clever ways people find to use their business cards. Whether for business or for pleasure those little cards come in handy. Of course it can be handed out to friends, business contacts, or even potential dates. The cards are wonderful for networking at business events and parties. You don’t have to take the time to find paper and pen to be able to exchange contact information.
A Little History Behind Business Cards
Business cards are the transformation of calling cards from the 19th century. In the past there were a lot of rules and manners around the use of calling cards. Typically someone would visit a person’s house and leave a calling card on a tray by the door. Bending different corners or writing different combinations of letters on the card would mean different things. These charming little tricks have fallen by the wayside over the years.
People also had very nice cases or pouches to keep their cards. The cases were similar to the ones you would see today. Today you also see holders on desks for business cards. This keeps business cards handy and allows business contacts to take one at will.
Back to the business cards, the first thing you might want to use one for is an invitation. I have gotten an invitation to an informal type party on a business card. The host wrote the occasion, date and time on the business card. I got mine in the mail. Other people got their cards dropped off. There was even an RSVP written on the bottom corner of the card so I knew I needed to answer. Usually the host writes a tiny note and signs it with their first name.
Second Use To Answer
In this day and age people pick up the phone and answer invitations to parties or informal events. If you want to be just a tiny bit more formal you might want to use your business card again. You can use the business card to accept or decline. Just write which event you are responding about. Then a small note saying the date you will see them or why you will not be able to attend. The date helps keeps everything straight particularly if your host has several activities going on in a relatively short time frame. The benefit for you is because the card is so small you don’t have to write much of an excuse.
The third way I have used business cards is at conferences. Many conferences and resource fairs have a resource area where there are different drawings. These events are always fun but an attendee easily gets tired of writing their name, address, and phone number at each table. If you bring business cards you can fold one of them in half and drop that into the drawing container instead. Depending on the size of the conference or expo you might want to bring an extra-large supply of business cards. You will need to have enough to give out as you traditionally would and enough to use at the resource tables or booths.
Nice Flower or Candy Tags
Fourth Use Gift Tags
The fourth use is a fairly common one. I have given and received business cards as tags on plants, candy, and flowers. Again you will only have space for a small message. Though having a small space means you don't have to think of a lot to say. You probably don’t want to use business cards this way for Christmas tags unless it is a gift for business purposes. Other holidays and birthdays would be an appropriate use for business cards as tags on gifts.
The final way to use business cards is on a semi-formal letter. If you are in a situation where you don’t have a letterhead or ready access to a computer, you can write a note on a page of copy paper and sign it. Then attach a business card to the bottom corner before giving it or sending it to someone. This is particularly effective when you are helping someone and they need something just a little extra than a note from you.
Business cards are definitely nice to have for many reasons. People have these whether they need them for work or just want to have them to use. The added benefit is that there is no need to worry about someone being able to understand someone's handwriting for the address or phone number. Business cards may be used in the traditional sense or for any of the situations mentioned.