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Five Ideas How to Use Your Business Cards

Updated on July 31, 2013

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.

Small Invitations

Pool Party
Pool Party | Source

Invitation Use

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.

Conference Use

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

Gift Tag
Gift Tag | Source

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.

Letter Use

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.

Semi-formal Letter
Semi-formal Letter | Source

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.

Comments

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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great ideras. I typically circle my phone number and hand it to someone when they want my number.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Hi, I like the refresher. Whether it is a paper biz card or an electronic version, I think a business card is a key networking tool. Voted up and useful, tweeted.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Very interesting and some great ideas for using business cards. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      4 years ago from USA

      These are great ideas for additional uses for business cards. I was so used to getting business cards from my employer. Now that I am self employed, I definitely need to be ordering a set for myself.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      4 years ago from Maine

      Excellent use of business cards. I have them and always forget to keep a supply with me. This article is very encouraging, I know that I am missing out on customers by not keep them with me and handing them out or leaving them in stores. Great hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      These are such good ideas for using business cards. Thanks.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 

      4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      A very interesting and informative hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      John Moran 

      4 years ago

      Nice Hub! Business cards basically hold message with concerning to association or a single person. Thanks for sharing this informative and interesting hub.....

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Good ideas. I particularly liked the invitation use idea. I've also used business cards to affix price tags when I used to sell handmade items at crafts fairs. People sometimes kept me and contacted me even years later.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      Great ideas, never thought of using a visiting card in a letter or as a gift tag. Great hub, voted up.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      These are useful ways to use business cards. Passing out business cards are the backbone of making sales, for introductions and when calling on potential customers. I still have a Rolodex file of business cards collected from vendors and customers of my former workplace.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Sometimes business cards remind me of 'calling cards' you see in old movies, where people would hand someone's butler a card and he would take it to the master/mistress of the house. Enjoyed your suggestions and voted up.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I would have never thought to use a business card as a gift tag. How clever! Thank you for the history behind business cards, too.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 

      4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      It never occurred to me that business cards are contemporary versions of calling cards. Thank you for this informative and interesting hub---great ideas here! :-) Lurana

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      4 years ago from London

      Very interesting and informative hub!!

      Voted up!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Useful ideas. I've often considered a business card but as I no longer work I suppose I'd have to call it a 'personal' card! Interesting hub.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      4 years ago from TEXAS

      Most interesting and innovative uses for business cards! I make my own and make both kinds, - some for my ranch and some personal. These days I have less need for cards, but I always have some on hand, in case there's a reason for one. But your ideas are all very applicable and useful!

      I've been known to use the blank perforated cards from the sheets on which one prints one's own cards for gift cards, maybe adding a little hand-sketched flower or design, too.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 

      4 years ago from North Carolina

      What a great hub! I especially like the idea of having them to drop in boxes where one can win something. With so much tech driving the world, having a business card ( a personal statement) one can distribute is a good way of not just networking, but extending kindness as well.

      V+

      Blessings,

      ocfireflies aka Kim

    • profile image

      SDA 

      5 years ago

      Reusing it for non business purposes is quite economical. Business cards state all the information they need to know so... why not! Great post. Very creative and useful ideas.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very interesting and useful hub!

      I liked your creative ideas and your pictures.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 

      5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Very creative ideas for using business cards.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      what a different creative and useful hub.. yeah voted up and useful :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Helpful and informative about business cards. Well-advised.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 

      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great idea.... usually it's hard to use them all.... so why not put them through good use! Thanks for sharing!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      All great ideas. Thanks for the really wise and practical suggestions.

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