Networking is key to running a successful business. No matter how big or small your business is, you need to get out there and network with other businesses and members in the community where you conduct business. When networking, it is important to be equipped with the appropriate tools, including notepad, pen and your business cards.
Business cards are small enough to carry a decent sized stack everywhere you go and are inexpensive enough so you can freely hand one out to everyone you meet while networking. Here are some tips to help you successfully network using your business cards:
- Have all appropriate information on the cards, including name, number, website and some information about your company.
- Use your business cards as conversation starters.
- Ask for a business card from every person you hand one out to.
- Always carry business cards with you everywhere you go. In fact, keep a back-up stash in your car for those times you run out or forget them at the office.
- Get referrals by handing out five business cards to everyone you meet and offer a special reward if those five cards come back to you from this personâ€™s friends and family.
- Include a business card in every piece of mail, including bill payments and â€œthank youâ€ notes.
- Attend events, expos, fairs, meetings and parties, because you never know who you can meet and hand out cards.
- Visit non-competing businesses and offer to leave several of your business cards.
- Follow up with everyone
- Successful networking using business cards means that everyone you know – friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. – and everyone you meet has received at least one of your business cards in the past six months. It is important to redistribute cards to everyone at least twice a year to ensure everyone has all of your updated information.