In the normal meeting of business people, the exchanging of business cards or name cards is an important ritual.
After every learning event conducted by Franchise Mind™ around the world, business cards of senior executives collected during the learning events are organized by country and input in the company database. It is during this process that I notice information, or lack thereof, on business cards that does not make sense - it defeats the purpose of the business card. Some glaring examples that I would say constitute about 1 in 4 business cards:
- No e-mail addresses on the card.
- E-mail addresses without company domains (using public e-mail addresses such as gmail, hotmail, yahoo).
- No personalized e-mail (i.e. using info@, admin@, franchise@, etc.).
- Extremely small type (made worse by the choice of paper, ink and font combination).
Why Am I Concerned?
The business card is a tool for sales. When the business card does not accomplish this objective, it defeats the purpose of having the business card. My grandfather always said, “Make it easy for a customer to give you business and make it easy for a customer to pay you.” Let’s look at each of the points:
- In your business, franchisees, potential franchises, customers, suppliers want to contact you. Without an e-mail address on the card, you have limited the choice they have to communicate with you. You are taking a huge risk that a potential franchisee or customer may not bother to contact you as you have not made this contact easier.
- As a franchise company, your e-mail should promote your brand not gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc. The cost of securing a domain name and having a company host your e-mail service is not high. Refrain from using a commercial site as your primary business address.
- People like to do business with people. When you give them your business card, they want to contact you - they don’t want to communicate to ‘admin’, ‘info’, or ‘franchise’, they want to communicate to a person - namely you.
- The phone number and the e-mail address are the primary form of contact in this day and age. These should be large and easily identifiable on your business card and lost within the other information.
- Your business card is your sales and marketing tool. It needs pertinent, personalized and legible contact information. It does not require a life story or details of every location in your system.
If you are clear on the purpose of having business cards, perhaps you will appreciate my thoughts for improving your business cards. If you have a different point of view, please share.
Harish Babla, Managing Director of Franchise Mind Corporation based in San Diego, USA.
Harish is a successful entrepreneur, a business visionary, an inspiring franchise leader, a mentor to many companies and a growth strategist who has honed his franchise skills in various capacities since 1983. Harish is passionate about growing franchise companies and helping others achieve their dreams of building successful global franchise companies by ensuring the highest standards of franchise excellence with a strong focus on growth and operating results.
Harish is a Certified Franchise Executive as designated by the International Franchise Association and conducts learning events and mentoring for numerous companies all over the world.
Harish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.