How To Grow Your Business With Cardboard

business card exchange
The humble business card—one of the cheapest forms of marketing—is slowly being left to the wayside as people embrace technology and websites. What was once considered a marketing cornerstone, is now being looked at as almost optional.

That’s a mistake.

The little business card, especially when paired with other forms of effective small business marketing, can create an incredible impact on a small budget.

Read more to see exactly why the business card is such a good resource and how you can get the most from yours.

The fast, simple, portable snapshot of your business

Almost any small business will see benefits from a well-made business card. They’re one of the most convenient, fast, unobtrusive methods of marketing under the sun. They’re discreet and can be passed out while you shake a hand, they can be left in other places of business for people to pick up, and they can easily be stored, filed or tucked away by your client.

With a business card you can:

  • Carry your marketing everywhere. (Can you say that for your website?)
  • List all the ways a potential client can contact you. 
  • Convey what your business stands for in an instant.
  • Take your seductive corporate identity and put it in mini size.)
  • Project a professional image of yourself

The other options…

Many small businesses opt for brochures and pamphlets over business cards. Those types of print marketing can be smart choices, but when they haven’t been well thought out or put together for maximum effect, brochures and pamphlets often end up in the recycling bin. In fact, most forms of paper don’t last long in the marketing cycle if they don’t stand out.

Business cards are keepers, though. Many people have booklets where they file the cards to browse through when their company is buying. Some people like to collect business cards for fun—and those people are consumers, too.

Take a moment to think about how many business cards you’ve kept. You most likely have at least one in your wallet or purse, or perhaps tucked by the phone. That little piece of cardboard is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing: long-term marketing.

A box of classy business cards fits right in most marketing budgets, and they’re easy to produce. You can have your designer pull your logo off your website banner or letterhead to use on your card. If you don’t have a website, have some fun coming up with an image that reflects your business.

Make the most of your business cards

Not every business card is made equally, in fact there are many business cards that are just too cheap or too plain to hold anyone’s attention, and you want to avoid that. Here are some tips for getting a great business card:

  • Keep the look consistent with your logo and website
  • Make sure your name and company name are clear
  • If you have a catchy tag line, put it on there
  • Use both sides: it encourages flipping and ‘playing’
  • Don’t use a full background image, it’s too hard to read
  • Use heavy duty card stock, or high quality linen
  • Only pick clean and easy-to-read fonts

I usually recommend avoiding flash-drive and CD business cards, though. Not everyone has a computer in his or her pocket. People have to wait until they get home to see what you have to offer. By then, they may have forgotten about you, and that’s unfortunate.

If you really like the idea of a flash drive with your resume and some portfolio pieces to offer potential clients, choose the keychain versions. Punch a hole in the corner of your business card and attach the drive to it. That way, people have something they can read and look at right away, and they have something to look at later on, too.

What to do with your beautiful cards

Once you have designed your business cards, you’re through the tough part. Using business cards is easy—just hand them out to as many people as you can, leave them in as many places as you can, and try to get rid of them (productively) as fast as possible. The more cards you can put in front of potential buyers, the better off you’ll be.

And that, my friends, is how you can grow your business using cardboard.

Reader Comments

Mar. 18. 2008 10:45 PM
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I had been told by an executive sales manager that business cards were a waste, but your post makes me reconsider using them.


Mar. 18. 2008 11:36 PM
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Hey ‘The Grub Hound,’

For the fact that business cards are so inexpensive, I think I would definitely reconsider if I were in your position.

If you can give them out to the right people, and have an interesting design, they can be really valuable.

Thanks for swinging by,

- Mason


Mar. 19. 2008 4:57 AM
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@ Mason - Yessir. I’m with you on this one. I’m a firm, FIRM believer in business cards.

We had some made for fun, but now they’re indispensable. I’ve gotten gigs, new clients, potential clients and some fame from cards that were dirt cheap.

Plus, with a cool card to pass around, we were taken more seriously and gained credibility - that’s not easy for an online entrepreneur, trust me.


Mar. 19. 2008 5:08 AM
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James,

I understand completely. I can’t even begin to describe the credibility and interest we get from our business cards.

It’s really amazing how going just a bit above and beyond can really make a you appear new, different, and credible. And, there’s no better place to get those sentiments than when you’re speaking with someone in person.

Great to have you around,

- Mason


Mar. 19. 2008 8:39 PM
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I agree with most all the tips except the CD portion of this blog. Our sales team created businesscard sized multimedia CDs that were in a plastic sleve and then included their business card. These turned out to a very valuable networking tool. I am sure there were some people who never looked at the CD but at least it made their business card stand out more from others.


Mar. 19. 2008 8:42 PM
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Huh… that’s a good idea, Amber, even though the post mentioned flash drives, not CDs.

The problem with most flash drives is that they’re a stick. There isn’t much to do with them and most businesses won’t pay to personalize them.

A CD has bigger potential, especially one in a business card size.

Must check that out…


Mar. 19. 2008 8:47 PM
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Hi Amber,

That’s a good point about standing out because of the CDs. My comment in the article was mainly about using a flash drive or CD alone, without a business card. I think they work well as an addition, but without a business card they loose that tangible and immediate availability of information.

Your company did exactly that, with combining the two, and it seems to have worked very well.

Thanks for commenting,

- Mason


Apr. 8. 2008 3:13 AM
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It’s amazing how well received my business cards are locally. I’ve placed a few inside gas stations and local coffee houses on the little 99 cent business card stands and have made clients as well as business contacts who create custom coding for website back-ends which proved very valuable.

Business cards are definitely a keeper. I get mine from overnightprints.com and they have great quality.


Apr. 8. 2008 3:54 PM
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Hey Mike,

It really is wild isn’t it? How something so small and insignificant seeming can be so well received and make such an impact?

I can’t vouch for overnightprints.com, but I know we offer business card printing through SmallfFuel and it’s quite inexpensive. We also do the design too.

With all of the options available, it’s really hard not to have good business cards.


May. 6. 2008 5:59 PM
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this is a promising community


Jan. 5. 2010 5:52 AM
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Dec. 29. 2013 6:45 PM
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Business cards are keepers, though. Many people have booklets where they file the cards to browse through when their company is buying. Some people like to collect business cards for fun—and those people are consumers, too.


Jan. 3. 2014 5:46 PM
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Cardboard is really awesome for growing business fast. I am using this for so many days. Every business owner should think about this.


Jan. 18. 2014 3:32 PM
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cardboard is a good idea really. I am thinking to follow this.


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Feb. 8. 2014 3:49 AM
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Feb. 16. 2014 12:47 AM
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I believe and also experienced that cardboard can help any business to grow fast. It can earn some quick impressions.


Feb. 21. 2014 8:49 PM
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I am going to open a new business recently.  I will folliow your tips for sure.


Feb. 22. 2014 7:25 PM
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i was so ignorant about this. i never think that cardboard could be that useful. I will follow your ideas.


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