Your business cards may be crippling your potential.

How? On paper, they seem to be one of the unyielding pillars of networking, something you never left the hotel room without before a conference. However, in reality, they perform worse than expected. Our team decided to dig around for research on business cards to see how they really impact our business. The statistics we found were quite astonishing.

This goes to show that business cards are ineffective – and the cost quickly adds up without any significant return. If 9 out of 10 cards are thrown away, clearly they’re not ideal. Because really, what good does a business card do from a waste basket?

What about cards that you do keep? They quickly accumulate to clutter up your wallet, desk or any storage space in the office. Not to mention the trouble of remembering the person behind the card too!

Forbes conducted a survey on their Agency Council, a circle comprised of successful PR, media strategy, creative and advertising executives, and listed their opinions on business cards. Take a look at a few of their responses.

“I have not handed out a business
card in over two years… Business
cards can often be tossed, dropped,
lost or just not referenced again. ”

Peter Boyd (Paper Street Web Design)

“I appreciate business cards in
situations they make sense, but most
of the time they go in the trash. I hate
being given a business card because of
a formality. It is one more thing to
clutter up my pockets… ”

— Adam Draper (Gladiator Law Marketing)

“I haven’t owned a business card in
five years…… Gone are the days of
searching for someone’s business
card you met at a conference six
months ago….. ”

—  David Shadpour (Social Native)

The point is, the culture of exchanging business cards is an established tradition that is truly ingrained in our lives. Yet, as we move so quickly in a digital generation, data and contact information restricted into a small rectangular paper card becomes a hindrance instead of a niche custom. We’ve evolved from phone books to Facebook – business cards need an upgrade too.

Once we understand and accept our potential to grow, we can  let go of the past and look forward to better options.