Imagine a scenario where two business leaders made a valuable networking connection. As they're parting ways the leaders exchange business cards. But the small piece of paper littered with important information got lost and if a person was reliant on it, the newly made connection could have been lost as well. In a country where business cards are considered proper etiquette a solution has been found to overcome the possibilities of losing a business card and connection.
Japan and China have a particular method of making, giving and receiving business cards, according to Executive Impressions. It is considered disrespectful to receive a business card and put it in a pocket. One startup figured out how to take the tangible cards to the next technological level. TechinAsia reported about a Japanese company called Sansan that has developed an app that allows people to snap a photograph of a business card and upload it to the cloud. Customers also have the option of renting a scanner for around $100 per month. They can scan 30 double-sided cards a minute. Over the past few years the cloud has made headlines as businesses have made the switch to the invisible infrastructure available in public, private and hybrid forms. The difference is that private clouds are managed by third-party services and hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds. CEO and founder of Sansan Chika Terada believes business cards are a hard-copy proof of a business transaction.
Where to put business cards
"Everyone uses business cards, especially in Asian countries, and it's troublesome to deal with so many of them," said Terada, reported the source. "Once you receive them, it becomes difficult to keep track. There was a problem and an opportunity presented to us, so I decided to pick this theme. There are said to be 10 billion business cards exchanged a year, so it's a huge, huge business realm."
In a column for the Tennessean, writer Dave Delaney offered advice on questions regarding business cards. The main question was what a person should do once they receive the business card.
"When you receive a business card, find a quiet moment to write a note on the back of the card about the person. Be sure to include how you should follow up," stated Delaney.
In the United States business cards are still valuable, and if Sansan's photo upload solution makes it's way to U.S. markets it will represent a way for traditional print to interact with newer inventions like the cloud. The company raised $14 million in May with the goal of breaking into the U.S. market. While technology like LinkedIn is a great way to connect with others, there is still a need to obtain contact information.
"However, a website address or a person's LinkedIn account is easily lost in translation if a person does not have something tangible to remind them to reconnect after the meeting. Regardless of the all technology in everyday life, there is still a need for adding a personal touch, such as a business card, to your networking strategy," stated an article published to session.edu.