With thanks to all who participated, here are your responses to my question … Do you have your own business cards?
59% of respondents have employer-provided business cards
That’s down just slightly from 61% last year … and three quarters of those who have such business cards find them useful. Another 12.5% don’t use them routinely, but find they come in very handy on occasion.
Why should assistants have business cards?
They convey a sense of professionalism, and demonstrate that you are a respected representative of your organisation. They support your capacity to efficiently provide point of contact information to business contacts, and represent brands – yours and your employer’s. Readers suggest that they also give you visibility, legitimacy, and profile as an extension of your executive.
36% of you make use of personal business cards
40% of you make use of personal business cards. Whether or not you have employer-provided business cards, think about the potential to create your own business cards. They can be useful for people in your existing networks, at conferences and events and for new contacts.
Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options. In instances where more than one person offers similar responses to an open ended question, I typically cluster or paraphrase such responses rather than duplicating all of them.
Do you have employer-provided business cards?
- Yes: 59% of respondents
- No: 36% of respondents
- 5% of respondents of respondents selected “Other”. Readers commented as follows.
- No one in my office has them
- (We have) blank organisational ones you add your details to as and when.
- I used to in (my) previous position
- Yes, but it was an exception and not sure reprintable
Do you find it useful to have your own business card to hand out?
- Yes: 74.5% of respondents
- Occasionally; I don’t use them often, but they come in handy when needed: 24% of respondents
- 1.5% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented, “That’s why I have IAAP cards too”.
If you don’t have employer-provided business cards, do you wish you did?
- Yes: 91% of respondents
- No: 9% of respondents
If you don’t have employer-provided business cards, why not?
- I didn’t ask / Never discussed
- It’s not clear that it’s necessary
- The outlay cost is too much in relation to usage, unless you are front line staff
- Only sales(people) have them. Others don’t use them due to electronic methods of networking.
- The employer doesn’t supply them for my position / Not important enough / Assistants are not valued in that way – laughable / They don’t allow it / Not seen as a role that merits a business card / Not at a level to qualify for business cards / I was told (no) because other assistants in the department don’t have business cards
- Government department – nobody has business cards
- There’s no budget for them, but I don’t actually need to have one anyway
- (I’m) between jobs. I’ve printed my own personal cards; it’s so important to have them
Were there any hurdles in your being provided business cards by your employer?
- Yes: 17%
- of respondents
- No: 81% of respondents
- 2% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented, “Our company has a rule of GM or by exemption”.
What are the advantages of having an employer-provided business card?
- You are a true ambassador for your company, like the other employees.
- My own identity and profile
- Business cards are useful for networking and it makes me more professional / More professional appearance towards suppliers / It’s more professional than a scrap of paper / Being able to hand over contact details in a professional way / Professional and extremely useful / it is the way people have done business for centuries … it is quick and easy
- Helps “prove” to recipients that I have a bit of authority within the organizattion
- Networking tool / It’s great for networking / Networking and business contacts / Networking and sharing contacts with clients in a professional form
- (They’re useful) when sourcing vendors / suppliers for the office; networking at conferences / For networking and for suppliers,e.g., hotels and travel providers
- Sharing my contact details, networking, part of my professional profile / Don’t need to write my details on random bits of paper when it’s required
- Contact info / Quick contact information for vendors & clients / Easy way of providing details to new contacts and suppliers
- Company marketing as their ambassador
- The ability to promote my organization and have follow up conversations
- Easy to make contact
- It helps in providing that added layer as a gatekeeper amongst other things
What kind of business case would you suggest an assistant make in approaching her or his employer with a request for business cards?
- See the reasons stated above
- Outline the advantages of representing the organisation professionally / I represent you and the company / You can better represent the company / Client facing, representing boss and company / It’s professional and a good representation of the company
- A professional business card vs. handwritten scrap of paper = No brainer
- It would be useful when attending external conferences/networking events
- They are an extension of their executive
- It looks more professional when meeting suppliers, potential suppliers
- our are posted on our website – we have a template
- It’s an easy way to promote the company brand and network with various people
- Networking for future contact opportunities
- You are the gatekeeper; people will contact you first.
- It shows their professionalism and that they are business partners
- (It shows) the importance of his/her role in the organisation and the (role as an) extension of the manager
- It’s necessary as I’m regularly dealing with other organisations
- You represent the company like the others. If you network, it is good to have them.
- I would love suggestions on this
- For networking opportunities, and to feel valued in their own right
Have you acquired your own personal business cards for use independent of your workplace?
- Yes: 36% of respondents, including one person who commented that s/he has separate business cards as the leader of a PA network
- No: 50% of respondents
- No, but now that you mention it, I may look into it: 14% of respondents
If you make use of personal business cards (independent of your workplace), what advantages have you found in using them?
- It is a simple and professional way to connect with people
- It’s good to have them outside of the office/for personal use
- Quick way of passing details in a professional manner
- Additional work
- I use them at networking events and conferences / They’re useful when attending networking events
- I use them for specific events that don’t need to be linked to my employer
- It’s much easier to keep in touch with new contacts
- Branding myself. It is important to think of one’s self as a brand.
- Just letting other know who I am and what we do
- It’s more professional.
- Specific to audience. I have cards for IAAP, DAR & personal calling cards