6 Business card etiquette every entrepreneur must know

As an entrepreneur, you’re always looking to network with promising clients, customers, or investors. And for this, you’ll always have to hand out business cards.

However, just giving away your card won’t do the trick. You must also have the right etiquette for it. So, let’s get started!

1. Always take your business card before going out

When you leave home, take all the business cards in a holder or container. Don’t take only a few of them with you. After all, you might need more than the handful of cards you pick from the stack.

That seems unprofessional if you say, “I just gave away my last card,” and ask them to write down your contact information. It only highlights your lack of planning!

Even if you leave your office for a simple meal, take all the cards with you.

You may meet a business lead or prospect in a casual setting. At that point, you don’t want to come off as sloppy by saying global horizontal irradiance solar, “Ah, I left my business cards in my office!”

2. Introduce yourself before sharing your card

During a professional event, you eagerly want to give away your business card to potential clients. However, don’t just give away your cards like flyers. Otherwise, the other person will assume you’re too busy to get acquainted with them.

Instead, introduce yourself and strike up a conversation with the other person. Build rapport with them and ensure they have a good impression of your business.

Towards the end of the conversation, give away your business card to the person. Some even wait for the opposite person to ask for it. However, you may lose your opportunity that way.

3. Don’t give away your business card to everyone

As an entrepreneur, you’ll probably want to connect with every person you meet, whether during corporate events or in daily life.

After all, you’re already on the hunt for investors, clients, and customers. However, that’s a wrong move because most of them won’t call back.

So, identify qualified leads, potential employees, or rich referral sources before giving away your card. Otherwise, you will run out of cards pretty soon and have to get them reprinted repeatedly.

However, if you face trouble identifying the right people, switching to digital business cards is better. This way, you can tap your card against others’ smartphones without reprinting cards repeatedly.

4. Read a business card well when you receive one

When you receive a business card, don’t shove it in your pocket or wallet right away. That seems like dismissive body language in the business world.

So, take a moment to read it and verbally compliment the card giver on either the design or their position. This shows that you’re interested in their profession or business.

Consequently, ensure you don’t stare at a card for too long. Otherwise, in some cultures, the business card prints seem illegible, or you may be illiterate. So, try to strike a balance and be genuine.

If you receive a card during a meeting, keep the business card on the table after checking it. Put it away only before you’re about to leave.

Moreover, always put the card in a case or holder. Don’t directly put it in a pocket, wallet, or bag. Otherwise, the other person will assume you don’t value their business and don’t care if you lose or spoil the card.

5. Always make sure your business card is presentable

If you opt for paper business cards, take good care of it. After all, the Statistics Brain Research Institute says that 72% of people judge a person or business based on its quality.

Ensure it never gets crumpled or dirty. For instance, don’t keep your cards and a pen in the same pocket. If the pen ink bleeds, all the cards will get destroyed.

Don’t keep your business cards in your back pocket or wallet lest they get crumpled when you sit.

Never keep your handkerchief and cards in the same pocket. If you reach for your handkerchief with a wet or dirty hand, it will also spoil the cards.

You must also never use your cards as a writing pad. If you scribble on the card, never give it away.

Avoid trying to give away spoiled cards to others. Otherwise, it’ll ruin your image.

6. Don’t expect people to know your business from the card

Your card, at most, provides your contact number, name, business name, business website, and some basic information.

Don’t expect a card receiver to know everything about your business by checking the website.

Let’s be honest; nobody has enough time to check every card they receive and the websites. So, while they check your card, tell them about your business.

For instance, talk about your products or services and how they’re unique from other competitors. However, don’t belittle other businesses during your speech. Instead, your tone must always show how to better serve a person.


With these key etiquette in mind, you’ll impress people easily, so start practicing them now!

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