Are Business Cards a Waste of Money? How to Decide

Small businesses have it rough. Every penny has to go into making sure that the company succeeds. However, there are so many experts out there trying to pitch what someone needs or doesn’t need that it can be hard to decide which one is best. However, it’s important to remember that those experts are not there in the same circumstances, so a lot of the deciding on what is worth it and what isn’t comes down to the individual.

Business cards can be a waste of money if the business is being entirely done digitally or the individual is not going to enough events to pass out the cards. However, they can be worth it if there is a lot of in person work and products being done.

Business cards are one of the most common pieces of advertising that a business will have. They’re small, easy to carry and give out, but do keep in mind that expecting customers to come forward just because they were handed a card is not going to work well enough to justify their expense. Keep reading for more information in order to decide if a business card is a waste of money or not.

How Business Cards are a Waste of Money

There are times that a business card is just going to be a waste of money or send signals that are not exactly what the company is trying to do. In these cases, it’s best to use those funds elsewhere and skip out on the cards entirely.

Here are some instances in which business cards are a waste of money:

  • Entirely digital companies and services
  • There is little networking happening face-to-face
  • More effective advertising is happening elsewhere
  • The brand is extremely focused on environmental sustainability

Chances are anyway that someone is going to have something else to include the pertinent information that would be found on a business card right on them. Likely, it’s going to be their phone, a notebook, or even the back of someone else’s business card. It’s also relatively common to pick up business cards and never think about them again, so they end up being thrown away or tucked in somewhere without correspondence to the company they’re for.

How Business Cards are not a Waste of Money

The other side of the token is that sometimes a business card is actually extremely useful. Even if there isn’t immediate evidence that they are working, it gets the seed planted into someone’s head and allows them to think about it before other products or services. It’s also a great way to remember who or where to reorder from.

Here are some instances in which business cards are not a waste of money:

  • Art and trade shows
  • For a commonly needed service
  • When going to networking events
  • There is a very tight advertising budget

The end of it all depends on what the overall needs and services being provided are. Business cards tend to do excellently in art and trade shows compared to other styles of businesses, or when looking for a new, much-needed service such as a doctor, plumber, or electrician. They also give a little bit of advertising for extremely tight budgets, and any advertising is better than no advertising.

Where to Get Affordable Business Cards

There are a handful of places that offer affordable printing and even designing of business cards that can help if push comes to shove and they are deemed a necessary expense.

Here are some places to consider looking when creating business cards:

Many places have services where business cards can be designed alone with a template, have designs uploaded, or even get help designing them for maximum bang for the buck. Consider using non-standard materials and printing methods to make business cards stand out among the flock as well.


Just about every business expert will have something to say about business cards and whether or not they are worth the expense. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, choice, and the types of products or services being used. If it is something that is entirely digital, they probably are just going to be a waste of time. However, they tend to do well for art and trade shows, or things where people are really going to need to shop around a bit.