Wow, have I been busy this week. The life of a business owner is networking, networking, and more networking. I’ve got enough business cards to wallpaper the house. I work with a lot of business owners who gather business cards and then don’t know what to do with them. When you go to the effort of collecting them, it’s a shame to let their information go to waste.
Granted, all business cards, owners, and businesses are not created equal. You’ll want to keep information on a lot of contacts you meet but probably not all. You’ll want to screen your contacts just like you do your phone calls. The best way to sort your contacts is when you meet them. When you get their card use the back of their card to indicate if this was an “A”, “B”, or “C” contact. I also put whether I think they’d make a good “coffee date” contact.
Once you have the business cards labeled, then you can put them in your Contact Management System (CMS) also known as a Contact Relationship Management System (CRMS). A properly set up system is a business owner’s golden goose. Without a system that can track what you do, who you do it to, when you need to do it, and why you did it you’ll let opportunities slip through your fingers.
Some business owners use a spreadsheet, or even index cards. This is fine when you’re just starting out, but won’t work for the long run.