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Blog: The Organized Entrepreneur
Business Card Overload

Every week I visit clients' offices and see desks covered in business cards. Working hard to build their business, entrepreneurs recognize the value of networking and developing extensive contacts in their local business community.  I agree that this is a positive and necessary part of running your own company. 
However, there is also a downside.  If the information is not recorded and used, the resulting stacks of cardstock are no more useful than sticky notes.  They form a constant distraction, greeting you each time you sit down at your desk, reminding you of all the things sitting and rotting on your to-do list.
My clients are almost always hesitant to dispose of the piles and boxes of business cards they have accumulated over the years.  Searching for the card of a specific person you met once in the past 3 years is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Others scan the cards into Outlook, leaving them with a worthless database full of people that they do not remember meeting. 
At realign, we have a system for intake of contact information that works well for us.  It may not be the perfect solution for every small business, but it has prevented the ubiquitous stacks of business cards from appearing in our office. 
When I attend a networking function, I never just take a card for every person who was there.  I only leave with cards for people I spoke with long enough to remember their face and their business.  I make sure to send a hand-written note within 3 business days.  This helps to cement the person in my memory and will hopefully make me stand out among all the people they met at the event.  After sending the note, I enter the data from the card and any important notes into Outlook manually and thrown away the card.   At first glance, the system seems extremely cumbersome.  However, the key is being very choosey about the number of cards I bring back to my office at the end of the day.  The result is a high quality (low quantity) database that is helping us grow this business and carve out our spot in the local community.

posted on: 3/15/2008 8:30:00 AM by Shana Prichard
category: Business

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The Organized Entrepreneur

by Shana Prichard

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About Shana:

Shana M. Prichard, MBA owns realign, llc, a professional organizing firm. realign, llc provides small business organizing services including filing system design/implementation, desk and time management and QuickBooks set up and training. realign, llc also provides home-office organizing services to individuals.

Shana's Website:


What I'm Reading . . .

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    Common sense ideas and insight into raising kids who are wll-prepared to manage their own finances as young adults.
  • "The Success Principles: How To Get From Where You Are to Where You Want To Be" by Jack Canfield
    This book really got me excited about pursuing my goals and growing my business. There is a heavier emphasis on materialism than what I am comfortable with, but overall this is an inspiring book.
  • "The Organized Executive", by Stephanie Winston
  • "No B.S. Time Management for Enterpreneurs" by Dan Kennedy

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