According to StatisticBrain.com, approximately 88% of all the business cards that are handed out are thrown away in less than one week.
Most business people, freelancers and solo professionals are adept at collecting business cards, but few have the time or desire to organize the information themselves. The good news is, there’s an abundance of unique services and applications available to help busy networkers organize, share, preserve, and even replace lost business cards if need be.
CloudContacts is a service that can save you the time and trouble of managing your business cards manually. CloudContacts turns simple business cards into data that can be viewed online; imported into email applications such as Outlook, Entourage, Thunderbird, and Exchange; integrated with CRM applications; and linked to various social media sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
To utilize the service, you can send your cards to CloudContacts either physically through the mail or electronically by photographing or scanning them. Once CloudContacts processes your business cards, you are able to view them at any time using the company’s Web interface. International orders are accepted, the company is able to accommodate large orders of up to 1,000 cards, and a rush option is available.
CloudContacts provides full backup of your business cards, so no need to worry about losing them to fire, flood, theft, or your own disorganization. And after CloudContacts has finished scanning and transcribing your cards, they’ll return them to you or even recycle them if you wish.
Similar to CloudContacts, you can mail your business cards to Shoeboxed in one of their prepaid envelopes or through any mail carrier. You can also send pictures of your cards to Shoeboxed from your smartphone, or scan and upload your cards from your computer with the company’s free Web uploader.
For a free 30-day trial or a monthly fee, Shoeboxed will OCR your cards, extract and enter the data, verify its accuracy, and organize and store it in a secure and searchable online account. One advantage to Shoeboxed is that the company doesn’t just organize business cards. If you like, they’ll provide the same services for your receipts, bills, and any other paper documents currently cluttering your desktop or lurking in a box under your bed.
In February 2013, WorkingPoint announced a new partnership with Shoeboxed, launching a process that will enable users to import both Shoeboxed receipts and contacts into WorkingPoint, allowing for the easy tracking of business expenses.
Think of CardFila as your online Rolodex. This cloud-based application allows users to easily store and manage the information on thousands of business cards. Besides business cards, you can also import contacts into CardFila from Outlook and LinkedIn, and you can export them into your current email application. All transcribed information is automatically downloaded onto your phone via the CardFila mobile application.
CardFila allows scanning of up to 20 cards per minute with a smartphone. From there, you can choose to manually transcribe the cards yourself or have the CardFila staff review, edit, and enter the information into your contacts for you. You can prioritize and group contacts, and then easily send group SMS or email messages to all contacts in a group. A smart search capability allows you to locate cards by name, title, or industry, and contacts can be retrieved instantly with just a few clicks.
Ever spent hours looking in a shoebox or your desk drawer for a business card that you got from a prospect months ago? Despite the fact that many people struggle with organizing business cards, their benefits far outweigh any contentions that they are passe or old-fashioned, according to CMO.com. These little pieces of cardboard actually have the power to turn an ordinary contact into a hot prospect, or help establish a long-term business relationship.