Always have enough business cards with you. While this seems like it should be obvious, people are still caught off-guard without their business cards. You’ll never know when or where opportunities will arise. Also, whenever you know you’re on your way to a trade show, mixer, or other networking events, make sure you take a lot of business cards. It’s better to have too many than not enough!
Tip: Keep a number of “card caches” around you at all times. Keeping business cards in your car, at your desk, at your home office, and in your briefcase or purse can keep you from looking ill-prepared if you forget to replenish the cards in your wallet.
What NOT to do: I’ve seen people leave their business cards randomly at restaurants, in restrooms, and on bar counters by registers. Maybe this works, but I’m doubtful. In my mind, this would be even less effective than placing your business card on a bulletin board! Do you really think the wait staff is going to keep your business cards after you leave? Nah. I think they’re going to clean the table and that expensive die-cut, embossed business card you had to have is going to end up wearing your table scraps in the trash.
Hint: Save your cards for the people who care.