I was having lunch with a friend this past weekend and she was bemoaning the fact that she had lost her clutch wallet and, while she was lucky that no credit cards had been in the wallet, there had been the business cards of four potential clients. She had no idea what their contact information was and, since she is trying to get her business off the ground, was extremely frustrated by this loss. She is attached to her phone as I am, so I asked if she had a business card scanning app. She shook her head in response.
As I’m starting my own business adventure, I have also been collecting my share of cards. I’m working with a referral networking group which touts the importance of having people’s cards available and sorted by industry, so when someone needs assistance you can easily refer them to a member of the group. Since my business is pretty mobile, the idea of carrying around a binder of business cards was not appealing. I knew I needed to turn to the handy App Store. I chose the CamCard app, which will automatically scan a business card, and with about 80% accuracy convert the card into a contact on your phone while also storing the information within the app itself. It will also allow you to create groups so you can easily find that CPA’s information, even if you can’t remember his/her name.
This was the app that I initially found, but there are many others, including WorldCardMobile, SamCard, and ScanBizCards.
At a recent event, I collected over 40 cards and was able to scan them all into the app in under an hour, including the time it took to clean up the entries and create groups (great activity while watching TV, by the way). But I was also able to create a new entry in about 15 seconds when a friend handed me his card at lunch.
I recently read an article by Greg Johnson, where he reminded the reader on the importance of respecting a new acquaintance’s business card. And as a small business owner, I know that we must not only respect that information, but be able to access it on the fly. I encourage you to find a way to catalog your networks information so you can refer to it when it’s most important, and never have to worry about losing potential clients information!