Business Cards and Business Etiquette

Edna B. Shearer

Complying with popular etiquettes that are prevalent in the region where one is working plays an important role in determining the success level of a person’s commercial endeavour. People around the world follow certain etiquettes relating to big business issues and even issues as small as designing a business card. Following customary decorum for smallest details in a business matters pave ways to success. An act of designing business cards according to prevalent protocol in the region leaves a lasting impression on the recipient of the card.

Business card is the first introduction about a person himself and his business. Paying due attention on the presentation and design of business card can never be over emphasized. Great art and excellent skill is required to design an eye-catching card that would fetch great commercial opportunities.

Being familiar with business etiquette around the world makes it easy for a person to feel at home and be confident in his business dealings even on foreign land. The process starts from knowing and practising popular etiquette of business card design. Different parts of world have varying rules about visiting card etiquette. What may be highly desirable in one region might be least significant in other areas. But one needs to know about the popular convention before one could follow it. Some general rules are commonly accepted worldwide.

Business cards internationally are a means of representing one’s business contact details. Though good business etiquette promotes business opportunities it is not the only deciding factor in a business relation. While a person is travelling to different parts of the world, having the opposite side of the business card translated to the native language of the region speaks volumes about his concern for business dealings in that area. Visiting cards could be exchanged at the beginning or at the end of any commercial meeting. When receiving a visiting card of the person one is expected to comment on it and also clarify any curiosity relating to it before putting the card away.

About different specific etiquettes prevalent in various parts of the world, UK has very relaxed rules for cards. Though such cards are expected to be clean and presentable it is not compulsory to hand over business cards to every person you meet in the UK.

On the contrary the Japanese think that visiting cards are very important, hence high quality cards are desirable here. Visiting cards should be accepted as courteously as one would receive a person. The card must contain the title of the person as great importance is given to status and hierarchy in Japan. It can be handed over by one hand but should always be received with two hands.

In China having Chinese characters on the card printed in gold is considered a good etiquette, as gold is a fortunate colour. Translating the card should be done in suitable Chinese language, Cantonese or Mandarin. Favourable points about your company, like if it is the largest or oldest must be specifically mentioned on the card also while offering it the card it must be held by both hands. Scribbling on someone else’s card is indeed a resentful act.

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