Who in business does not carry a business card of some sort, from the standard 9 X 5 bit of cardboard to the “it” thing of a USB with a resume, and published material as well as contact details on it?

It used to be that having a business card was just a cost of being in business, just like an office, some furniture, a phone line, the sign over the door, and so on.

There is a new one, the cost of an online presence.

Like all things, some do it better than others,  make it really work for them,  but if you want to be in business in the 21st century, you have the entry cost of a digital presence just to keep the doors open.

At the basic level, an online presence, a website, twitter account, facebook page is a  it like the old business card, it is the first reference point people have for you, but they are not much more, and can be counterproductive if not done with a reasonable level of professionalism.

Two thirds of Australian SME’s that do have a “presence”  take a DIY route, using family, friends,  or the office intern to create and manage their digital presence, with  the attendant problems, but almost half still do not have any presence at all. None! Nada! How can that be in 2014?

There are increasingly widely available the tools to make it relatively cheap and easy for SME’s to have a web presence, the starting point of successful marketing. Services like those provided by my old” tech-head” mates at Imagehaven, who as a part of their service menu, offer a great entry level service backed up by deep technical knowledge.

Would you go to a network meeting without a business card?