Is the Business Card Dead?

Let’s say you are preparing to participate in a professional networking meeting in Charlotte this week.  Your elevator pitch has been perfected, and you are feeling on top of your game.  But then a nagging question arises that throws you off base.  Should I, or should I not, present my business card to new contacts?  Has the rise of LinkedIn (and other tools) rendered the business card obsolete?

Our strong belief?  The business card still matters.

Following a meeting with a local business executive, the Croixstone team engaged in spirited discussion last week about the merit of the business card.  While some people feel strongly that this longstanding business communication tool is passé, we are resolute in our belief that the business card absolutely still matters.

Yes, LinkedIn serves an incredibly valuable purpose.  And, yes, many millennials are quick to say that the business card is pointless.  We would offer that the business card is an essential tool in your personal branding tool chest.  Like any tool, you simply need to know when the card is appropriate to present.

Know your audience and the environment.  If you are attending a networking event at the Duke Mansion with people from traditional, conservative professional groups or companies, you can be assured that your business card matters.  Attending a hip tech gathering at Camp North End the following evening?  You might be best to leave your business card tucked safely in your pocket.

Also remember that your business card, when designed with care and intentionality, is a powerful tool to represent, and differentiate, your personal brand.

Read more opinions on the value of the business card from 16 public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising leaders who serve on the Forbes Agency Council.


Mainstream Mindfulness

Last week, members of the Croixstone Consulting crew attended an educational seminar hosted by HopeWay Foundation, a Charlotte-based 501(c)(3) that supports mental health wellness.  The guest speaker was Dan Harris, ABC News anchor and author of 10% Happier and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.

Dan Harris has become a huge advocate of mental health wellness, and meditation, following his personal experience with a nationally televised panic attack.

Meditation has become fully mainstream, and companies like Google, Nike, and Apple are proponents of mindfulness training.  Learn more here.


German Investment in Charlotte

According to research from the former Charlotte Regional Partnership, there are 194 German-owned firms in the greater Charlotte region; making Germany the most largely represented foreign country in the region.  Learn more about Germany’s investment in Charlotte and why so many German firms have chosen to conduct business in our region.


Make Today a Day ON

Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence. MLK Day of Service is a way to honor his life and teachings by engaging in community action that continues to solve social problems. Service breaks down barriers by bringing people from different experiences together – volunteering can unite Americans of all ages and backgrounds while building stronger communities.  Visit MLKDay.gov to join millions of others in making today’s federal holiday a Day ON, Not a Day Off.


A Virtual View of the Skills Gap Dilemma

According to the just-released 2018 Employer Needs Survey, 50 percent of North Carolina businesses report hiring difficulties and 60 percent of NC STEM-related and manufacturing companies experience the same. A recent Deloitte study estimates 2.4 million positions may go unfilled over the next decade.

Immersive technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR) [collectively called XR], are being used to address the skills gap behind those numbers. Charlotte-based Lowe’s finds VR particularly useful for simulating the numerous home environments a sales or service representative may encounter. Global shipping giant DHL Supply Chain reports an average 15 percent or greater improvement in productivity in its warehouses utilizing AR glasses, while also reducing onboarding and training time by 50 percent.

What does this mean for employee training? Read more on:  A Virtual View of the Skills Gap Dilemma.

About Our Guest Writer

Lorraine Russell is President/CEO of Room to Focus.  The firm provides the tools and content to help companies increase training retention, attract digital natives, and reduce time spent onboarding and facilitating routine training.  

100 Events That Shaped the Queen City

The great city that Croixstone Consulting calls home just celebrated its 250th anniversary.  Founded in honor of Her Majesty Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg on December 3, 1768, Charlotte has grown to be the second-largest banking center in the US, a title it regained in early November 2018.

Charlotte Magazine recently published a list of the 100 events (ranging from the 1700s to the 2000s) that transformed our city into what it is today.  A “must read” regardless of how long you have lived or worked in the greater Charlotte region!


Spotlight on Disruption

Coworking office spaces represent a fundamental shift in the way people work, and the coworking industry is disrupting the commercial real estate industry in a very BIG way.  The future of work is a huge topic of discussion every week at Croixstone, and the shift in how people work is what incentivized us to relocate our offices from our business loft in South End to Industrious in Uptown Charlotte nearly one year ago. Learn why companies like Spotify, Lyft, Hyatt and Chipotle have joined Croixstone in calling Industrious home across the United States.  Click here.


Charlotte Region By the Numbers

In June, the Charlotte Regional Partnership announced that it was launching a new quarterly economic activity report to capture an overarching look at capital investment, job growth and other important business data across the 16-county Charlotte region.  We read the published report and learned that the vast majority of companies that located or expanded in the region are manufacturers.  The report also reinforced that financial services is not the largest employer among the region’s industry sectors (it is healthcare by a large margin).  Read the new report here.


July 2018 Workforce Report

LinkedIn publishes a monthly analysis of employment trends in the USA workforce.  The report is divided into two sections:  a National section that provides insights into hiring, skills gaps, and migration trends across the country, and a City section that provides insights into localized employment trends in 20 of the largest USA metro areas.  In its newly-published July report, LinkedIn shared that Charlotte ranked among the top 10 cities in two different categories.  Learn more here.


Congrats to 2018’s “CFO of the Year Finalists”

The Croixstone team looks forward to celebrating with 2018’s “CFO of the Year Finalists” at the Charlotte Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Awards this evening. Congrats to Ryland Beard of Clean Juice, Tod Creech of Edifice Inc, Jessica Dorsett of Siemens, Dan Gotte of ImagineSoftware, Steve Hennen (formerly of DyStar), Steve Klueg of Wastequip, Richard Linneman of Carolina Water Service Inc. of North Carolina, Alex Pease of CommScope, Richard Russell of #FuelSportsManagementGroup, Cass Ward of Spiracle Media, Joel Wilhite of AvidXchange, Inc., Mark Zeidman of Roundpoint Mortgage Servicing, and Jean Zoutewelle of WFAE – University Radio Foundation, Inc.