Do you Have Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Dec 29, 2014

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

As we enter this New Year, do you have a business plan? Has your team set new goals, new budgets?

If not, now’s the time to start!

INCREASE SALES

I’m sure we all want to increase sales this year, and every year – But, by how much? How do you plan to get to that number?

Having a goal in mind is a great start, but having an execution plan will help you maintain that goal. We all know at least one person, who sets New Year’s resolutions year after year, but only keeps them up for a short time. Usually this is because they don’t have a week by week or month by month plan to keep their motivation high.

If your goal is to increase sales by X percent by the end of the year, then make monthly or quarterly short-term goals for your team to achieve. Starting small to reach that big goal has a better rate of success.

INCREASE BRAND EXPOSURE

Research new marketing trends. Pull reports of your current market versus your competitors’. Who do you need to reach?

By following certain trends, you can stay within sight of consumers. But, don’t follow too closely that you get lost in the realm of every other competitor out there. Create your own marketing ideas, using knowledge of “what’s hot.”

According to Forbes, 65 percent of us are visual learners. We grasp knowledge, products, services through images, video, etc. Utilize the newest trends of infographics and YouTube videos; they’re inexpensive, yet effective.

INCREASE EMPLOYMENT

This one may not be on everyone’s minds, considering more overhead means using more money, but by increasing your number of employees, more work gets completed. Think about it:

Company X has a portfolio of over 100 products, but only three customer service representatives. These employees have to juggle email, website and phone orders daily. If the company is closed on the weekends, then on Mondays, the three representatives handle orders from Friday evening through Monday. Not to mention, if one is sick, then there’s only two arranging all of these, including customer comments and complaints. When is the work complete? I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it!

If one of your departments doesn’t have the bandwidth to complete all of their responsibilities in their 40-hour work week, maybe it’s time to hire more people to help. Less work will be pushed aside, which will, in turn, increase your sales, which brings me to my next point.

INCREASE CUSTOMER LOYALTY

With more employees and more delegation, customers will receive more attention. How many times have you heard someone rave about a company’s “excellent customer service?” This is huge! Your customers are your business. Treat them above expectations, and they will continue to use your services or products, but also send their network of friends and family to your company. And, if you offer excellent service to their friends, as well, the cycle will continue.

Use these general goals this year to help create your own New Year’s resolution for your business to prosper. Happy New Year to you all!

Last Minute Holiday Tips

Dec 23, 2014

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

With the holidays upon us, we can become distracted and forget important measures to take to ensure our safety at home and at work. Here are some preparation tips to keep everything safe while you enjoy your holiday vacation.

Prepare Your Home and Office

While it’s supposed to be the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” nearly 400,000 break-ins occur in the United States during November and December, according to the FBI. Before you close your doors to depart for the holidays, take these extra precautions to prepare your building for disaster prevention, such as frozen pipes and burglary.

  • Test and make sure heating equipment is operating efficiently.
  • Maintain building temperatures above 40°F, but don’t waste your energy bill by maintaining a 70°F environment that no one is there to enjoy.
  • Unplug all appliances that won’t be used while you are out.
  • Call your post office to put your mail on hold so it doesn’t pile up while you are gone.
  • Consider installing an inexpensive timed light system that turns on for some time each day while you are gone. This deters burglars from trying to break in.
  • Ask a neighbor, who will be around while you are gone, to keep an eye on your place.
  • If you have more than one vehicle, keep the one you won’t be using in the driveway to make it appear someone is still home.
  • Check out our previous blog for some home and office winterization tips.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Due to the rain and thunderstorms forecasted to hit the nation this week, travel conditions could become dangerous for the holidays. Follow these basic vehicle preparation tips to ensure safe travel.

Also, watch this video, provided by the Weather Channel, for additional car survival kit ideas that not everyone may initially think about.

Following the above tips should help prevent disaster during your “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” DKI wishes you all the best and happiest holiday season!

Citywide Restoration Joins DKI

December 22, 2014 – 2014DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced that Citywide Restoration of Troy, Michhas joined the DKI network.

By virtue of its DKI Franchise Member, Citywide Restoration can employ DKI’s 24-hour call center, its DIAMOND claims tracking technology, and other tools to enhance its ability to serve its insurance and corporate customers. Citywide Restoration also gains access to DKI’s training seminars and workshops, which ensure that it remains abreast of all changes in this rapidly evolving industry.

“We are delighted to welcome Citywide Restoration into the rapidly growing DKI network,” stated Dan Cassara, DKI’s president. “City Wide Restoration‘s commitment to quick response, superior workmanship and outstanding customer service reaffirms DKI’s position in the marketplace as The Source for Quality Restoration. We look forward to a long and rewarding association.”

City Wide Restoration Manager, Brett Finsilver, is pleased that the company is a part of the DKI network, giving them the opportunity to work in partnership with other quality firms. The DKI network will allow Citywide Restoration to expand their scope of service, introduce them to new markets and ensure the company’s success long into the future.

In addition to the benefits of DKI’s technology and training capabilities,Citywide Restoration will also be able to utilize the DKI branding in its marketing efforts, participate in its various co-op programs, and leverage DKI’s corporate marketing efforts.


About DKI 
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at www.dkiservices.com or contact Jessica Nielsen at (630) 350-3000.

Registration for Insights 2015 is Now Open to All within Property Restoration Industry

December 19, 2014 – (Elk Grove Village, Ill., Dec. 19, 2014)
Full_BannerInsights, the most extensive nationwide conference and trade show in the property restoration industry, today announced that it’s opening up registration for its annual event in March, to all restoration professionals.

Insights, operated by DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, since 1996, was formerly an exclusive trade show for DKI’s Franchise Members and DIAMOND Service Provider contractors. It boasts valuable training courses, world-class speakers, incredible networking opportunities and its largest exhibition floor to date.

This coming year, Insights will be held March 2-4, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, and will open its doors for all individuals in the restoration industry. It will feature over 1,000 attendees and more than 110 exhibitors, as well as discussion forums and exclusive events, including a Mardi Gras themed dinner reception and awards celebration. Insights will also present over ten dynamic speakers and training instructors, including a keynote by Bob Vanourek, former CEO of five companies from a start-up to a $1 billion New York Stock Exchange company, and leadership author of the 2013 USA Best Book Awards Winner, “Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations.”

President and CEO of DKI Ventures, LLC, Dan Cassara says, “Insights is an exceptional forum for networking and exchanging ideas, as well as the perfect setting for interacting with the top restoration industry vendors. We believe you are only as good as the company you keep.”

For industry contractors looking to experience this event, event management is offering a special discounted rate for first time registrants, which can be found at www.insightsconference.com/specialoffer.


About Insights
Insights began in 1996 as a small trade show run by DKI, a company that is now the property restoration industry’s largest contracting organization. It was initially a chance for DKI Franchise Companies to meet each other and check out some of the equipment, rentals, and other services available in the industry. It is now one of the industry’s largest conferences, featuring some of the most beneficial training courses, world-class speakers, incredible networking opportunities, and the most extensive trade show and exhibition floor in the property restoration industry. To learn more and take advantage of the special Insights offer, please visit www.insightsconference.com/specialoffer.

J.C. Restoration Honored with Better Business Bureau International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence

December 19, 2014 – (Rolling Meadows, Ill., Dec. 19, 2014) – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced that DKI Member, J.C. Restoration, Inc. (JCR) was honored this year with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence.

The BBB International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence is given to a business that demonstrates “superior commitment to exceptional standards that benefit its customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and surrounding communities.” Entrants compete with similar-sized companies in three categories: Category 3 (1,000 or more employees), Category 2 (100-199 employees), and Category 1 (1-99 employees).  JCR is proud to be the award recipient in Category 1.

Seven companies received BBB International Torch Awards presented by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to recognize businesses exhibiting outstanding ethical practices and contributions to building marketplace trust. Only three companies, including JCR received the International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence.

The honorees were celebrated at a special luncheon ceremony held at the first annual BBB Self-Regulation Conference earlier this year at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

“This year’s winners have set an example for businesses of all sizes to follow, and we applaud their unique contributions to upholding a fair and honest marketplace,” said Mary Power, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB).

“JCR is extremely proud of this accomplishment, as we pride ourselves on our commitment to our employees, which translates to excellent service to our customers, suppliers and surrounding community.  In addition, everyone at JCR takes their job very seriously in order to uphold a fair and honest marketplace in the restoration industry,” remarked Steve Rost, General Manager at J.C. Restoration, Inc.


About J.C Restoration

J.C. Restoration is one of the fastest growing independent restoration companies in the Midwest. For 32 years, JCR has been successfully restoring damaged properties in the greater Chicago area for thousands of home and business owners. JCR offers complete emergency mitigation and restoration services for properties affected by water, fire, smoke, storms and mold. Our Emergency Response Teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week– with vehicles fully stocked and ready for immediate dispatch. Restoration Services Include: Building / Structural Damage, Water Damage, Fire Damage, Emergency Clean-up, Certified Mold Remediation, Contents Restoration, Document Restoration, and Commercial/Large Loss Services.  To learn more about J.C. Restoration, please call 800.956.8844 or visit www.jcrestoration.com.

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at www.dkiservices.com or contact Jessica Nielsen at (630) 350-3000.

DKI Helps Respond to Santa’s Mail

December 17, 2014 – Santa_Mail(SAN RAMON, Calif., Dec. 17, 2014) – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, announced today its satellite office in San Ramon, CA participated in the Danville Community Center’s Santa’s Mailbox Program to help respond to letters to Santa yesterday evening.

Hundreds of letters from children all over the Contra Costa County needed responses. Some children sent in their individual wishlists, while others simply wanted to wish Santa a Merry Christmas and see how his elves and reindeer were holding up, in preparation for the big night.

DKI volunteered two hours of their time after corporate business hours, to assist in the writing process in order to give each child a very special gift this Christmas– a personalized letter from Santa. Between the four of the volunteers, DKI was able to complete approximately 50 letters.

“It was fun! Definitely something I would like to continue to do for the holidays in the future, and get our entire company involved,” said DKI’s President and CEO, Dan Cassara.Santa_Mail3


About DKI

DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America.  DKI franchise companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers.  For more information about DKI, visit our website at www.dkiservices.com or contact Jessica Nielsen at (630) 350-3000.

DKI Supports Toys for Tots

December 16, 2014 –santa

(SAN RAMON, Calif., Dec. 16, 2014) – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, announced its remote office in San Ramon, CA supported the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program today, sponsored by Sunset Development Company’s Bishop Ranch.

Bishop Ranch, a business complex in San Ramon, CA, housing several companies, including DKI is accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots December 1-19, 2014. The toys are distributed to underprivileged children 2 to 17 years old, living within the Contra Costa County. The program is especially in need of toys for older children.

DKI donated items, including electronic toy cars, legos, board games, makeup, jewelry and sporting equipment.

“We are excited to be a part of this event, and bring a little holiday cheer to needy families in the area,” said Dan Cassara, DKI’s CEO.

For those interested in contributing to Toys for Tots, find a local drop off location. All donations must be new, unwrapped toys; toy weapons, food and stuffed animals will not be accepted.


About DKI

DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America.  DKI franchise companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers.  For more information about DKI, visit our website at www.dkiservices.com or contact Jessica Nielsen at (630) 350-3000.

K-tech Kleening Celebrates 14 years of Donating to its Community

December 12, 2014 – (Weston, Wis., Dec. 12, 2014) – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced that DKI Franchise Member Company, K-tech Kleening Systems of Weston, WI is celebrating its 14th year of holiday community service by donating food baskets for local, underprivileged families.

When the food basket program was initially incepted by K-tech and the Kersemeier family in 2000, they were able to assist 20 families in Central Wisconsin. Today, the program has exponentially grown to serve 400 families within the community. The chosen recipients are families in need, pre-qualified, using several local agencies and referrals.

Through donations raised at K-tech’s annual fall golf outing fundraiser, Fairways Fore Food, hosted by K-tech Charities, a division of K-tech for charity and volunteer work, they were able to spend over $13,000 for the food baskets this year, along with separate donations from local food companies.

With the help of the 5th grade class at DC Everest Evergreen Elementary, the baskets were fully assembled on Thursday, December 11, and will be distributed by over 40 employees and volunteers on Sunday, December 14 to each of the 400 pre-approved families throughout the community.

“The holiday food basket program is a success because of the wonderful support and generosity of our community,” says Craig Kersemeier, President at K-tech.


About K-tech Kleening

Headquartered in Weston, WI, K-tech has been serving Central and Northern Wisconsin customers since 1975. It still thrives today as a 2nd-generation family-owned business with superior commercial and residential cleaning and restoration solution services. Through its K-tech Charities division, conceptualized in 2006, K-tech prides itself in giving back to the community in which it serves. For more information, visit its website at www.k-techkleening.com.

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit its website at www.dkiservices.com or contact Jessica Nielsen at (630) 350-3000.KTech_Food_Baskets

Office Holiday Party Tips

Dec 10, 2014

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Holiday parties are a great way to show your employees appreciation for their hard work over the year, as well as a great opportunity to “break the ice” among 21those who tend to be “all work, no play.” However, you should embrace all of the different cultures and religious practices within your office, to not offend anyone. You don’t have to take this to heart and create a Kwamaskkah (Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas) Party, but Holiday or Winter Party tends to please most people, while including all December celebrations, and even New Years, for that matter.

Of course, there will be those who choose not to attend your “Holiday Party,” be it religious reasons or personal issues. It is best to not pressure these people. It is their right if they choose to attend or not.

Decorations

Try to stay away from the traditional decorations. Dreidels, menorahs and pine trees adorned with red and green lights may be too closely associated with specific holidays. Try to use silver or gold as celebration colors, or blue and silver to resemble or use your company colors.

And, always remember safety when decorating!

Food and Beverage

Serve plenty of food and nonalcoholic beverages. Given your number of employees and guests (depending on who you choose to invite), you should have a fairly accurate idea of how much you will need. Plus, if you plan on serving alcohol, your guests will require food and water to prevent excessive intoxication.

If there will be alcohol present, make sure to clearly state your alcohol policy:

  • Minors cannot drink, and may be terminated if they do, along with the person who served them.
  • Consider only serving beer and wine.
  • Consider having a maximum drink limit per person.

Driving and Hotel Arrangements

If you are planning to serve alcohol at your holiday party, consider choosing a venue within proximity to your employees’ residences, or a hotel, should you choose to book rooms for your guests. In addition, ensure everyone has a designated ride home, whether you want to supply cab vouchers or set up a shuttle service.

Behavior Policy

Everyone’s behavior during the party should resemble acceptable workplace behavior, as stated in your employee handbook. Let your guests know of the repercussions, if someone acts out or inappropriately disturbs the party.

Whether you choose to have a Winter Celebration, Holiday Party or New Years’ Bash, these tips should help ensure health, happiness and FUN!

 

 

Keep Your Building Safe with Holiday Décor

Dec 8, 2014

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Decorating for the holidays is fun, and bringing the festive spirit to the office can build an enjoyable environment, in which to work. It’s not fun, however to get a visit from the fire department.

Here are some tips to keep the holiday spirit alive in your place of business.

Safety First

  • Check your holiday lights for fraying and other damage.
  • Only up to three sets of lights should be used for each extension cord.
  • Keep your lights and extension cords along the walls, so people don’t trip over them.
  • Place decorative candles where they will not fall or be knocked over.
  • Consider decorating with LED lights that use at least 75 percent less energy and last longer.
  • Turn off all holiday lights before you leave the office for the day. The lights could short out and cause a fire.
  • If you purchase an artificial tree, look for the “fire resistant” label – This doesn’t prevent it from catching fire, but it will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.

Avoid

  • Spray cans of artificial snow– It looks cool, especially in those areas that don’t naturally snow, but it can irritate your lungs and be detrimental to your health.
  • Decorations that resemble candy that may tempt an animal or child to eat.
  • Electric lights on a metallic tree – The tree may become charged with electricity and electrocute someone nearby.
  • Trees that appear dry – Test the branches and needles before buying to ensure it’s fresh.
  • Placing a tree or any flammable decorations near a heater unit, or in the middle of a room that can cause an obstructed escape for you during an emergency.