Tips to Ensure a Very Merry Holiday

Nov 30, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

After releasing the Wildfire Safety and Natural Disaster Preparedness Guides, several of our readers commented they’d like to see more of these easy to reference blog posts. Well, you spoke… And, we listened. Here is the ultimate winter holiday safety guide to ensure protection for your business and clients during the holiday season.

Office Safety

Winterize your Office: How to ensure your facility remains draft-free to maintain a warm environment and save your company money

How to Prepare Your Business for Winter: Additional tips to protect your business and minimize interruption during the colder months

3 Steps to Keep Your Business Safe Over the Holiday Break: Tips to secure your facility and clients while away on vacation

Returning to Work After a Holiday Break: How to transition back to business after a long holiday break

Entertaining

Holiday Décor – Keep Your Building Safe: Safety tips if you and your employees choose to decorate the office for some holiday cheer

Tips for Your Holiday Bash: Make sure your employees feel comfortable and safe if you’re planning an end of the year holiday party.

Travel

Winterizing Vehicles: Tips on how to prepare your vehicles for winter weather conditions, whether traveling for business or to visit family for the holidays

Never Cruise in Winter: Regardless how long your road trip is this holiday, be aware of the dangers of cruise control on slick roads.

 

Craig Kersemeier of K-tech Kleening Honored for Jefferson Award

Craig_-_Jefferson_AwardNovember 29, 2016 – K-tech Kleening Systems, a member company of DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, is excited to announce President Craig Kersemeier was one of the local Jefferson Award winners honored at the Jefferson Street Inn banquet on Thursday, November 17 in Wausau, WI.

The Jefferson Award is a prestigious national recognition to honor achievements and contributions through public and community service throughout America. Its recipients are ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition or reward.

Kersemeier won the Jefferson Award on the local level in March 2016 for his efforts through K-tech Charities, which was established in 2006 to give back to the communities in which they serve. He was also chosen to represent North Central Wisconsin in the national awards competition in Washington, D.C.

Kersemeier commented on being an ordinary individual doing extraordinary things. “Don’t ever sell yourself short by saying, ‘I am just one person; I can’t make that big of a difference.’ You’re wrong.”

Since its inception, K-tech Charities has distributed over $800,000 in financial aid and countless hours of volunteer services from employees and business partners, including their fundraisers supporting breast cancer patients: Pink Ribbon Open and Cleaning for a Reason.

In addition, each year, the group collects and purchases food items for local underserved families during the holidays. In 2015, K-tech Charities and several volunteers distributed over 400 food baskets to prequalified local families in need. To date, this annual volunteer project has resulted in the collection and distribution of eight to ten tons of food annually to Central Wisconsin families.

“If you have a group of people together, you are pretty powerful,” Kersemeier added.

To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation, please visit www.jeffersonawards.org.


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 or www.k-techcharities.com. 

6 Steps to That Work-Life Balance During the Holidays

November 16, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Are you feeling anxious about the holidays this year? Maybe you’re working overtime to hit those sales goals and prepare for the end of the year, or maybe your time off work is being spent running errands around town for your holiday parties or travel plans. Either way, the holidays should be about spending quality time with your family and friends. Read our tips below to help manage that work-life balance during this hectic time of the year.

Prioritize                 

Before you even try to tackle all your projects, take a moment to write everything down. Categorize these tasks by priorities first. What is your top priority for the end of the year? Then, what is the second priority, etc.?

By setting your priorities, you’ll be able to use your time more wisely, set aside other projects that can wait, avoid distractions, and ultimately, free up your time outside of work.

Set Time Limits

Now that you have a list of what needs to be completed versus what can wait, it’s important to establish your work hours. It’s all too easy to spend longer on a project when “it’s almost finished.” But, schedule your time wisely, then enforce it, so you’re not tempted to stay late.

Also, remember to take breaks throughout your day. Consider using the 90/20 rule, working in 90 minute intervals with 20 minute breaks between; or even quick ten minute breaks in between could help you refresh and refocus on the task at hand.

Ask for Help

While you set your schedule, be mindful that some tasks may require longer hours. With this said, it’s important to still enforce your time limits. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed. Chances are your priorities are similar throughout your team, so consider delegating work to others on your team so you all remain on schedule to complete the project.

This can be said for work outside of the office as well. If you’re planning a holiday party, ask your friends or family to help with the cooking and decorating. This will allow you time to clean the house, and still have free time with your family each evening after work.

Push Back

Always keep your list of priorities and timeframes top of mind, so that when something else comes across your desk, you can decide if it can be completed on time or will need to be set aside for the time being. Don’t be afraid to scale back in order to complete your priorities, and still maintain a work-life balance.

Minimize Distractions

Make sure your priority is always number one on your to-do list. Don’t get too caught up in email or meetings, not applicable to your main task. Consider screening your phone calls; if you do not recognize a phone number or recognize as a sales agent, let it go to your voicemail.

In addition, while you’re at work, separate your personal life. This time of year, you may be handling outside obligations, but don’t allow those to occupy all your time at work. Put aside your personal mobile devices, purse, anything that can be distracting to getting your work done.

Unplug

Finally, when your set work time is up, focus on your personal life and your time with your loved ones. Work can wait until the next day.

If, however, your business requires you to be on call in emergency situations, you may not be able to turn your phone completely off. Still, make sure to establish a block of window dedicated solely to personal time. This may be during your family dinner, or the first hour after you leave work. Whatever time you designate, be sure to enforce it.

How Do You…? Best Practices for Posting to Social Media

Nov 16, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Welcome back to our Best Practices for Social Media! By now, you should have a sufficient list of topics to post to your social media platforms, as well as, ideal times to post. Now, we are going to dive into specific features to include in your posts to increase your audience reach. With continuously changing newsfeeds of content from thousands of different users, it’s important to include certain triggers for visual content and optimization. Otherwise, your post may go unnoticed.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Likes

Considering newsfeeds are constantly being updated faster than anyone can keep up, posts solely containing words can get jumbled in the madness and go unnoticed. According to Dr. Lynell Burmark, educational consultant who studies visual literacy, “Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information (plus or minus 2). Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.” Furthermore, the Visual Teaching Alliance gathers that our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

Therefore, make your posts stand out! Add an intriguing photo or video clip relevant to your content. If the image is interesting, the viewer may stop to read your post or click the attached link. Based on an analysis from Twitter, tweets with photos receive 35 percent more retweets, and videos receive 28 percent more retweets than the average tweet. Additionally, socialbakers.com discovered that Facebook posts with photos accounted for 87 percent of total interactions among 30,000 different brand pages. Follow our blog and keep an eye out for best practices on how to post imagery to social media.

Hashtag

While posting photos and videos may give you an increased engagement rate once noticed, you still need to ensure your posts gain optimal exposure. The number sign, once known as the pound sign on a telephone or as the foundation of our favorite childhood pastime (Hopscotch), is now most commonly known as the hash or hashtag, a means to increase reach on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook). According to Hubspot, posts with hashtags see an average of 60 percent more interactions. However, it’s best to not replace every other word or phrase with a hashtag. We assume you don’t usually speak like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake in their #Hashtag skit, so don’t write your posts like that. A report by Salesforce revealed that tweets with just one to two hashtags receive 21 percent higher engagement than those with three or more. With the exception of Instagram that gets the highest engagement with 11 hashtags (Track Maven), keep it simple, and tag only those words most significant to your topic, words that your audience will be most likely to search. You can always check out the top daily hashtags and use the ones relevant to your industry and/or post. These can be found on the left column of Twitter (Trends), the right column of Facebook (Trending) and under the search icon on Instagram.

questions

We all know this symbol – to imply a question, which if done correctly, solicits an answer all on its own. Including questions in your social media posts is a win-win. Asking your followers questions about themselves helps you build an identity of your audience demographic; asking them specific industry questions can build engagement on your page, as well as, allows your followers to look “cool,” knowledgeable. According to Hubspot, posts/tweets that ask questions receive 23 percent more engagement on average. So, throw in a few questions here and there on your social media platforms and watch your engagement rise, while you also get to know your audience.

happy exclamation    happy exclamation

That subtitle alone may invoke strong emotions in you. Exclamation points and the traditional happy face just tend to stand out among the remaining punctuation marks and emoticons. According to Emoticons in mind: An event-related potential study, scientists have discovered that when we look at a smiley face online, we activate the same parts of the brain that we would looking at a real human face. When we see someone smile, our natural response is to feel happy or smile in return. While this symbol used to be viewed as unprofessional, it is growing increasingly popular among the corporate world. However, just like anything else, overusing this can be viewed as unprofessional, insincere. Give your followers something to smile about, but use the happy face sparingly to maintain your brand’s integrity.

Use the exclamation point carefully as well, as this one can invoke both positive and negative feelings in a person. The exclamation point has several uses – for exciting, over the top news, as well as for an alert or emergency. You don’t want your followers to feel like you’re shouting at them, so if you have exciting or emergency news, throw in one exclamation point for attention, but then end the rest of your post with periods. And, as with the happy face, save your exclamation points for the happiest or scariest of news to maintain your brand’s authenticity.

Hudson Valley DKI Expands to Provide Disaster Recovery Services to Orange County

November 8, 2016 – Hudson Valley DKI, a member company of DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced on October 26, 2016 they received a Notice of Intent to award a contract for the County of Orange.

As the result of a Request for Proposal for Disaster Recovery Services, Hudson Valley was accepted to provide post-incident services to residential and commercial structures within Orange County. These services will include board up and clean up due to flooding, mold, asbestos, lead and other causes.

“We’re honored to be accepted to expand our services and are excited to assist with the needs of those in the Orange area. This is a great opportunity for us to grow and continue offering superior quality services to a new community of customers,” said Hudson Valley DKI Owner Angelo Ferrante.

Hudson Valley and the County of Orange will start the contract process shortly.


About Hudson Valley DKI

With over 35 years of experience in disaster restoration, Hudson Valley DKI is a leading restoration contractor in the Hudson Valley area of New York. They provide restoration services to commercial, insurance, and residential clients. These services include: emergency response, construction services, catastrophe response, contents restoration, environmental services, fire and smoke, and water damage repair. For additional information, visitwww.hudsonvalleydki.com or call 845-294-8919.

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 their consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit www.dkiservices.com.

How to Prepare Your Business for Winter

Nov 2, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Winter can bring harsh weather conditions that could impact not only your property, but also your business operations. Since daylight saving time ends this weekend, it’s the perfect time to begin preparing your business for winter and its extreme weather.

Answer the bottom six questions, and follow the tips to winterize your office:

  1. What are your winter weather threats?

Winter affects places and businesses differently. It’s important to be aware of the potential risks your business could face during severe winter weather. Could your business be impacted by any of the following?

  • Power outage
  • Frozen pipes
  • Blizzard
  • Closed roads (leading into work or to go home)
  1. Do you have a severe weather continuity plan?

Now that you’ve identified the risks to your business, do you have a plan to manage them and minimize your business interruption? If your business is susceptible to snowstorms, do you have a plan to set up your employees to work remotely in case roadways are inaccessible? If a power outage is possible, do you have backup power generators to keep your business running?

  1. Is your property winter ready?

Extreme winter weather can impact the structure to your building, and this can be very costly to repair, plus it may force you to close. It’s important to perform a thorough inspection throughout your property to ensure it can weather any winter damage.

  • Mold from melting snow and ice seeping into your building could cause costly damage to your structure and be detrimental to your and your staff’s health. Check your property carefully for drafts, leaks and cracks on your roof, doors and windows.
  • Another common winter weather threat is from frozen pipes. Shut off outdoor plumbing so remaining liquid doesn’t freeze and break your pipes.
  1. Is your staff prepared?

Listen to the local weather news for storm warnings and updates. Keep your employees informed of the updates and your emergency business continuity plan.

  1. How will you handle your customers during severe winter weather?

Save a list of key clients and vendors and their contact information, so they can be contacted of severe weather and any change of operations. If your business occasionally has client visits, consider adding a safety plan for them to your emergency strategy.