Simmer Pot Recipes
The holiday season has finally arrived! Trees are trimmed, stocking are hung, and Santa will be on his way shortly. All that is left is to ensure your house smells delicious! Air freshener only works for a short while, wax melts are pricey, so why not do it the old fashioned way?! With the use of a pot of water, your stove, and spices or fruit you may already have you can make your home smell like the holidays. Here are a few simmer pot recipes for you to try:
- Cinnamon sticks, apple peels, orange rinds, and whole cloves
- lemon peel, orange peel, 2 bay leaves, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 2 tbs. whole cloves
- orange peels and a few drops of vanilla
- 1 cup dried lavender, 1 tsp. anise, 1 tbs. nutmeg, 1 tbs. whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 bay leaves, 1 tbs. whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks
Place the pot of water on the stove on low heat. Add ingredients of your choice and soon your house will smell AMAZING!!!! Add water as needed. Happy Holidays!!!
Holiday Card Etiquette for Businesses
As business owners, we like to show our clients we appreciate their business and value them as a loyal customer. Sending our holiday cards is just another way of showing them just that. It also plants our business name in their heads. There are certain etiquette guidelines to follow as with everything else. Here are a few tips to use this holiday season:
- DON'T WAIT- be sure to order your cards early and have them in the mail as quickly as possible.
- CHOOSE A QUALITY CARD- do not pick the least expensive option. Choose a card that the recipient will remember and enjoy.
- DON'T INADVERTENTLY OFFEND THE RECIPIENT- in you are unsure if the recipient celebrates Christmas, send a "Happy Holidays" card in place of Merry Christmas.
- HANDWRITE- Hand write your cards and custom print your name. It will not look as professional but it will give the card a personal touch that the recipient will enjoy.
- PURCHASE A HOLIDAY STAMP- this gives the card something extra
- WRITE A PERSONAL MESSAGE- this shows the recipient you value them on a personal level and that you are celebrating your business relationship rather than mandatorily sending a mass mail.
These are just a few ideas to keep in minds when sending out greeting cards to the recipients on your mailing list. A few personal touches can go a long way! Happy Holidays from SERVPRO of North Knoxville!!!
Charitable Donations Tips
With holiday season in full effect, giving back is one of the most important things to do. Whether you are donating to help the homeless, help underprivileged children, or a local pet shelter, you can kill two birds with one stone. In return for your generosity, you can use the donation as a tax deduction. Here are a few tips when you go to fill you business tax return:
- Itemize- in some cases it is more beneficial to itemize, rather than use the standard deduction
- Choose carefully when to make a donation- ensure the place you are donating to is qualified
- Get a receipt- a receipt for everything gives proof for the IRS.
- Payroll deductions- do not overlook payroll deductions.
- You cannot deduct time
- You can deduct expenses related to volunteering
- Document the value of any gift given to a charitable entity
- Remember there are limits to deductions
- Calendar- remember that everything has to be done before December 31st of the filing year.
The Holiday Season is about giving and in order to give the most, business owners need to be able to catch some tax breaks. Using a few of these helpful tips, will allow you to u=ensure your business gets the maximum amount of tax breaks. Happy Holiday from SERVPRO of North Knoxville!
Thanksgiving Travel Tips
Enjoying time with friends and family, is what the holidays are all about. Many people travel to be near those that they love. Accidents can happen at anytime and to anyone. Here are a few tips to make your travel plans this holiday season a little safer:
- Plan ahead: Know where you are going and how you are going to get there. Check for construction on your route and check the weather.
- Limit the amount of people that know you are going out of town: Posting on social sites makes it publically known you are gone.
- Leave your keys with a trusted friend: have them pick up your mail or occasionally turn on television or music
- Secure all windows and doors: ensure that there are no easy access into your home
- Timed lights: ensure that the house is lit up at night to try to defer break ins
- Invest in a home security system: Some home security systems have door cameras, window triggers, and even a laser that can be tripped if somebody enters your home.
Although break ins are not preventable, there are a few things that you can do to ensure your home has a safety net. These tips will lessen the chances of your home being broken into.
Tips on how to Gain New Clients
In this business, it is difficult to gain new clients because the last thing people want to think about is a disaster striking in their life. We have to ensure that our name is out there so if something does happen, people know who to call. Word of mouth is a great way to gain new clients. People want to know that they are going to be taken care of and that all of their worries will be alleviated. Excellent customer service skills will set us apart from the competition. Here are a few tips on things we can do to have excellent customer service skills:
- actively listen to clients
- show empathy
- take action
- ensure them that they can trust us
- give the client progress updates as often as possible
- always be sure to thank clients
- give clients a call 3-6 months later to ensure they are still satisfied and let them know about current specials
All of these tips will help us stand out above the competition. People do not want to have to call us, but we can ensure that they have exceptional service that turns their negative into a positive.
Water Damage Do's and Don'ts
Busted pipe? Leaking water tank? Here are some tips to do and not to do if you experience these issues.
- Remove as much water as possible by mopping
- Remove and set wet upholstery to dry
- Wipe any excess water from furniture and remove any table top items
- Place a foil barrier or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
- Turn on A/C to ensure drying in summer
- Remove any rugs and set them out to dry
- Place any luggage in sunlight to dry
- Gather any loose items on the floor
- Leave any wet fabrics in place and try to place items where they will quickly dry
- Leave magazines, books, or any colored items on wet floor surfaces
- Use your vacuum to remove excess water
- Use any appliances while standing on wet floors
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet
- Go into rooms the ceiling is sagging from water damage
Be sure to contact SERVPRO of North Knoxville if you experience any water damage. Financing options are available.
What to do if a pipe bursts in your home
If a pipe bursts in your home, the first thing you should do is turn off your water supply. Try to contain the damage and stop the issue from escalating any further. If you think there is a risk of electrical shock, shut off your electricity. The next thing you should do is call a plumber. And finally, while waiting for help to arrive, try to remove as much excess water as possible. Standing water can cause further damage to flooring and drywall. Also, you should ensure the area is dry and free from any moisture. Moisture can cause bacterial growth.
If this happens in your home, give SERVPRO of North Knoxville a call. We will help alleviate your worries and get you back to preloss conditions. Financing options are available.
Beautiful, live tree
Holiday season is approaching and who doesn't love the look of a real Christmas tree. Choosing your own tree, cutting it down, and taking it home is a great holiday tradition to start with your family. Live trees really seem to put people in the Christmas spirit and make your house smell amazing! If they are not properly cared for, your Christmas spirit could potentially go up in flames! Here are a few tips for this holiday season:
- Choose a tree that has been freshly cut and has green needles
- Water your tree DAILY to keep it from drying out
- Only use flame retardant lights and decorations
- Ensure there are no frayed wires on holiday lights
- Do not connect more than 3 strands of mini string light sets
- Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from ANY heat source
- Do not block exits with your tree
- Always unplug lights before leaving the house and before bed
- Get rid of the tree when needles start turning brown or stop turning the lights on. This means that your tree is drying out
- Be sure to check that smoke alarms are working properly and that your family knows what to do in case of a fire
While live trees are beautiful, they can be fire hazards. Be sure to take preventative measures, be aware, and be prepared this holiday season to keep your family safe!
How to Prevent Growth
Growth on wall
Spores spread very easily and very quickly. They cannot be completely eradicated even after remediation. Growth can be present ANYWHERE: on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even places you cannot see. Some commonly effected places are drywall, framing, and in ceiling tiles. Not only is the problem costly and difficult to fix, it can become hazardous to your health. You can develop allergies and even breathing problems from the growth.
Concerned about growth in your home? The best way to prevent growth is moisture control. Here are a few tips on how to control moisture in your home:
- Identify problem areas within your home and correct them
- Dry any wet areas IMEDIATELY
- Prevent moisture with proper ventilation
- Equip your home with mold resistant products
- Direct rainwater away from your home
- Clean roof gutters
Not every growth issue can be foreseen, but there are preventative measures you can take to lessen your chances of this affecting your life. If you suspect a leak or possible growth, give SERVPRO of North Knoxville acall. We will be more than happy to come out and investigate the issue for you!
Emergency Readiness Plan
What is an emergency readiness plan and why should your business have one? An emergency readiness plan is standards to facilitate and organize employees' actions during workplace emergencies. It is required bu OSHA to have these safety plans worked out and for employees to know where to find them. The plans cover the following:
- Procedures for reporting emergencies
- Procedures for each type of evacuation and the route to be taken
- Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation
- Procedures to be followed by employees attempting to rescue others
- The name, job title, and contact information of people who need to be aware of these emergency situations
If you have fewer than 10 employees within your company, the plan does not need to be written out. However, expectations and guidelines should be clear so that everybody knows what to do, where to go, and who to contact. Having an ERP boosts your company's capability to recover from financial losses including damages to equipment. If all employees know what action to take, they should be able to assist in assuring that the damage does not spread. Delegating different duties to employees shows them that your trust them in these situations. It takes the entire team ti guarantee that everybody is safe. Empowering employees to play a vital role unifies the company as a whole.
All employees should know where to find the plan of action and practice different scenarios. These plans are not useful if you do not practice them. The last thing you are going to do if the building is on fire is look up protocol. Practicing different procedures sharpens your skills and ensures you are ready for anything. The more you know about your companies procedures, the more successful you will be in an emergency situation.