Are your sales volumes growing but you can’t seem to turn a profit? Or maybe you’ve got a great product but sales just aren’t picking up? It could be a problem with your pricing strategy.

BDC Senior Business Advisor Alka Sood says there are seven key steps entrepreneurs can follow to establish a pricing approach that works for their business:

  1. Calculate your direct costs: Includes raw materials, duty, freight or shipping charges, direct labour costs, etc.
  2. Calculate your cost of goods sold or cost of sales: A simple way to calculate cost of goods sold is to add up your raw materials or product costs, wages, benefits, amortization expenses, and factory overhead. 
  3. Calculate your break-even point: These include the costs of running a business and going to market regardless of your manufacturing or sales volume. Overheads are typically referred to as “fixed costs” because these costs don’t necessarily increase or decrease if volume increases or decreases. 
  4. Determine your markup: Expressed as a percentage of cost of goods sold or cost of sales. It is set to try and ensure that the company receives a high enough gross or profit margin to be able to pay for its indirect fixed costs while also earning a target profit. 
  5. Know what the market will bear: If your competitors have lower profit margins and you offer a higher price that would give you a higher margin, you could lose sales. How much you charge depends on your strategic position in the market. There is great importance in deciding ahead of time how you want to be positioned.
  6. Scan the competition: It’s key to know your marketplace. Competitors’ prices can have a direct impact on what you’re able to charge.
  7. Revisit your prices regularly: The business environment is constantly changing and that can affect your goals and margins. Annual budget setting is a good time to look at how your costs for inputs, energy, labour, interest rates, taxes, and more may be increasing.

For the complete list by the BDC, click here.

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Tourism Sarnia-Lambton has developed a “Restart Sarnia-Lambton Toolkit & Resource Guide” to assist our Tourism Industry Partners with reopening through the stages of COVID-19.

Reopening business is a phased approach and business owners must be flexible and prepared to adapt with COVID-19 regulations as we move forward. This guide highlights 8 steps to operating during a pandemic:

Step 1: Determining if your business is approved to open and identify the restrictions.

Step 2: Preparing your workforce by protecting them, educating them, and communicating with them about COVID-19 regulations, rights, and options.

Step 3: Preparing your workplace by planning routine cleanings, installing the proper safety signage, setting a limit on the number of people who can enter, etc.

Step 4: Creating a plan to physically distance.

Step 5: Reducing touch points and increasing cleaning.

Step 6: Preparing your supply chain by coordinating delivery schedules, ensuring your business is stocked with the necessary supplies, and making a plan moving forward.

Step 7: Communicate with confidence with your employees, your customers, and clients.

Step 8: Equip your staff and workplace with the necessary signage and resources.

To read the full guide, check our their website.

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With the cancellation of all Canada Day Fireworks, Tourism Sarnia-Lambton has partnered with all 11 municipalities in Lambton County to deliver an innovative and uplifting experience for residents to collectively enjoy from a safe distance.

Using snapd’s Augmented Reality platform, the community can expect local content and a virtual fireworks experience to commemorate Canada Day right from the comfort of their own backyards, balconies, or living rooms.

You will be able to view the Sarnia-Lambton Virtual Canada Day Celebration anywhere within the boundaries of Lambton County. Many of the local municipalities are also offering additional virtual activities leading up to Canada Day.

For more information, check our Tourism Sarnia-Lambton’s website.

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With the COVID-19 crisis rapidly transforming the modern economy, the report outlines the need for Ontario to unlock opportunities and manage the threats of its increasingly data-driven economy.

The reality is that almost everything we do as consumers replies on and is made possible to some extent by data analytics and related technologies from fraud detection to supply chain optimization. In many ways, the pandemic has accelerated this transformation, as the need for digitization and the integration of health data have become more critical than ever.

In Data We Trust reflects on the value of data innovation, explores lessons from COVID-19, and outlines organizational best practices, and policy recommendations focused on privacy, cybersecurity, data sharing, and artificial intelligence (AI).

To move forward with such a data-driven economy, privacy frameworks should protect individual rights while encouraging data-driven innovation. Businesses and other organizations have an important role to play to ensure their own privacy practices enhance public trust.

Data sharing offers an opportunity to improve efficiencies and spur innovation across the economy, therefore organizations should collaborate on shared standards and infrastructure to enable data sharing across all sectors.

To read more about the data revolution and the In Data We Trust report, click here.

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The Ontario government is providing employers with a new general workplace guide, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people get back on the job during Stage 2 of the reopening of the province.

The new guide will help each employer create a safety plan that is right for their own unique workplace. It includes information on the use of face coverings, as well as applying controls in the workplace, from most important to least important. It also includes information on what personal protective equipment may be needed for workers.

The materials in this guide will help employers:

  • Identify the risks for transmitting the virus through person-to-person contact.
  • Determine what controls are needed to help mitigate risk.
  • Create a workplace safety plan based on the identified risks and appropriate controls specific to the employers workplace.
  • Implement the plan in the workplace and review and update it as the situation evolves.
  • Communicate the actions being taken to workers and other people entering the workplace.

To read the full statement and access the guide, click here.

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The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is meant to help you pay non-deferrable operating expenses and quickly return to providing services to your community and create employment. Eligible businesses are Canadian based, in operations as of March 1, 2020, the loan is used to continue or resume operations, your business has a federal tax registration, and your businesses 2019 payroll was between $20,000 and $1.5 million.

To read more about the program, click here.

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched the National Food Services Working Group to address the economic challenges of the food services industry. With approximately 98,000 food service establishments in Canada, the industry is integral to economy vibrancy in communities.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s food service sector was a $93 billion industry that directly employed 1.2 million people. The industry has lost 800,000 jobs and is on track to lose as much as $17 billion in sales over the second quarter of 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. In addition, the sector is a vital end-user for Canadian agriculture producers and food processors, thereby compounding the economic impacts in other sectors.

The working group will focus on ensuring the benefits of the wage subsidy and rental assistance programs materialize for a sector that has been hard hit, and that will likely be one of the last sectors to recover as restrictions ease. The food service industry’s needs are unique with the combination of thin margins and practical challenges to maintain physical distancing protocol.

To read more about it and see the members of the Working group, click here.

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Sarnia-Lambton just received the go-ahead to move into Stage 2 as of Friday, June 19th at 12:01 am.

Some establishments that can open with the proper health and safety protocols include:

  • Personal care services (ie.: hair services, beauty salons, day spas, etc.)
  • Personal services (ie.: wedding planning & consulting services, personal fitness trainers outside of gyms, etc.)
  • Restaurants and bars (can open for dining in outdoor areas only)
  • Shopping malls and centres (with the omission of indoor food courts)
  • Photography services
  • Film and TV production
  • Tour and guide services
  • Low contact outdoor recreational facilities
  • Beaches, parks, and camping

The Ontario government has released safety guidelines to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19. Sector guidelines contain recommendations and tips for employers on how to keep workers safe on the job.

To read the full statement and access the guidelines, click here.

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Saat Lune Yoga Studio 

Yoga has been part of Nicol’s life for 15 years. During this time she has experienced growth both on and off the mat. Now, she set out to share what she has learned through her practice with her community in Bright’s Grove. Nicol is certified in Yoga, Reiki and meditation. Students of all ages will feel comfortable and confident in the Saat Lune environment, allowing Nicol to nurture body, mind and soul through yoga.

Trevor Tynes SEO Consultant 

SEO Campaigns will increase your brand awareness, improve your web traffic and fit seamlessly into your digital marketing strategy. All their SEO strategies begin with an SEO audit and are supported with earning backlinks from targeted link building strategies.

Seedz Corp

Seedz provides an integrated dashboard for businesses to easily create campaigns and add locations on the map. Explore your city and receive exclusive offers, prizes and content to geolocations near you. Earn points to get exclusive discounts on events, promotions, and more. Easily browse offers & deals on the map and follow its location to collect a seed. It’s that easy!

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The Sarnia-Lambton Chamber wants to encourage all chamber members to participate in an initiative called “Take Out Wednesday” to help our local restaurants get back up and running. Ordering take out from a local food establishment every Wednesday helps stimulate our economy, gets a local business one meal closer to financial security, and gives you and your family something to look forward to each week!

If you are taking part in #TakeOutWednesday, share it on your social media platform and tag us at @sarnialambtonchamber or #slchambercommunity.

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