Newsletter for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Newsletter for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Latest newsletter
Chronological index of newsletters

Subscribe to our newsletter offering information to the business community about Statistics Canada's data and services.

Learn about:

  • the latest Statistics Canada releases important to business owners, managers and entrepreneurs
  • upcoming events and activities that will help you get the most from Statistics Canada data

Subscribing is easy and free!

Go to www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/mystatcan

  • You will need to Login or Register
  • Once inside the My StatCan portal, click Email notifications in the top right menu
  • Under the Publications tab, scroll down and click Reference, then add the Newsletter for Small and Medium-sized Businesses.

You've subscribed! An automatic alert will be emailed to you when new issues of the newsletter are available.


Tutorial for Businesses: Getting to Know Your Market and Industry

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015021

July 2014

Getting to Know Your Market and Industry - Transcript

Description of visuals

(The title of the video "Tutorial for Businesses - Getting to Know Your Market and Industry" is shown.)

When you stand back and look at great small business successes, have you ever noticed that there's a bit of a pattern?

(An image of a business woman and the text "Great Small Businesses Successes" are shown.)

A knack for understanding who their customer is: "Hi, Mrs. Raymond! How are the twins?"

(Images of the same businesswoman, a female customer and her twins are shown. A dialogue box containing the question "How are the twins?" appears on the screen.)

A sense of knowing exactly where they're located: "Shall we deliver that to you at 16 Evercrest? Evening, right?"

(Images of the same businesswoman, a male customer and a house are shown. A dialogue box containing the questions "Shall we deliver that to you at 16 Evercrest? Evening, right?" appears on the screen.)

And even their spending patterns: "According to our system, seems to me that those twins are due for new skates again!"

(Images are shown of the same businesswoman making a phone call to her customer and two twin boys playing soccer. A dialogue box containing the question "Due for new skates again?" appears on the screen.)

Smart businesses also understand who their competition is, and how to find a niche or an opportunity… hone in on it… and make it work for them.

(Images of 15 houses are shown with one of them standing out from the rest.)

We're Statistics Canada, and we'd like to show you some tools that will help you to get to know your customers, your market, your industry, and the conditions in which you can operate most successfully. The tools are reliable, accurate, and best of all, they're free.

(An image of the same business woman looking at the flipchart is shown. On the flipchart, the text "customers, market and industry" is shown.)

(An image of the same business woman looking at a computer screen and making notes. The text "reliable, accurate and free" is shown.)

A reminder: data from the Canadian Census is a gold mine of national and local information on a whole range of important topics. You can watch the tutorial on finding local census data on also our YouTube Channel at this URL: www.youtube.com/statisticscanada.

(An image is shown of a man looking at a computer screen and making notes. On the computer screen, the text "Canadian census data" is shown. An image is also shown of a chest filled with gold coins.)

(The YouTube logo and the URL link www.youtube.com/statisticscanada are shown.)

Now we want to show you how to drill down deeper and learn more about your customers through data provided by Statistics Canada's National Household Survey, or NHS.

(The web home page of the National Household Survey is shown.)

The NHS is the largest voluntary survey ever conducted by Statistics Canada, with some 4.5 million households invited to take part.

(An image of the NHS home page and the texts "NHS, largest survey ever" and "4.5 million households" are shown.)

There were many topics covered in the voluntary survey including questions on: Place of birth Citizenship and immigration Ethnic origin, Aboriginal identity Language of work Education Labour market activity Income, and Housing.

(An image of the NHS home page and the text "place of birth, citizenship and immigration, ethnic origin, Aboriginal identity, language of work, education, labour market activity, income, and housing" are shown.)

Let's take a look. From the Statistics Canada main page - www.statcan.gc.ca - select "English"

(The Statistics Canada main page is shown.)

Go to the NHS home page… here

(The NHS home page is shown. The cursor selects "NHS Profile".)

From the NHS home page, go to the most popular of the NHS product line - the NHS Profile.

(The cursor selects "2011 National Household Survey (NHS)" under the heading of "Features".)

The profile presents information for various levels of geography, including municipalities. By the way, the Survey uses a number of special terms, and the NHS dictionary, located here, can help you understand them.

(The cursor selects "NHS Profile" under the heading of "Data products".)

In the Profile, search for an area of interest by typing its 'place name', browsing a list or entering a postal code. Let's enter "Moncton", Select "Search", select the desired geography (e.g. Moncton, city).

(The cursor selects "by geography" and a screenshot of the search options of the NHS Profile is shown. The cursor moves to "select a province or territory" and a list of the provinces and territories is shown. The cursor moves to "Postal code" before it selects "Place name". The word "Moncton" is entered, and the cursor selects "Search". The cursor then selects "Moncton (city)".)

And presto: a really useful profile of the socio-economic, education, labour market and income characteristics of the population of this area.

(A detailed NHS profile is shown for Moncton (city).)

Now, let's show you another tool: Statistics Canada conducts an annual Survey of Household Spending (SHS), which gathers detailed information on spending patterns as well as dwelling characteristics and household equipment. Data covers household spending on a wide variety of goods and services — from food and shelter to education and health care.

(Text "Survey of Household Spending (SHS), spending patterns, dwelling characteristics and housing equipment" is shown.)

You can access these data free of charge on CANSIM, Statistics Canada's key socio-economic database.

(Statistics Canada's web home page is shown. From there the cursor selects "CANSIM". The CANSIM home page is shown.)

Enter "spending" in the 'search box" and select "search". Tables with the word "spending" are displayed.

(The word "spending" is entered. The cursor selects "Search". A list of tables containing the word "spending" is shown.)

Let's select "Table 203-0021" A partial table is displayed.

(The table titled "Survey of household spending (SHS), household spending, Canada, regions and provinces, annual (dollars), 2010 to 2012" is highlighted. The cursor selects the table number "203-0021". A partial screenshot of table 203-0021 is shown.)

You can use the "Add/Remove data" feature to customize your table. Simply follow the steps on the screen. Let's try an example with the following variables for someone thinking of establishing a food service business on the East coast.

(The cursor selects the "Add/Remove data" tab.)

Choose "New Brunswick"

(Under "Step 1 – Select: Geography", "New Brunswick" is selected.)

Choose "Average expenditure per household"

(Under "Step 2 –Select: Statistic", "Average expenditure per household" is selected.)

Deselect all and then choose "Food purchased from restaurants"

(Under "Step 3- Select: Household expenditures, summary-level categories", all categories are deselected and then "food purchased from restaurants" is selected.)

Ask for the period from 2010 to 2012

(Under "Step 4 - Select the time frame", a time period from 2010 to 2012 is shown.)

And ask for an HTML table, with time shown as columns

(Under "Step 5: Select the screen output format", "HTML table, time as columns" is selected.)

Then choose "Apply", and the following table with the results is generated. Be sure to read the footnotes of the table.

(The cursor selects "Apply" and a screenshot of a table containing the results is shown. A screenshot of the footnotes of the table is shown.)

Now let's look at understanding your industry through Canadian Business Patterns data

(The image of the same businesswoman is shown along with the text "Canadian Business Patterns data".)

Let's go back to CANSIM where you can access the data.

(The CANSIM home page is shown.)

Canadian Business Patterns data provide counts of active locations by type of industry and employment size for Canada and the provinces/territories. Again, there's no charge. Let's enter 'business patterns" or "business counts" in the search box, and select "Search". Select "Table 551-0005"

(The words "business patterns" are entered. The cursor selects "Search". Table 551-0005 titled "Canadian business patterns, location counts, employment size and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), national industries, by Canada and provinces, December 2013, semi-annual (Number), Dec 2013" is highlighted.)

Use the "Add/Remove data" feature to customize your table. Follow the steps and select the desired variables.

(The cursor selects "Add/Remove data".)

Let's try:

New Brunswick

("New Brunswick" is selected.)

5 to 9 employee size, and…

(The category "5 to 9 employee size" is selected.)

Choose the expand link to view the full list then select

(The cursor selects "+Expand".)

561730 Landscaping services

("Landscaping services 561730" is selected.)

Select "Apply" and the following table will be generated, showing that there were 52 locations of Landscaping services that hired 5 to 9 employees in New Brunswick in June 2013.

(The cursor selects "Apply" and a table containing the results is shown.)

Just imagine how valuable this kind of information is when you're planning either to open a business or to expand.

(The text "valuable information" is shown.)

Okay, that's it for now. In this tutorial, we have shown you just a few free resources to help you make better-informed decisions—but, as you can imagine, we've only scratched the surface.

(Image of the same businesswoman is shown along with the text "free resources" and "better decisions".)

We invite you to discover more information that can help you in a variety of ways.

(Image of the same businesswoman is shown along with the text "discover more information that can help you".)

Remember – the better prepared you are, and the more you know, the better your chances of becoming a Canadian business success story – with help from Statistics Canada.

(Image of the same businesswoman celebrating her success is shown along with a Canadian flag. Statistics Canada's signature with the Canadian flag is also shown.)

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1-800-263-1136, or through email at infostats@statcan.gc.ca

(Statistics Canada's signature with the Canadian flag is shown. Beneath the signature, the toll-free phone number 1-800-263-1136 and the e-mail address STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca are shown.)

(The Canada wordmark is shown.)


Video - Tutorial for Businesses: Finding Local Census Data

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015023

April 2013

Finding Local Census Data - Transcript

Description of visuals

Facts, figures, data.

(Images of spreadsheets, charts and graphs are shown.)

These days, it's impossible to make a good business decision unless you've got the numbers working for you- unless you've got concrete, reliable information to guide you.

(Images of people working, a city block, and computers are shown.)

For instance, you might be in the food services industry, and looking at moving into a specific neighbourhood.

(Images of food and a residential area are shown.)

How has the population changed?

What does your grocery-buying or restaurant-going customer 'look' like?

(Images of people, eating and choosing groceries, are shown.)

How big are the households, and who lives in them? If you are a retail store, health or financial services firm-even a gas station - you've got to know what you're getting into and with whom you're going to do business.

(Images of homes, families, and business establishments are shown.)

We're Statistics Canada, and we want to show you a rich, reliable and, best of all, free data source.

(The Statistics Canada signature with Canadian flag is shown.)

Let's take a look. One of the key data sources generated by Statistics Canada is the census. It's a gold mine of national and local information on

  • population and dwelling counts
  • age and sex of residents
  • families, households, and marital status
  • structural types of dwellings and collectives, and
  • languages

(Images of maps, diverse groups of people, families, and dwellings are shown.)

Let us show you what we mean. Ready?

Go to www.statcan.gc.ca.
Select 'English.'
Select 'Census of Canada.'

(A screenshot of the website is shown, with "www.statcan.gc.ca" in the URL field. The cursor selects the "English" button and then "Census of Canada.")

You are now on the census home page.

(The census home page is shown.)

You may be unfamiliar with some of the geographical terms we use. Don't worry, the 'Illustrated Glossary' can help! To find it, select 'Geography,' then, under 'Reference documents', select 'Illustrated Glossary'.

(The cursor selects "Geography" from the left navigation menu. It then selects "Illustrated Glossary" in the "Reference documents" menu.)

Now, let's go back to the census home page and look at some options.

(The census home page is shown.)

If you are looking for local data, 'Data products' is a useful place to start.

(The cursor selects "Data products" from the navigation menu. The census profile website is shown.)

Census Profile is a popular product and offers a demographic overview of every community across the country. Let's take a look.

(The cursor selects "Census Profile." The census profile website is shown.)

Using the tabs, you can search for an area of interest by typing its place name, by browsing a list, or by entering a postal code or a geographic code.

(Each option, place name, browse list, enter postal code, or geographic code are highlighted.)

As an example, let's type in "Saskatoon."

(The "place name" tab is shown. The word "Saskatoon" is entered into the search field. The Search Results page is shown. Results are displayed under the headings Census subdivisions, Census metropolitan areas / census agglomerations, Economic regions, Federal electoral districts, and population centres.)

Select the desired geography, say, the city of Saskatoon.

(The "Saskatoon (city") link, under Census subdivisions, is selected. The census profile for Saskatoon is shown.)

There you see hundreds of rows of data from population counts to details on mother tongues.

(The census profile for Saskatoon is shown, with headings such as "Population and dwelling counts," "Age characteristics," "Marital status," and "Family characteristics." There are data for each heading.)

From here, you can manipulate the data in a number of ways, for example:

  • You can view all data or 'select a view,' which allows you to select from a few popular ways to filter the data. If none of these filters suit your needs, you can select 'build your own,' which allows you to customize the way you filter the data.

(A "select a view" drop-down menu is shown, with the options "All data," "Families and Households," "Language," "Population," and "Build Your Own.")

  • You can change the default comparative geography to one that better suits your needs.

(The cursor selects the "change geography" button.)

  • You can download the tables.

(The cursor selects the "Download" tab, which opens a page with options to download the tables in a CSV (comma-separated values) file or a TAB (tab-separated values) file.)

Impressed? Well, there's a lot more!

You can further refine your search to an even smaller area! Simply enter a postal code, and you will get the data for the corresponding area.

(The postal code search field is shown.)

Another useful data product is the highlight tables, with which you can perform simple sort and rank functions for multiple communities on a given census topic.

(The "Data products" page is shown. The cursor selects "highlight tables." The "Highlight tables" page is shown.)

As an example, for your business plan, you might want to know which city or town in the census metropolitan area of Toronto had the fastest-growing population from 2006 to 2011.

  • Select 'Population and dwelling counts' as the census topic.

(The cursor selects the "Population and dwelling counts" link from a list including "Age and sex," Families and households," and "Language.")

  • As you want to compare the different cities or towns, choose 'Census subdivisions – Municipalities.'

(The "Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2011 Census" page is shown. The cursor selects "census subdivisions – Municipalities.")

  • Because it is the cities and towns within the census metropolitan area of Toronto that you want to compare, choose 'By census metropolitan area or census agglomeration.'

(The "Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2011 Census" page is shown with the heading "data tables – Census subdivisions (Municipalities). The cursor selects "By census metropolitan area or census agglomeration" from a list including "All census subdivisions," "Only census subdivisions with 5,000-plus population," "By province or territory," "By census division," and "By census division with designated places.")

  • From there, find and select 'Toronto' in the alphabetical list.

(The cursor selects "Toronto" from an alphabetical list of census metropolitan areas.)

You now see a table with the percentage change of the population for all the cities and towns in Toronto. Use the arrows in the appropriate column to sort the data in either ascending or descending order.

(The cursor selects a down arrow and then an up arrow under the "Population" column and the "2006" sub-column. The results are sorted in descending and ascending order respectively, based on population in 2006. Other columns include "private dwellings, 2011," and "Land Area in Square kilometres, 2011.")

You can see that the population of the Town of Milton grew 56.5% from 2006 to 2011, the highest of all cities and towns in Toronto.

(The cursor selects a down arrow under the "Population" column and the "% change" sub-column. The results are sorted in descending order.  The cursor highlights the town of Milton, showing its change in population.)

In this tutorial, we have shown you just a few ways you can use census data to help you make better-informed decisions-but, as you can imagine, we've only scratched the surface. We invite you to discover more information that can help you in a variety of ways.

(The census home page is shown.)

We hope you have enjoyed this brief tutorial! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at these coordinates.

(The text "Contact us: 1-800-263-1136 STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca" is shown.)

(The Canada wordmark is shown.)

Date modified: