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THE BUSINESS RESEARCHER NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

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January 8, 2003 Volume 6, Number 1

CONTENTS

*
Introduction - Editor's Comments

* What's New at www.gdsourcing.com

* Statistics Canada releases

* Researching the Security Sector

* Does Your Market Make New Year's Resolutions?

* Small Business Stats Facts

For data table spacing, this newsletter is best viewed in Courier 10

 

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INTRODUCTION - EDITOR'S COMMENTS

Hello,

Happy New Year!

We are very excited to announce we are now the 125,891th most visited site
on the Internet! Actually the ranking is not that exciting but the online
tool we discovered is. TrafficRanking.com (http://www.trafficranking.com)
allows you to examine an estimated number of visitors a month to the top
720,000 web sites on the Internet. This is an invaluable tool for online
competitive research and a means to track your own site's performance
benchmarked against others in your industry. While I question some of their
estimates (especially among the top sites) this resource is definitely worth
a visit!

In other news, our Canadian Market Estimates have been updated to 2001 data.
You can now observe 5 years of household spending data in each profile. And
better yet, there has been no change in the cost. For more information see:
http://www.gdsourcing.ca/CMEinfo.htm

Finally, I regret to report that the Bizlink website
(http://www.bizlink.com/) which used to provide online access to some of the
best Canadian industry periodicals has been redesigned so that it provides
virtually no access at all! The Internet is a slippery research tool that
can be frsutartaing at the best of times. I am sorry to see all that useful
Canadian content disappear. Luckily most of these periodicals can still be
accessed in major libraries.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We had an excellent holiday with
"Pop-up Pirate" being the run away hit in our household!

I hope you find this issue helpful.

Sincerely,

John White
Editor

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WHAT'S NEW AT WWW.GDSOURCING.COM - INVESTMENTS, FORECASTS & DONORS

MACDONALD AND ASSOCIATES
Site: http://www.canadavc.com/
Site Summary: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/works/Macdonald.htm
Quarterly stats on the Venture Capital investment activity

CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Site: http://www.chamber.ca/
Site Summary: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/works/Chamber.htm
Economic forecast for 2002 & 2003

CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES
Site: http://www.bloodservices.ca/
Site Summary: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/works/Bloodservices.htm
Highlight data on blood donations.
 

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STATISTICS CANADA RELEASES

The following statistics were released by Statistics Canada over the last
month. We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest to
Canadian entrepreneurs.

Very few of these statistics are available on-line. The URL listed is a
direct link to the press release associated with the data. It provides
contact and ordering information.
If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please see
our web site: http://www.gdsourcing.com/works/StatCan.htm

We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount on
Stats Can electronic products. For more information you can reach us at
contact@gdsourcing.com mailto:contact@gdsourcing.com. Put "StatsCan" in the
subject line of your e-mail.

ARTS & CULTURE

Television viewing, fall 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021202/d021202a.htm

Heritage institutions 1999/2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021204/d021204a.htm


CONSTRUCTION

Fixed assets 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021209/d021209b.htm
Home repairs and renovations 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021202/d021202b.htm


ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

Productivity growth and prosperity 1981 to 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021216/d021216a.htm

The labour market: Up north, down south January to July 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021218/d021218a.htm


EDUCATION

Literacy and literacy training of francophones in Canada
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021206/d021206g.htm


ENERGY

Energy supply and demand Annual 2001 and fourth quarter 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021206/d021206b.htm


ENVIRONMENT

Environmental expenditures and practices by businesses 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021205/d021205d.htm


HEALTH

How healthy are Canadians? 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021211/d021211f.htm

Medical Devices Industry Survey 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021205/d021205h.htm

Participation and Activity Limitation Survey: A profile of disability in
Canada 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021203/d021203a.htm

Report on smoking 1985 to 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021216/d021216g.htm


JUSTICE

Police personnel and expenditures in Canada 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021220/d021220c.htm

Motor vehicle theft 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030108/d030108b.htm


MARKET

Census of Population: Language, mobility and migration 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021210/d021210a.htm

Divorces 1999 and 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021202/d021202f.htm

Wage progression of less skilled workers 1993 to 1998
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021206/d021206f.htm


SMALL BUSINESS / SELF-EMPLOYMENT

Trends in immigrant self-employment 1981 to 1996
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021209/d021209a.htm


TRANSPORTATION

Annual Survey of Water Carriers 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021203/d021203c.htm

Survey of the taxi and limousine service industry 2000 (preliminary)
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/021211/d021211d.htm
 

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RESEARCHING THE SECURITY SECTOR

The last few years have been punctuated by shocking acts of violence, theft
and fraud. The demand for protection for loved ones and corporate assets has
never been higher.

Researching a business in this sector however can be challenging because no
product or service can protect against every security threat. It is
therefore necessary to identify where your company can best apply its
expertise.

It is best to start with market demand. What types of crisis do you plan to
protect against? Now step back and consider who might collect data related
to these situations. It is often a principle stakeholder.

For example for data on fire damage the Office of the Fire Marshall is
usually the best place to start. Online data is generally available at the
provincial level (e.g. Ontario Fire Marshall:
http://www.gov.on.ca/OFM/stats.htm). While this information is of value
(17.9% of fatal fires in Ontario occurred in March), off-line reports,
available from the Fire Marshall directly, are much more detailed.
Information such as ignition source, location of fire and estimated damage
are all available as well as local level information. There is usually a
resource centre you can visit or contact in your province. Check the blue
pages of your telephone book.

The police collect data on criminal activity. Most local police force web
sites now include local crime statistics. For example at the Halifax
Regional Police web site (http://www.police.halifax.ns.ca/menu.htm) you can
find out that in Purcell's Cove there were 360 cases of theft under $5000 in
2001. You may want to contact your local police department directly to see
if further details are available.

For quick intercity comparisons use the Homefair Crime Index calculator.
(http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/crime.html) Its Relocation Crime Lab
Index gives a city's crime rate relative to the national average of all the
cities in the database. It also provides annual crime rates per 100,000
people for Robberies, Rapes, Homicides, Aggravated Assaults, and Motor
Vehicle Thefts.

The Statistics Canada web site has an overview of national, provincial and
metropolitan area crime trends:
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/020717/d020717b.htm

It also examines specific crimes through reports produced by the Canadian
Centre for Justice Statistics. For example see "Motor Vehicle Thefts 2001"
which includes data on the number of thefts by province and metropolitan
area, links to organized crime, location of theft, types of vehicles stolen,
% who use car alarms, have "kill" switches to cut off vehicle systems such
as the fuel pump and ignition, or have some form of steering wheel lock.
(http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030108/d030108b.htm)

To find other reports see:
http://www.statcan.ca/cgi-bin/downpub/freepub.cgi?subject=2693#2693

Of particular note among these reports is the Statistics Profile Series
which examines victimization rates and offender data by specific population
groups (e.g. Women, Youth, Seniors, Canadians with Low Income, Disabled,
Visible Minorities). See:
http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85F0033MIE/free.htm

The most detailed crime statistics available from Statistics Canada can be
accessed through the CANSIM database. This is where you can locate data on
specific figures such break & enter of business premises, shop lifting
(under $3000 and over $3000), impaired operation of a boat or aircraft
causing death etc. The data is available for Canada, provinces and major
urban centres. You can access it here: http://cansim2.statcan.ca Search on
table numbers 252-0013 and 252-0014. There is a $3.00 charge per time
series.

For more specialized criminals such as terrorists and biker gangs (organized
crime) there is the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Criminal
Intelligence Service Canada.

CSIS compiles various commentaries and observations on terrorism and
international relations.

E.g.

Counter-Terrorism
http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/eng/operat/ct_e.html,

International Terrorism - The Threat to Canada
http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/eng/miscdocs/200004_e.html (written prior to
9/11)).

For other reports see:
http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/eng/menu/perspective_e.html

The Criminal Intelligence Service Canada collects data on organized crime.
Their annual report provides an overview of activities and trends:
http://www.cisc.gc.ca/AnnualReport2002/Cisc2002/technology2002.html

If your market is industrial or commercial security the CANSIM tables above
may get you started but you will want to find more detailed data. Start by
examining industry periodicals and associations. If security is an issue it
will be covered. For examine see the Retail Council of Canada's Canadian
Retail Security Report: http://www.retailcouncil.org/research/crsr1999.asp

Firms that provide corporate security consulting are also excellent sources
of security information. Your biggest competitors may be your most helpful
research source! For example see the results of the following surveys:

Employee Fraud Prevalent in the Workplace (Ernst & Young)
http://www.angusreid.com/media/dsp_displaypr_cdn.cfm?id_to_view=1136

Canadian CEOs Acknowledge Own Networks At Risk But Say Preventing Against
Threat Not a Priority (IBM)
http://www.angusreid.com/media/dsp_displaypr_cdn.cfm?id_to_view=1628

Many of these types of studies can be located through a periodical search.
The companies sponsoring the studies are often using them as a marketing
tool so they ensure that they receive media coverage.

While prevalence of incidents is an important factor in the security market,
perception is what sells the product/service. Crime rates can be going down
but if public perception is that they are going up, sales will boom.
Security after all is a preventive service. People most often invest in it
before an incident occurs.

Some sources of public perception include:

Personal Safety and Perceptions of Policing (Statistics Canada)
http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85-554-XIE/85-554-XIE01008.pdf

Safety in Canada according to Canadians (Leger Marketing)
http://www.legermarketing.com/english/call.asp?type=1&page=49

The Personal Security Index 2002: After September 11th (Canadian Council on
Social Development)
http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/2001/psi2001/index.html

Sources of business perceptions often appear in industry periodicals or from
surveys conducted by industry players. For example the IBM survey referenced
above examines the priority CEOs place on Computer Network security.

If at all possible you want to determine who in you market perceives a
security need the most. This could be a specific size of business, a
particular sector, a certain household type etc. A simple example is home
security systems. Using Canadian Market Estimates data (see
http://www.gdsourcing.ca/CMEinfo.htm) we found that 12.2% of all Canadian
households reported a home security equipment purchase in 2001. However when
you examine only households with an annual income over $86,000, the number
jumps to 19.5%. In 2001 wealthy households perceive a greater need for home
security so 1 in 5 made a purchase. The CME profile also allows further
examination on household type (e.g. households with children) and on how
purchasing patterns over the last five years relate to crime rates.

To find other references on perception conduct a periodical search of
business and consumer publications. Do not use U.S. data. This is one area
where American and Canadian markets can operate very differently.

You will also want to research the sector from the perspective of the
security industry itself. Look at the industry periodical Canadian
Security - Journal of Protection and Communication
http://www.canadiansecuritymag.com/. It provides insight into the latest
trends and issues affecting the sector.

Their directory and buyers guide is also helpful.
(http://www.canadiansecuritymag.com/directory/index.cfm)
You can use it to determine active competitors in Canada. Made sure you
follow up on all relevant companies. If they are publicly traded look at
their annual reports and news releases. These should be listed at their site
under "investor information" or "financial information". If they are not you
can always go to http://www.sedar.com/.

This information helps to put into perspective growth in the marketplace and
the direction established companies are taking. For example the AlarmForce
annual report indicates the number of subscribers the company has, its
growth rate and how it is increasing its gross margin on sales.

For information on security products use the International Trade database at
the Strategis web site:
http://www.strategis.gc.ca/sc_mrkti/tdst/engdoc/tr_prod.html

Imports can give you an idea of domestic growth while exports indicate
foreign opportunities
Some common security products with their HS codes include:

HS 853110 burglar or fire alarms and similar apparatus (incl. smoke
detectors)
HS 700719 toughened safety glass-other nes
HS 700729 laminated safety glass-other nes
HS 852540 still image video cameras and other video camera recorders
HS 853180 electric sound or visual signaling apparatus, nes
HS 852460 recorded cards incorporating a magnetic stripe electrical
proximity cards
HS 852530 television cameras
HS 853190 parts of electric sound or visual signaling apparatus
HS 900290 lenses, prisms mirrors and other mounted optical elements nes
HS 854212 monolithic digital integrated circuits-cards with electronic
integrated circuits ("smart cards")
HS 830110 padlocks-base metal
HS 854381 electrical proximity cards and tags

Also search the US Department of Commerce Market Research Reports
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/bi18355e.html. They provide an overview of
foreign markets and opportunities.

The Canadian report is somewhat dated (1998) but it is informative
nonetheless and provides references so you can update the information
included. http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/dd74563e.html

The Strategis web site also has a section for Industrial Security. It does
not provide any data but it does include some contacts and a quick industry
overview: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/bp00230e.html

Finally do not guess at what your customers need. Ask them what they want.
Talk to potential clients and industry stakeholders. Provide a
product/service that will make them feel secure.

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DOES YOUR MARKET MAKE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS?

January is generally a slow month for many businesses but for a select few -
those lucky enough to belong to the "New Year's Resolution Sector" (NYRS) -
January can be a boom month.

The top New Year's resolutions for 2003 (and most every year) are: 26% aim
to exercise more; 26% aim to lose weight; 21% plan to eat healthier; 18%
hope to manage their money better; 9% are determined to butt out and quit
smoking. (20 Vic Management Inc)

Despite the fact that 1 in 4 resolutions are broken in the first week, the
NYRS does translate into market growth. Every year the number of
prescriptions for Smoking Cessation Products consistently skyrockets in
January. Likewise, 12.4% of new membership accounts at fitness clubs are
purchased in January. This is nearly 3.0% above the next closest month -
February (I guess this is when people start thinking about putting on
bathing suits for their March Break vacation).

While such sales surges are always welcome, do not take these new customers
for granted. Only 40% manage to keep their resolution for 6 months. In fact
the number of prescriptions for Smoking Cessation Products in August drops
to half, sometimes even a third of their January levels. And fitness
businesses traditionally loose between 30 & 50% of their clientele each
year.

Help people achieve their New Year's goal and do not give up on them just
because they have given up on their resolution. Of those who fail 60% will
make the same resolution next year and will often repeat the pledge 5 or 6
times before they succeed.

Marketing to the New Year's Resolution Sector is a long-term investment so
make it your resolution not to give up!

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SMALL BUSINESS STATS FACTS
Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five
statistics that every entrepreneur should be aware of.

1. How often do small businesses upgrade or purchasing an upgrade to
software they already own? How often do software publishers want to
encourage it?

Small Business: Every 4 years
Software Publishers: Every 18 months
(Source: Globe & Mail Dec 12, 2002)


2. What is the cheapest place to launch your startup in Canada?

Edmonton
(Source: Profit Magazine Dec-Jan 2003 p 18-28)


3. What are the top 10 business opportunities in Canada for 2003?

1.  Organics: smart foods for health-conscious consumers
2.  Consulting: selling your business acumen
3.  Wireless world: devices and software enabling businesses to profit from
wireless technologies
4.  Green power: helping businesses and consumers cut energy costs and
pollution
5.  Fountain of youth: keeping boomers young
6.  Computer interfaces: efficient ways to input information
7.  "Seniorizing" the home: devices to help the aging live in their own
homes
8.  Explaining technology: helping people deal with ever more complex
technologies in their daily lives
9.  Many worlds: helping businesses sell to diverse cultures
10. Living slim: selling ways to lose weight - or to live with it
(Source: Profit Magazine Dec-Jan 2003 p 18-28)


4. Where are Canadian venture capitalists "betting" their dollars?

Communications/Networking (32% of VC dollars Jan-Sep 2002))
(Source: Macdonald and Associates (Nov 2002))


5. What do Canadian small business owners expect for 2003?

53 per cent of small business owners say they expect to be performing much
stronger or somewhat stronger 12 months from now, while only 11 per cent
expect to be worse off. The remaining 36 per cent see things remaining much
the same.
(Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) (Dec 19, 2002))

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URL: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/newsletter/newsletter6-1.htm
UPDATED: 08/06/03
1998-2003  GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval