Data has never played a bigger role in the life of an entrepreneur. Whether you’re starting, expanding, or closing your business, statistics will always make your life easier. As the saying goes, “Information is power” and statistics provide the power you need to succeed. Here are some of the ways statistics can and should inform your business decisions.
Do you know who your customer is and how many there are? Are they projected to increase? Stay the same? Or shrink in the future? Which neighbourhoods have most of your potential customers? These are all vitally important statistics to be aware of for the success of your business. Your best place to find this type of information is BC Stats.
Statistics are also vital to finding out how to cost your product or service. How much does the average household spend, and is this figure growing? Will you be able to cover your costs based on the spending trends the statistics reveal? Statistics Canada should be your go-to for this information. If you’re looking to get into the B2B (Business to Business) sphere, Industry Canada’s SME Benchmarking Tool offers a great resource for finding out how much businesses are spending on contracts, and whether this spend is increasing over time.
A huge part of your potential success will depend on where you place yourself in the landscape of your industry. Analyzing statistics relating to your competition will put you in the driver’s seat to capitalize on their mistakes, and exploit any of their weaknesses. Is your competition growing? Is it growing faster than your target market? If it is, this should indicate you’re stepping into a fiercely competitive marketplace and could save you a lot of money in the long run. Proprietary databases such as IBIS World, and Euromonitor are both great starting points for this data. For a more local outlook, Small Business BC’s Market Research expert Mark Eversfield offers a selection of customized services tailored to your business needs.
Statistics are also a powerful tool for understanding the average operating costs and revenue a typical business in your industry can expect. For example, knowing that your advertising cost will be $5,000 per year for your type of business is critical in calculating how much revenue you will have to generate to make a profit. Industry Canada’s SME Benchmarking Tool will again prove useful in this endeavour.
Want to Learn More?
Find out more about statistics and market research, by attending Small Business BC’s Market Research For Your Business seminar series. This full-day package teaches you how to gather both secondary and primary market research. You’ll learn how to ask the right questions, collect key data, and interpret information to help chart your strategic business decisions.