Posted by: WPL | 2015/06/29

New biz books

Picture of four business book covers. We have new stuff coming in all of the time. Here’s a sample of our newest business book arrivals: #Girlboss is a business memoir with a twist. Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso went from dumpster diving to boss of her own vintage clothing company. Here she tells her story, with plenty of advice for new entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship for the Rest of Us looks at best practices of successful entrepreneurs and encourages businesspeople, whether they’re in a start-up or part of a large organization, to think like entrepreneurs. In Return on Character, Fred Kiel researched the idea that character and leadership excellence has an impact on the bottom line. His conclusion? More character = better results. Fredrick Eklund, star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York, penned The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone. He takes a broad perspective, talking about using preparation, persuasion, negotiation and selling (obviously) to get ahead in life, business and otherwise. These are all pretty popular at the moment, so reserve now! And enjoy!

Posted by: WPL | 2015/06/11

The Business Summit is back!

Durham Business Summit 2015 logo.Last year’s Durham Business Summit was the first of many. The idea was to bring an electrifying speaker, informative sessions, a chance to network and a showcase for Durham Region businesses together for an “impactful day to learn, lead and succeed.” It was a terrific day and proved to be exactly that.

The Durham Business Summit is back for 2015, bigger and better. Everything takes place on Wednesday, October 21 at the beautiful Deer Creek Golf & Country Club in Ajax. The keynote speaker is the inspiring Michael “Pinball” Clemons. And again, there will be an interactive panel of local business leaders and entrepreneurs, working sessions, and a trade show featuring more than 30 exhibits.

Early bird tickets are available now, so start planning your day. And watch this space, the DRBS website and the DRBS Twitter feed for updates.

Posted by: WPL | 2015/05/28

Durham Region Business Count

Region Business CountNot so long ago, we wrote about Durham Region’s health neighbourhoods and the cool demographic data that they offer. Like the commercials say, “but wait, there’s more!” The Region has also released data on Durham’s business community. Every summer, Regional staff hit every business in Durham and gather basic info about it – type of business, number of employees, etc. They then aggregate* all of the information into the Region of Durham Business Count, highlights of which are available on the Region’s website.

And what do those highlights tell us? There are over 11,000 businesses in the Region. These businesses bring with them 170,000 jobs, of which 114,000 are full-time. Not surprisingly, retail is the leading sector for jobs at 21%, followed by health at 14% and 9% in each of the food & accommodation and education sectors. While small business has a great reputation for providing jobs, 250 businesses with 100+ employees are the largest employers in the Region. And all of this data is broken down in turn by individual municipality. Maps also show where businesses are concentrated.

This information provides a neat overview of the business community in Durham, as well as its importance to the local economy. And don’t forget, you can create customized lists of competitors and potential partners in Durham or anywhere in Canada by using our Reference Group database, which is searchable by name, type of business, number of employees and much more.

* – Putting all of the information together means that no one’s privacy is compromised, as the highlights don’t include info on individual businesses.

Posted by: WPL | 2015/05/19

Sad News…

Ontario Self Employment Program Durham logo.We received some unfortunate news last week. The Province of Ontario is ending the Ontario Self-Employment Benefit (OSEB) program. Students currently enrolled and those accepted into the final intake (deadline last Friday the 15th) will finish the program, but that’s it.

We’ve had a great relationship with Essential Communications, which provides OSEB here in Durham. They’re located just down the street from the Central Library, so many an OSEB applicant or student has come in looking for information via PCensus or our other resources. More recently, we’ve had the pleasure of talking to prospective clients through a brief presentation on library resources…we really appreciate the opportunity and hope that the OSEB students who dropped in found our services helpful.

We’re still here to help any and all entrepreneurs who ask, as are the great people at Business Advisory Centre Durham and other Small Business Enterprise Centres throughout Ontario.

Thanks for everything, OSEB. We’re sure many Durham entrepreneurs feel the same.

Posted by: WPL | 2015/04/28

Demographics everywhere!

ICXThere’s PCensus, Statistics Canada, Environics’ PRIZM5…and now ICX. ICX is the commercial real estate version of the MLS listings service. When you’re looking at a house, MLS gives you all of the usual (and important) details about the building and property. There’s also a demographics tab that tells you about the neighbourhood – ages, education, projected population, income, children, etc.

ICX provides the same demographic information essential for buying a business. ICX business listings give you about the same demographic information as MLS, plus added data on the daytime population, number of businesses in the area and retail sales. Obviously you’d want to look at this for a business listing that you’re interested in pursuing, but even if you’re just looking in the area generally, you can find useful data quickly and easily. The daytime population is a particularly useful figure, as we don’t have access to that data elsewhere. Daytime population refers to the number of people who are working in the area – for example, Bay Street business district in Toronto doesn’t necessarily have a high population of people living there full-time, but it has a high daytime population of workers and shoppers. These people live elsewhere, but still spend lots of time (and probably money) in the area. Good data to have.

Remember ICX next time you need demographics for an area. It’s free and easy to access, and is worth a look.

Posted by: WPL | 2015/04/16

Business Bestsellers

Wondering what the hot books are in the business world? Here are a couple of places to check:

Whatever you find and wherever you find it, check to see if we have it! There’s an excellent chance that we do – we have eight out of ten books from the current NY Times list. The two that we don’t have refer more specifically to the American real estate market and US health care. But if you would like to read something that we don’t have, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Happy business reading!

Posted by: WPL | 2015/03/27

Data in the News

Screenshot of an Environics PRIZM profile of a selected neighbourhood.The Globe and Mail recently ran a story on the kind of data that we talk about when we talk about PCensus – locational data that provides insight into people who live in a certain area. While PCensus is pretty comprehensive with demographic and spending data, there are even more detailed layers out there that really try to summarize segments of the population. They take the kind of data that exists in PCensus (along with other things) and build descriptive profiles of the population in a specific area. They call it segmentation.

The Globe article specifically discusses the segmentation system created by Environics. Environics is releasing a revamped version of their system next week, so the Globe took the opportunity to talk about it and the whole field. It’s interesting reading, as it’s a more sophisticated version of what we try to help people with here with PCensus – indeed, the same data is available for PCensus, but it’s really expensive and even the company that makes the software suggested that it’s way more than we need.

You can get a taste of the Environics data by using their PRIZM5 lookup linked from the article. You type in a postal code and can learn about how Environics has segmented your neighbourhood. I tried mine (click on the image above) – it wasn’t at all accurate about me, but it’s intended to profile entire neighbourhoods and not every single person that lives there. So was it an accurate profile of my neighbourhood overall? Kind of. It seems accurate in some ways, less about others. The profiles are quite descriptive, and I don’t see my neighbourhood in the

Try it for yourself and see what you think. And check out PCensus to draw your own conclusions.

Posted by: WPL | 2015/03/16

Housing and Real Estate Info

Graphic showing CMHC map and data for Durham Region.We work with lots of people starting business, and depending on the question, we have certain go-to tools that we use. But some types of data require more specialized services. Housing and real estate (including construction and renovation) are huge sectors of the economy right now, especially locally, and when people ask, we often find some great data courtesy of the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, or CMHC. CMHC is best known as the crown corporation that insures residential mortgage loans. They do that, and much more. And among their many roles, they also produce lots of housing market statistics and data, some of which is freely available on their website.

If you check out CMHC’s Housing Market Information page, you can access all sorts of cool stuff. The new Housing Market Information Portal lets you look at new housing, average prices and rental market information by municipality. The Publications and Reports page also has great market info in PDF reports that provide a longer time perspective. And while no one has a crystal ball (especially when it comes to the real estate market, apparently), you can check out CMHC’s forecasts and analysis to see what’s up. Resales, rentals, all here. And some of the Housing Now reports track renovation data as well.

Please note that information on Durham Region can be found in the Greater Toronto Area reports. Unlike the “official” GTA, CMHC includes Whitby, Oshawa and Clarington.

Overall, a terrific source. Check it out!

Posted by: WPL | 2015/02/24

More events!

Book cover of  Darling, You Can't Do Both And Other Noise to Ignore on your Way upAll kinds of business-related stuff going on these days. The Business Advisory Centre Durham is celebrating International Women’s Day with a business networking breakfast on Tuesday, March 10 from 8 to 11 AM at Whitby’s Centennial Building. The keynote speaker is Janet Kestin, author of Darling, You Can’t Do Both And Other Noise to Ignore on your Way Up.Darling is a guide for women who don’t believe they have to compromise having a life and being successful in their careers. Ms. Kestin’s book is available at the Central Library.

Cost to attend is $35 (plus HST) and preregistration is required. It’s a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day, meet other area entrepreneurs and hear an inspiring speaker.

Graphic for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce's AccessibilityWorks program.The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed in 2005. Implementation is taking place in stages, with the goal of a fully accessible Ontario by 2025. The Act applies to businesses too, also with implementation standards and deadlines. For instance, as of January 1st 2015, all new construction and building renovations now have to be accessible. The challenges are there, but the rewards are great – some 15 percent of Ontarians have a disability, and this number will increase as the population ages. No business wants to turn away 15 percent of their potential customers. Plus, people with disabilities represent a largely untapped employment force.

The Whitby Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, is hosting a workshop to help businesses comply with the AODA. This session will help you create a step-by-step comprehensive accessibility plan for your business. The workshop will take place at the Abilities Centre in Whitby on Wednesday, February 25, from 7:30 to 9:30 AM. There is a $25 cost for Chamber members and a $35 for non-members, plus HST. You can register online through the Chamber website.

If you need help implementing the AODA in your business, this is a terrific way to get informed and create an action plan. Register today!

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