Resources for Secondary Research
Secondary research is generally conducted by looking at data that has already been collected by other researchers. Secondary business research may involves collecting information from government reports, magazines, trade associations, industry specific blogs and business support organizations. Here are a few sources to get you started.
Small Business BC - BC's primary source of business information. You'll find seminars, success stories, business trends and much more.
UBC Small Business Accelerator - an initiative of the I.K. Barber Learning Centre, the SBA features a step-by-step research guide, business videos as well as industry accelerator guides packed with resources tailored to your industry.
Magazines and newspapers are a great source of information on current issues and trends in your region and/or industry. Below you will find a selection of resources for general business research. Check with your local librarian to find additional publications specific to your industry.
Canadian Business - monthly magazine covering Canadian market trends, business strategies and tools. Some content is available online.
Business in Vancouver - a great source of weekly local business news. Some content available online.
Canada Newswire - search this site for cutting edge industry news.
Marketwire - find daily press releases and social media releases from companies throughout Canada.
Springwise - presents the latest innovative entrepreneurial ideas from around the globe.
Strategis Industry Canada - a comprehensive source of both Canadian and international business information and statistics.
BC WorkFutures - search this site for employment projections and the geographic distribution of BC's workforce.
BC Agri-food Knowledge Platform - this site includes step-by-step business advice for entrepreneurs in the food and agriculture industry.
Directories, trade associations and industry specific magazines and blogs are excellent resources for researching the competition.
Canadian Companies Capabilities - this database compiled by Industry Canada includes more than 60,000 Canadian businesses.
Frasers - directory of Canadian industrial wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors.
SME Benchmarking Tool - provides income statements and balance sheet data for small to medium sized businesses in Canada. Useful for estimating operating costs for a new business and comparing your financial performance against industry averages.
Business in Vancouver, Book of Lists
This collection provides information on over 1000 companies in Vancouver. Note: this resource is only available in print. Visit the Vancouver Public Library to access it.
Statistics Canada - your primary source for Canadian statistics. Enter a postal code on the Community Profiles page to access demographic data for your region.
- find regional statistics and labour market information here.
Trendwatching.com - one of the world's leading trend firms, offers insights and updates on all the latest international trends.
Tools for Primary Research
Primary research is the research is data collected directly from potential customers through surveys, tests or observation.
Surveys & Questionnaires
SurveyMonkey - free online survey and questionnaire tool.
Zoomerang - online survey software.
Test Marketing Opportunities
Granville Island Day Vendor
BC Association of Farmers' Markets
Portobello West Fashion and Art Market
Tools for Writing a Business Plan
Once you have completed your research you are ready to write your business plan. Below are a few websites and resources that provide samples and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Small Business BC has created Interactive Business Planner Software. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see sample business plans.
Bplans - over 500 sample business plans.
Gale Business Plan Handbook - new handbooks are released every year, providing hundreds of sample business plans. Note: this is an online resource, but must be accessed through your public library.