This… is Gavin.
Gavin and his company of sixteen hardworking Canadians manufacture aglets and widgets. Special aglets that make sure your bootlaces NEVER get all frayed at the ends… and those very special widgets you stick in the ice at the goal line to keep hockey nets in place during the big game.
This being Tuesday morning at 10:15, Gavin goes down to the mailbox. A bill… a flyer… another bill… what's this?
A cheque from a satisfied customer?
It's another business survey, from Statistics Canada.
Now - Gavin would much rather have a nice fat cheque in his hand… but he takes the survey and puts it in with the pile that's marked "MUST GET DONE ASAP FOR SURE!!"
You see, Gavin has a unique attitude toward Statistics Canada surveys.
Some people might consider them to be a pain… a time-consuming drain on resources that always seem to be stretched wayyy too thin. But Gavin believes something quite different.
You see, Gavin knows that he can't be in fourteen places at once.
Much as he'd like to, he can't listen in to Question Period. He can't be at City Hall in the Planning Department or the Permit Office either.
And much as he'd like to be at every public consultation on every issue that affects his company… he can't. He's way too tied up with the business of the company, and besides – his kids have swimming… and ballet… and homework.
For Gavin, careful attention to business surveys is a sure way to have an influence on all kinds of things that are important to him and his company.
And if Gavin doesn't fill out and return business surveys that come by phone, by mail, or through the Internet … he misses that chance.
The survey information that's used to make important decisions would be incomplete, and Gavin's company won't be represented in the results.
By the way, here at Statistics Canada, we know that you have very little time to fill out surveys so we've come up with some ways to make responding to surveys easier for you.
We're making more of our surveys electronic and web-based… making them more integrated, and minimizing duplication.
We'd like you to know that if the survey comes at a particularly difficult time, we'll work with you to minimize disruption to you and your business.
And another thing: survey respondents are chosen randomly or by business type or size or by geographical location. There are all kinds of variables in how we choose who gets surveys.
And just because Gavin got one today doesn't mean that everybody on his street or in his line of work got one at the same time.
Now - Gavin also knows that Statistics Canada needs to talk to all kinds of enterprises – from the smallest businesses in the country to the very biggest.
The information is used by federal, provincial, regional, and local governments to make all kinds of key decisions. And just knowing that makes Gavin feel somewhat better!
Large enterprises, medium- and small-sized businesses, even sole proprietors – everyone's information is crucial. So the more we know about how your business – and Gavin's – operate, the better we'll be able to help government at all levels develop important things like:
And businesses like Gavin's benefit from all the industry statistics we collect to track their performance against industry averages, evaluate expansion plans, prepare business plans for investors, plan marketing strategies, and much more.
Filling in surveys shows how YOUR industry is performing and when you provide better information, governments can make better, more inclusive decisions.
Is filling out a survey for Statistics Canada the most wonderful, satisfying, fulfilling thing in Gavin's life?
Of course not.
But Gavin decided some time ago that he wanted to make his voice really count. That means listening to his employees, getting involved in his industry association… being a member of a service club… and doing his business surveys.
Cause at the end of the day… Gavin knows it's worth it.Statistics Canada business surveys: time very well invested.