Consumer Demographics (G.E.L. Factors)

Course Number: BU111

Subject: Business

Welcome to Laurier Library's BU111 Course Guide on G.E.L. Factors. This Guide will point you to key resources that will kick-start your research on GEL Factors for both your Preliminary and Final Reports for your New Venture Project. To find out about G.E.L. Factors, read Don Debelak's posts on his One Stop Invention Shop blog: Great Customers, Easy Sales and Long Life. You can find links to video tutorials to the right under Key links.

Use the links below to navigate to the different sections of the Guide.

Great customers

Read the blog post What Makes Great Customers?

There are four main elements that make great customers:

  • Number of customers
  • Ease of finding your customers
  • How willing your customers are to spend
  • Ongoing sales support

Below are some resources to get you started.

Number of customers

Census Profiles:

Get statistics for a particular province, region, city, or town. You may search information for neighborhoods by postal code.

2016 Census Profile

2011 Census Profile

Population Projections for Canada & Provinces, 2013-2063

University Student Demographics

Laurier’s Registrar’s Office

Ease of finding customers

Scott’s Directories

Click on “Account login.” Generate a list of businesses (by product or NAICS) in a particular geographic area

Search Library Catalogue (Primo)

Search “Vernon city directory” in PRIMO to find directories for multiple cities

Lexis Nexis Academic

Build a list of Companies in your industry

Watch the video tutorial: Build a Company List

Consumer spending: are your customers willing to spend?


Survey of Household Spending (SHS)

Connect to CANSIM --> Enter SHS into the search box --> Select a table from the list by clicking on the table number. Click on "Add/Remove data" tab to customize your report.

Article searching: Business Source Complete, Factiva, Proquest Business Collection

Want to improve your literature searching skills? Review these video tutorials:

Easy sales

Read the blog post How to Have Easy Sales

There are three (3) points to consider when it comes to easy sales:

  • Product is important to potential customers
  • Customers are easy to acquire
  • Product needs minimal promotional activity

Product important to potential customers


  • Do customers prioritize your product? Find studies in Passport that report on consumer preferences (i.e. traditional vs. online games)

Are customers “brand conscious” when it comes to your product category?

  • Again, try searching Passport
  • Marketing researchers and social scientists have studied the preferences and culture of various consumer groups. Try searching the business and social science literature for articles that indicate how "brand conscious" customers are likely to be when it comes to your product or service. Watch the video tutorials for tips that will make your literature search more efficient and effective

Your product not a top priority?

  • What if you discover that your product is not prioritized by your potential customers? What should you do? Try the following strategy: Find out consumer’s actual priorities, then create an association with your product. To discover consumer preferences, try searching Passport, search the popular, trade and scholarly literature and investigate trend-monitoring resources such as

Long life

Read the blog post Does Your Business Have Staying Power?

There are five (5) main elements that will give your new venture staying power:

  • Investment ($) required for startup
  • Amount of money needed to stay in business
  • Profit margins/$ from each sale
  • Up-selling/cross-selling
  • Ongoing product costs

Research strategies and resources for the staying power of your new venture

1. There is one good resource to start with that will help you address these factors, including operating costs, etc.. It’s industry Canada’s Financial Performance Data database (formerly known as the SME Benchmarking Tool). Review the Estimating Costs section of the New Venture Integrated Guide to get a step-by-step guide to using this resource.

2. Also try Article searching in the key business databases: Business Source Complete, Factiva, ProQuest Business Collection

3. Finally, consider Primary Research

  • Contact relevant businesses directly to confirm your estimates re: startup and operating costs


As Don Debelak states, ". . .by selling to the same customer, you will save yourself a lot of money, which allows you to make more money per sale and stay in business longer." As a result, try to sell different products to the same customer.

Try Article searching in the key business databases: Business Source Complete, Factiva, ProQuest Business Collection.