Since the launch of the Marketing Donut two years ago, we’ve established three more sites to help business owners, and a fifth has gone live today ― the Tax Donut. The Donuts also now have almost 100 local partners, offering businesses a network of support through organisations they know and trust. So how is it benefitting them — and businesses like yours?
With 300 independent business experts and more than 20 law firms contributing to the content on the five sites, the Donut websites offer practical support to businesses at every stage of development.
The Donut project is also an extensive collaboration involving local law firms, chambers of commerce and enterprise agencies — alongside backing from sponsors such as Sage, Microsoft, Dell and Google. With the launch of the Tax Donut, accountancy firms are now signing up too and may well end up outnumbering the other organisations involved.
“Our partners have all put a little money, and/or a little expertise, into the Donut websites, which have then been adapted for each local organisation taking part,” says founder of the Donut project, Rory MccGwire. “In return they get their own version of the Donut sites.
“More and more professional firms and business groups are getting involved and making this resource freely available to their clients as part of their own business support.”
One such partner is Preston-based solicitors Marsden Rawsthorn.
“We now have over 2,000 subscribers and our numbers are growing consistently. We’ve had very positive feedback from our clients and seen a number of them sharing the content with a wider audience,” says Marsden Rawsthorn business development director Debbie Pettitt.
“The Law Donut and the monthly e-newsletter save us time and money by delivering a wide range of top-quality legal content that would otherwise be unachievable, which allows us to focus on adding our local expertise and specialist content to help our clients.”
As well as law firms, the Donuts have partnered with approximately 50 enterprise agencies which use the Start Up Donut. Dawn Whiteley, chief executive of the National Enterprise Network, says that while the Government is cutting much of its support for small firms, there are still valuable resources out there.
“A good number of our members are using the Donut to help them assist their clients to start and run their own businesses — because the information is a great supplement to the offline services they provide.”
100th local Donut website goes live
“As a professional accountancy firm, our clients like to be able to access online resources and the Donuts are a cost-effective means for us to provide that to them,” says Ed Corrigan, founder of Corrigan and Associates, who recently launched the 100th local Donut website.
“It means that our time is better spent advising clients on the specifics of what to do and not just explaining what the general position is on a small business issue ― as the Start Up Donut and Tax Donut content can do that for us. So clients can arm themselves with some basic information before they come to see us.
“It would be time consuming for us to produce our own resource and keep it up to date, and the Donuts do it for us. Instead, we are part of the large team that updates and grows the content on all the Donut websites.”
The fifth Donut website, Tax Donut, launched today offering businesses advice on every area of tax.
The site answers the 101 most common tax questions that people running businesses have through a range of factsheets, calculators and tools. Personal tax is also covered — from guides that help you through the maze of pension choices for you and your staff, to director’s tax, and ways to reduce your tax bill.
So what is next for the Donut project? At least seven more Donut websites are planned, offering business owners practical advice on a range of business topics. In the months ahead you will also see more local content on the Donut, highlighting events, grants and businesses for sale in your area.
Please get in contact and let us know what local content you would like to see on the Donut websites.