Small business advice site plugs gap as Government abandons SME support

In Press releases by Rory MccGwire0 Comments

Sectors Donut launches on 12 September 2016. This major new website offers detailed guidance on how to set up a business in more than 200 different niches, plugging a yawning gap in UK business support.

  • The 13,000-page Sectors Donut provides expert guidance on how to set up more than 200 specific types of business, covering everything from running a hotel, to becoming a tree surgeon, a web developer or even a used car dealer
  • It joins the other five Donut advice websites which focus on law, tax, technology, marketing and starting up – creating the UK’s biggest small business advice resource
  • The Donut websites already passed the one-million-page-views-a-month milestone last year
  • The Government’s closure of the £84m Business Growth Service on 31 March completes its abandonment of previous business support policies, leaving the private sector to “fill the gap”

Sectors Donut joins the highly successful Donut family of websites all aimed at supporting small business owners, entrepreneurs and sole traders. While the latest Donut focuses on specific sectors, the other five websites cover all aspects of running a business including starting up, marketing, technology, tax, and law.

Putting their heads together for an awesome design

“With the launch of Sectors Donut, business owners can now get much-needed sector-specific advice that will help them start up and thrive,” said Miguel Gernaey, Marketing Director EMEA at Sage, which sponsors Sectors Donut.

All six Donut websites have now been joined up to form the largest online resource for small businesses in the UK, with more than 20,000 pages of expert advice, guides, checklists, case studies and practical business tools. Sectors Donut alone has 13,000 pages.

The launch of Sectors Donut comes a month after the Government closed the £84m Business Growth Service – which included the long-established Manufacturing Advisory Service – and the whole of the Enterprise Directorate of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

“These closures are just the latest in a long line of cuts to Government business services, leaving a huge gap in the provision of support for the UK’s 5.4 million SMEs,” said Rory MccGwire, chief executive of Atom Content Marketing, which owns the Donut websites. “And yet small business owners, sole traders and would-be entrepreneurs are crying out for help and support.

“Government ministers have stated unequivocally that they intend to leave small business support to the private sector – other than continuing to support export, inward investment, innovation and the £12m-a-year combined funding for the 39 Growth Hubs.”

With well over half a million unique users every month, the Donut websites are already one of the most popular sources of small business advice in the UK. Now, with the launch of Sectors Donut, the Donuts have become the biggest single SME advice resource.

“We can honestly say that we now offer a Donut for every taste,” said MccGwire. “Sectors Donut provides a staggering amount of detailed information on each type of business. Then, if you want to deal with a specific marketing challenge, or a legal problem, you can see what our experts suggest on Marketing Donut and Law Donut.
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Rory MccGwire, of the Donut websites

Miguel Gernaey of Sage added: “Small businesses have long benefited from the advice and resources on the Donut websites and we know from our own customer base that they appreciate the practical, down-to-earth help on every page. Together, the Donuts are the ultimate how-to resource for businesses in the UK. We are delighted to support them.”

Atom has created Sectors Donut in partnership with Parkes, which specialises in publishing sector content and tax advice.

“Our partnering has been the key to our success,” said MccGwire. “For example, on Law Donut we partner with law firms, individual lawyers and suppliers to the legal sector. We do the same with technology experts on Tech Donut. Now, with Sectors Donut, we have partnered with our fellow publisher Parkes.”

In addition to publishing the Donut websites, Atom Content Marketing creates and licenses business content for a wide range of clients including banks, local councils, law firms, universities, chambers of commerce and accounting firms.

Sectors Donut launches on 12 September 2016.

Also on that day, Marketing Donut, Law Donut, Tax Donut, Tech Donut and Start Up Donut are relaunching with a fresh new look and a mobile-friendly design.

Notes to editors:

  1. Rory MccGwire is available for interview.
  2. A selection of images are available in this dropbox.
  3. Google loves the Donuts:
    • 1 million-page-views-a-month milestone passed in January 2015
    • 562,034 unique users in April 2016
  4. In a world full of blogging websites, the Donut websites have stuck to its original aim of being the best ‘how-to’ resource for small businesses in the UK. Its practical advice is written by experts and regularly updated:
    • 3,158 blogs
    • 1,730 articles
    • 1,774 FAQs
    • 146 checklists
    • 118 case studies
    • 2,073 small business news items
    • 500 experts (estimate)
    • 20,775 pages (including Sectors Donut)
  5. Where does the name ‘Donut’ come from?
    The answer is here: Why call it Donut?
  6. The Donut websites are:
    Sectors Donut, Marketing Donut, Law Donut, Tax Donut, Tech Donut (originally called IT Donut), and Start Up Donut.
  7. tom Content Marketing (originally called Business Hotline Publications, and then BHP Information Solutions) was founded by Rory MccGwire in 1991. Parkes was founded by Nick Parkes in 1985.
  8. The original Business Growth Service launch announcement by BIS:
    www.gov.uk/government/news/growthaccelerator-for-small-businesses
    Its closure announcement: http://www.ga.businessgrowthservice.greatbusiness.gov.uk/
  9. Example ministerial answer about private sector “filling the gap”:
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-14/20048
  10. Historical note
    An earlier high profile casualty of the austerity era was the Government’s £37m-a-year businesslink.gov.uk website. It provided advice on all aspects of starting up and running a business.

    • Atom wrote and maintained 50% of the main business advice on businesslink.gov.uk for its nine years. The other half was done by the US giant Thomson Reuters.
    • Parkes wrote the sector content for the website.
    • Prior to the businesslink website, both Atom and Parkes were well established as specialist business publishers in the UK.