There was one piece of business news that enjoyed particular resonance in Britain over the last quarter of the last year – far more than the average news in the business section usually gets.
That piece of news was telling us that Starbucks hasn’t paid any tax in the UK since 2009. This is something with a relevance of its own, even more so considering the size of the company and its importance for many British customers. The disclosure happened thanks to an investigation by Reuters, which took place three years after the original sin was committed.
Now, this also seems to call for another kind of consideration: why did it take so much time before someone would find out? Lack of transparency about the economic performance and track record of private companies seems to be at the core of the problem. Most common people wouldn’t even know where to start from if they needed to check out data about privately owned companies. However, some journalists do.
Soon after the release of data about Starbucks on October 15th, the Guardian managed to put together an infographic about the fiscal record of other multinational companies registered in the UK. But it didn’t take the Guardian three more years to do so. In fact, it took just a couple days – with all data visualised by October 17th.
How did the Guardian turn around such crucial data in such a short period of time? The answer is simpler than you’d expect: the data was easily collected from website Duedil.com. This is a free online service which is helping turn the business environment into a much more accountable and transparent place.
Far from being purely a tool for inquisitive journalists who want to unveil the wrongdoings of multinational corporations, Duedil works wonders even on a minor scale. From small start-ups and business owners, to first-time investors, there is a whole world of market knowledge that is stored in Duedil and that will make every choice in your business career much safer.
Each business entity is in fact connected with others, so that a small enterprise will have to do business with suppliers, which may or may not respond to expectations placed upon them, as well as competitors whose strengths and weaknesses it will be vital to know better in order to define market positioning.
With 20 years of financial history of UK-registered companies made easily searchable, on Duedil you will get anything from a free credit report to intellectual property records, and many business choices will become much less of a gamble. But figures alone may not be enough: corporate structures are made easy to understand thanks to Group Graphs, while all documents can be conveniently downloaded.
Apart from being a priceless tool for start-up, Duedil is a start-up itself, which many in a similar situation may want to look at when looking for an inspiring success story: launched in April 2011, the dotcom already supplies users from 75 of the top 100 FTSE companies and saw the number of members over the six months prior to November 2012 rise by 507 percent monthly.
Representing a completely free, invaluable service, as well as a major source of inspiration for other small and medium enterprises out there, Duedil is one of the internet start-ups you’ll absolutely have to look out for in 2013.