Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Business Loans

Getting small business loans with bad credit

Even a small business owner with bad credit may need to borrow unexpectedly for stock or a sudden car repair. Where can you turn to for a small business loan with bad credit?

Sole trader

What is the definition of a sole trader and being self-employed

What does it mean to be a 'sole trader'? Is there any difference between a sole trader and being ‘self employed’?

Employing & managing staff

A small business guide to the National Living Wage

The new National Living Wage has come into effect for 2024/25. Elaine Pritchard of Moorepay explains what you need to know

Employing & managing staff

How to set up an apprenticeship scheme at your small business

Is an apprenticeship scheme right for your business, and where do you begin? Crissi Williams, CEO of the Institute of Telecommunications Professionals, looks into the matter.

Employing & managing staff

How to elevate employee engagement levels

Pietro Carmignani, UK country manager at Gympass, provides some simple tips to empower staff and keep them engaged.

Business Ideas & Planning

How to write a marketing plan

This guide offers practical advice on developing and writing a marketing plan using simple English

Export & Import

The essential guide to commodity codes and HS categories

In this guide we’ll look at when and why commodity codes are used, what they look like, and how to find the right one for your needs.

International Business

EORI number: What it is and how to get or check one

Here, we go through all you need to know about EORI numbers, who should register, how to apply and where to go for more help

Office & home working

What to consider when choosing a commercial property

Here, we look at some of the main factors to consider when selecting the perfect commercial property for your business needs.

Finding and selling to customers

How to maximise sales through the art of listening

With a few simple techniques, you can hone your listening skills to maximise sales. In this piece, we look at how.


The importance of good copy in your marketing communications

Writer and marketer Jenni O'Connor shares her thoughts on why it's necessary to take extra care with copywriting.


A small business guide to going freelance

In this piece, we look at the main considerations when going freelance, from procedural advice to managing your work-life balance.