We’re here to support business. That’s why we’ve put together a range of guides, hints, tips and insights that we think could help improve your understanding across a wide range of business topics.


The Importance of Staff Retention and How to Improve It?

Join the Esme team as we find out the benefits of staff retention and how you can improve it in your business.

Setting your business goals for 2020

Is your business prepared for the upcoming year? Keep reading to find out how to set your business goals for 2020.

The Best Small Business Party Ideas

Christmas is a great excuse to celebrate the year with your team and thank them for all their work. Find out the top 5 small business Christmas party ideas in our blog post

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for your Employees

Christmas is just around the corner. Show your employees how much they mean to you with these 5 great gift ideas.

5 Ways to Keep your Employees Motivated this New Year

Returning to work after Christmas can often be a struggle for motivation. Here are 5 ways you can keep your staff motivated throughout the New Year.

How to prepare your business for the Christmas season

Is your business prepared for Christmas? Here are 5 ways you can prepare your business for the upcoming festive season.

How to Prepare Your Business for Black Friday

Is your business prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Here are 4 ways you can prepare your business in time for the sales.

How do I Pay Myself as a Business Owner?

It’s a common assumption that as a business owner, you can pay yourself as much as you want but this is not always the case. There are several factors that go into how much a business owner should get paid which we will look at in this blog post.

How Does Taxation Affect Businesses?

Your business may become affected by sector taxes, which means it is important to ensure you are complying with any sector tax obligations. In this blog post, we will look at how taxation can affect your business.

Esme Loans Joins SME Finance Charter

Here at Esme Loans, we have an ongoing commitment to supporting all our customers through Brexit by becoming a founding signatory via our parent company NatWest, to the Government’s new SME Finance Charter, designed to support UK small and medium-sized enterprises as the UK exits the EU.

Looking After your Employee's Mental Health

One of your biggest responsibilities as a business owner is to take good care of your staff’s wellbeing. This means taking care of each employee’s mental health as well as any physical disabilities.

What is Organic Growth in Business?

You might not realise it, but you’re probably already running your business in a way that encourages organic growth.

The Impact of Globalisation on Business

You’ve made it through the stressful early days, you’ve dealt with unexpected crises, and your business is officially thriving. You might even be considering taking your business global. If you want to take your business global, there are a few things you need to know about the impact of globalisation on business success.

How to Grow your Business Online

Growing your business online can be difficult at first – but there are many tools and techniques you can use to assist with this ongoing task. Investing time and effort into your website and social media pages could really help to grow your online presence.

What is Strategic Planning for Business?

Strategic planning might be something you overlooked when you first set up your business; possibly out of the hubbub of having a new business but maybe you just didn’t know you needed it.

How Does a Recession Affect a Business?

Understanding what a recession is and how it might affect your business is the first step in demystifying it. Once you understand that it’s a feature of any economy, you can make a plan of action.

New Research: How do Business Owners Really feel About AI?

We surveyed over 250 UK business owners to find out how many of them use artificial intelligence technologies in business and how they feel about AI

Are Business Owners Happier Than Employees?

Helping businesses achieve their goals is at the heart of what do. We help business owners dream big but without the right infrastructure, team and attitude to work – will businesses ever be a success? We wanted to dig a little deeper to understand who is healthier and happier, business owners or employees?

Calculating Your Business Income - All You Need to Know

Staying on top of your finances is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Find out how to calculate profit, working capital, revenue, loss and break-even point.

How does business and personal finance differ?

Find out how business and personal finance differs as we explain the difference between a personal loan and business loan and whether you can use a personal loan for business purposes

The UK’s Most Popular Business Names by Sector

Business names have the power to entice customers in, or discourage them from using a service or product. Therefore, it’s important to choose a catchy name that maximizes the potential of your business and leaves a positive, but lasting impression on your customers.

Why do Businesses Need Finance?

Business finance may be required by a business at a number of stages throughout the businesses journey, from starting out, to expansion. Managing your business’ finances may be necessary if you’re wanting your business to succeed and continue to expand.

10 Tips for Creating a Website for your Business

According to Adaptive Marketing, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. This hugely highlights the importance for businesses to have an online presence, as well as an engaging, well-functioning website that encourages visitors to trust and understand your brand.

How to Finance a Business Expansion

There are a number of benefits to expanding your business, but it can often require large amounts of business finance in order to support the growth, and for your business to achieve overall success.

A Guide to SEO for Small Businesses

If your business has a website or you’re looking to get more customers online, SEO should be a priority. The higher you rank in a search engine for keywords related to your business, the more likely you are to get traffic to your site, which may mean more conversions for your business.

Sources of Finance for Small Businesses

There are many different ways businesses can secure finance outside paying a visit to your bank manager. By doing your research before you need to secure finance, you’ll be better prepared when it comes to making the application.

How Does the Consumer Protection Act Affect Businesses?

Businesses have to be aware of the many laws and legislation that protect both themselves and their customers. These help to create a fair and stable atmosphere for consumers and businesses to trade in.

How to Improve Your Office Work Environment

If your employees aren’t happy then they’re unlikely to be productive - which is ultimately bad news for your business. Creating a better work environment isn’t difficult and can be achieved even if you don’t own the space you work in.

How to Succeed in Retail

It’s safe to say there’s a lot of opportunity within the retail sector but there’s also a lot of competition. So if you’ve already set up shop and are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, here are some tips on how to succeed in retail.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media for Businesses

Social media has rapidly grown into a platform that has been utilised by millions of businesses worldwide. There are a number of reasons why small and large businesses choose to use social media as part of their marketing, sales and customer service strategy.

A Social Media Guide for SMEs

Choosing the right social media platform for your business can be a difficult decision for many business owners. Our social media guide can help you exploit the opportunities social media can offer you and ultimately drive your business toward success.

How to Better Communicate with your Customers

Good communication filters into customer service, how you handle and process problems, and is one way you can go the extra mile. It doesn’t require massive overhaul either but can be something you easily introduce day by day.

How Does Unemployment Affect SMEs?

Employment rates are measured closely as an indicator of the health and state of the economy. While high unemployment rates are certainly not a good sign, they don’t necessarily suggest that your small business will struggle.

How to Deal with Seasonality in Business

The off season can be a daunting prospect but seasonal businesses provide a lot of opportunity especially when the highs and lows are well planned and managed.

How does competition affect a business?

If you open a business, you’re going to have competition; it comes with the territory. In this blog we’ll talk you through the different types of competition and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is Corporation Tax?

Corporation tax is paid by all businesses big and small on any profits they make. Find out what corporation tax is, how it affects businesses and how to pay it.

What is AI and How is it Changing Manufacturing Businesses?

Everyone in manufacturing is talking about artificial intelligence (AI). The (arguably) hottest technology trend might feel like one that only applies to the big boys, but manufacturing SMEs have just as much to gain.

Business Loan VS Business Credit Card - Which One Do I Choose

Join the Esme team as we run through both the pros and cons of business loans and business credit cards, so you can choose the right business finance option that works for you and your business.

Business Loans for the Construction Sector

Join the Esme team to find out how a business loan could help your construction and building business. We’ll also explain what a business loan is and how you can apply for one with Esme, even if you’re a sole trader.

How to Manage Staff Shortages this Summer

Join the Esme team as we share our top four tips on how to overcome staff shortage to ensure that your business and its customers won’t feel the effects of a smaller workforce.

How to Protect Your Business from a Cyber Attack

Join the Esme team as we explain what a cyber-attack is, how one could affect your business and share our top three tips on how to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a cyber-attack

AI: what is it really, and how can it help my business?

AI is a technology that is being used more and more in many parts of our daily lives, but there’s some confusion about what it really is. Join the Esme team as we explore the different parts of AI, and how they can be used to help your business succeed.

5 Steps to Successfully Scaling Your Business

Running a business is full of challenges and scaling can be one of the biggest. Join the Esme team as we look at the top 5 things you should know for successfully scaling your business

Managing Your Seasonal Business During Quieter Times

Running a seasonal business can present itself with number of cash-flow related hurdles, compared to running an ‘all-year round’ business. It requires a certain level of organization, preparation and financial planning to ensure your seasonal business can thrive.

The Northern Powerhouse and Why More Businesses Are Moving

Since the introduction of the Northern Powerhouse, both national and international companies have begun to migrate or expand their businesses into the north to benefit from what these cities can offer.

7 Ways You Can Make Your Business More Environmentally Friendly

Taking active steps toward making your business more eco-friendly and changing habits within your work force can not only reduce its impact on the environment, but it can also save your business money.

How Could Interest Rates Affect My Business?

Join the Esme team as we find out what interest rate and common terms associated with it actually means, including APR, fixed, variable and representative APR. We’ll also look at how interest rates relate to and affect businesses of all sizes.

Business Loan Q&A - Your Questions, Answered

Join the Esme team as we answer the most common business loan related questions asked by you – including what a business loan is, how repayments really work and how long it can take to get approved for a business loan.

How to Write a Press Release – Top Tips from a PR Agency

Press coverage can be a great way of increasing awareness of your product or brand. Key to gaining press coverage is having a good release. Here we explain how to write and structure your press releases.

Paid, Earned and Owned Media – What’s the Difference?

David Burns founder of Notion PR looks at the difference between paid, earned and owned media.

From Startup to Scaleup

You’re not a startup anymore, you’re a scaleup – a growing, dynamic SME that’s helping to power the UK economy. We’ve talked to the experts, from trade bodies to community support hubs to tech firms who have made it, about how you grow well and find the right support to become a forward-thinking, resilient SME.

How Can Consumer Trends Affect My Business

Consumer trends are constantly changing, whether it’s societies’ relationship with technology or growing concerns with the environment – so it’s beneficial for companies to consider and identify these consumer trends as they could influence a business and its future.

The Trendiest Small Business Ideas for 2019

Thinking of a good business idea that can flourish in a growing market can be challenging. Here at Esme, we’ve been very busy reviewing market data, growth predictions and Google Trends to find the four best new-age business ideas for 2019, from vegan food to craft gin.

How to Create a Facebook Business Page

Facebook has an enormous 1.7 billion users, which means having a business profile allows you to tap into that pool and expand your customer reach. What’s better, is that Facebook is completely free for businesses.

How to Hire the Right Staff - Tips From Business Owners

Advice from business owners who have been there and done that is pretty much priceless. That’s why we’ve teamed up with three successful business owners to tap into their recruitment knowledge and ultimately find out how to hire the right staff.

Best Apps to help Improve your Business Workflow

It’s always worth looking at each area of your business and see what resources are available that could improve certain aspects of your business or make them more efficient. There are hundreds of free online tools and apps available that can help with all aspects of running a business, from expenses and accounting to project management and marketing.

The best emerging technologies for small businesses

Technology has evolved into an integral part of society, affecting how businesses operate and their services. With technologies such as AR and VR you can give your customers a unique experience that could set you apart from direct competitors.

How to Take Your Business Global

In order to create a global expansion plan for a business, it’s crucial for owners to consider all aspects of their business and their market to maximise the chances of international success.

What Is A Workplace Pension and Do I Need One

In order to live comfortably after retirement, you’ll need a pot of cash, also known as a pension. A pension, more specifically a workplace pension, allows people to save for their retirement with support from the state and their employer.

Improving workplace culture – tips from a business owner

Workplace culture has the power to either strengthen or undermine your business’ objectives. A positive workplace culture aims to keep employees happy and motivated, as well as attract prospective talent.

Tips for Women in Business from a Female Entrepreneur

Starting a business can bring a lot of challenges, so advice from entrepreneurs who have been in that position is priceless and could get you on the road to success much quicker.

Are commercial loans easy to get?

A commercial loan is a convenient and effective way for a business to obtain finance. The easiness of getting a commercial loan, depends on the type of loan, lender and financial health of your business.

How to Write a Business Plan

Business planning is vital to start and grow a business. Writing a business plan is a crucial first step, it will force you to think and scrutinise how best you can operate your business and maximise profit.

The dos and don'ts of Business Loans

To ensure you’re applying for a loan in a responsible and secure fashion, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of a loan application process and all the requirements that must be fulfilled in order for loans to be made and repaid.

What is a business continuity plan?

A downturn in your business could strike at any moment and preparing your business for a rocky period can give it the best chance of success. This is where a business continuity plan comes in.

Diversification in business – is it a good idea?

If you’re looking to grow your business, one popular strategy is business diversification. This involves broadening your business's opportunities by entering new markets or offering new services to attract new customers.

5 Steps to Help Grow your Business

Whether you’re diversifying or looking to offer a new product, growing your business can help increase profit and improve your success. If you’re considering growing your business, the first step is to prepare your business.

What is competitor research and why is it important?

Understanding who your business is competing with can help you prepare and identify gaps in the market to grow your business. A lack of competitor research could do the exact opposite.

How to get a Business Loan

It’s not uncommon for businesses to require large sources of capital in order for them to progress and grow, whether that be to finance expansions, cover day-to-day running costs, acquire stock, hire new staff or buy new equipment.

How to Use LinkedIn to Promote your Brand

One of the leading social channels for businesses today is LinkedIn. Since launching in 2003, it’s grown into the world’s leading media platform for professional networking, with over 500 million users.

A Step by Step Guide to Applying for a Small Business Loan

Investing in your business with a loan can provide a number of opportunities, whether you are looking to expand your business or hire experienced staff. Preparing your business beforehand could increase your chances of getting approved.

How to Maintain Good Business Credit

Running a successful business comes with a number of obligations and maintaining good business credit should be a priority. Good credit can say a lot about your business’ ability to manage its finances and increase your chance of securing finance.

Business Loan Comparison Guide: What to Watch

There are a range of business loan options available so it's highly important to ensure you're choosing a loan that matches your business's needs and meets your objectives.

What are the most profitable business sectors for 2019?

It’s key to have a complete understanding of today’s market, knowing which trends, products and sectors are driving the most consumer interest and generating enormous profits as a result. It allows you to introduce new stock or services to cater ever-changing preferences.

How to know when you're ready for business expansion

For many SMEs, business expansion is a sign of success and the opportunity to increase profit. However, in practice, it can be an uncertain affair, involving large amounts of money being invested without an immediate guarantee of a return.

5 reasons why a new business loan might be the perfect solution

Investing in your business is essential to improving its chances of finding success and making profit. This can take many forms, whether it’s buying new equipment, hiring new staff or upscaling to a larger premises.

Cash flow

As money goes out of your business earlier and faster than it comes in, it’s easy to see how your business can fall short of funds while you’re trying to grow.

Digital marketing for SMEs

Digital marketing can be a very effective way to reach potential customers. Using the right web platforms to find your target audience is efficient and cost-effective.

What is a business loan?

It’s no secret that businesses need capital in order to thrive. That’s where business loans (also known as commercial loans) can provide the boost your business needs to keep growing.

Are Online Business Loans Safe?

When you own a business, it’s crucial to be streetwise about online security. Read our top tips for detecting online fraud, and learn to identify legitimate lenders.

How to get a 100k business loan

Join the Esme team as we explain the eligibility requirements that need to be met in order to apply for loans of up to £100,000.

Is there such a thing as an instant business loan?

An instant business loan may seem highly attractive. After all, if you need additional capital then surely the quicker it’ll arrive, the better? Here we look into what an instant business loan really means.

How to stay on top of your business’s finance

Whether you’re a beginner entrepreneur taking your first steps into the big world of business, or an established owner contemplating expansion, it’s vital to have a thorough understanding of your finances. We share top tips on how to keep on top of your income and expenditure.

What is Working Capital?

Having a full understanding of your working capital could be the difference between seeing your business flourish, or slip into the red. Here we explain what working capital is, and how you can use it to measure your business’ financial health.