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Money management tips from Starling Bank’s entrepreneurs

By Charlotte Lorimer

Money management tips from Starling Bank’s entrepreneurs

Being a Starling business customer means being part of something bigger. Starling Bank is on a mission to change banking for the better and support small businesses.

“When I set out to start a new bank, many people told me that it couldn’t be done,” says Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling. “I wasn’t what investors expected, which made fundraising even more difficult. But I didn’t listen to the doubters or sceptics, I kept going. I knew how important a new bank would be for everyone, especially small businesses - they are the lifeblood of the British economy.”

Anne is the first woman to found a UK bank; gender equality is a core value of Starling both in how technology is designed and in how the bank is run.

This autumn, we’ll be at the Women in Business Expo, where you can find out more about Starling’s story and our mobile business accounts, packed with smart features to make managing your finances simple, with no monthly fees. Here, we share some useful money management tips from three of our business customers.

Time is money

Dot McCarthy is one of many women running farms in Lancashire. Her vision for Cronkshaw Fold Farm and Study Centre is to make it completely sustainable and lead the way for others to follow in her footsteps.

Her advice for business owners is to think about the relationship between time, money and expectations: “Work out the cost of your time per hour per day over the year. If you’re doing tasks you could hire someone to do for you, bare in mind that may well be cheaper than you doing it - and it will free you up to focus on other areas of the business. Delegate as much as possible and try not to be a perfectionist. Done is better than perfect.”

Starling business customer Dot McCarthy runs Cronkshaw Fold Farm and Study Centre

Side hustle with Starling

Helen Priest works full-time for a charity combating Motor Neurone Disease and spends her weekends and evenings selling her handmade bags and stickers through Etsy.

Her tip is to keep money for taxes separate so you can’t spend it before you’re hit with your tax bill. To stay organised, she uses Goals in the Starling app, where you can set target amounts and keep money separate from your main balance. “With Starling, I’ve been able to set up Spaces and allocate the money to different things - paying tax, buying new stock, paying for running costs, insurance and another one for profit,” says Helen. “By doing this it means I can see exactly what money I’ve got for what things and will be ready once my tax bill comes!”

Starling business customer Helen Priest sells handmade bags and stickers through Etsy

The reality of cash flow

Kecia McDougall set up Tayport Distillery to start a new chapter of her career. After more than 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS and with her two children grown up, she wanted a change. She began making her own spirit, known as Never 25, from local fruit and a blackcurrant liqueur called 1992, named for the year she and her husband married.

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is around the subject of cash flow,” says Kecia. “Initially, I assumed everyone would pay on time - this is not the case. It seems to be a common problem with small businesses and the government has introduced measures to help cope with this.”

Starling business customer Kecia McDougall is the founder of Tayport Distillery

“My advice would be to set clear and fair payment terms with customers right from the beginning, ensure every new customer completes an account application form detailing accurate information for the account contact, and invoice promptly after receipt of goods. There will inevitably be those who still do not pay on time. So, it is also a good idea to build up a cash reserve to help cover the business while you are waiting for these late payments.”


If you’re heading to the Women in Business Expo, come and say hello to us at stall H33. We would love to learn about your experiences in business and what you need from your bank. We can also share how to open a Starling mobile business account and how it could save you time and money.

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