Innovation isn’t enough. You need curiosity, too.

BITE, Profitable Firm

This is a guest post from Karen Reyburn, founder of The Profitable Firm. She’s one of our keynote speakers at BITE 2018, and here’s some of what she’ll be sharing with you in Carlisle on the 12th October.

Every day I work with businesses on getting their words out in front of their ideal audience. In my case, the businesses I work with are accountants. And the accounting industry – like every industry – is full of buzzwords.


Forward thinking.



Cloud accounting.


Buzzwords are what happens when a word is used so often we all think we know what it means…but if asked, we would struggle to specifically define it.

What does “professional” actually mean? Does it mean suits and ties, using formal speech in emails, and only talking about business topics in business meetings? How about “cloud accounting”? It’s a throwback to a time when doing things online was new and different…but it’s not a cloud anymore. It’s simply part of this life we live.

Words matter because they have meaning: they tell us something about the thinking going on behind the scenes.

“Innovation” is a buzzword, too.

We associate innovation with technology. New things. Disruption. Change. Thinking about business and life from another perspective.

And yet true innovation and true disruption are rare. Apple is known for innovation, but the recent Apple event wasn’t really about innovation. They shared a few upgrades on existing technology. I love Apple, and I watched the broadcast live on Twitter. The only true innovative, disrupting, catch-your-breath new thing was the moment in the opening video when Kevin Lynch clicks a button on his apple watch and becomes a hologram. Now that’s innovative. (It was also not real.)

Innovation is still a good word. It’s one of the four words making up the BITE event: Business. Innovation. Technology. Efficiency.

The important thing is to explore what allows you to be innovative: and that’s curiosity.

On the 12th September, I’m going to be sharing why we need curiosity so much. Why we need to be bored. Why we need to ask ‘why’, over and over and over. And what’s possible for your business when you do.

I look forward to meeting you all there! Please do connect with me on all the socials – I’ll be tweeting, sharing pictures and live video, and doing some sketchnoting too! See you at BITE!

Book your free place here!

Connect with Karen:


What’s your flavour? Becoming the obvious choice to new customers

content marketing, BITE

Those who start out in business often take anyone and everyone. There’s so much enthusiasm and energy, and each new customer provides further energy…at least at first.

As time goes by, you discover this policy of accepting every potential new customer has its downsides. Some customers aren’t a fit for your company. Others are difficult to work with, or don’t pay on time.

Enter marketing.

Not simply “marketing” as you may know it. Press releases, word of mouth, in person networking.

The marketing which will help you the most is called content marketing. It means your business shares relevant, helpful information with your customers by means of “content” – videos, blog articles, social media posts, live streams, graphics, PDF guides, and more. There are hundreds of different formats you can choose from.

At BITE, we’ll be showcasing the latest and best in technology so you can be more efficient, save time, and deliver an incredible product or service to your customers.

But even with the best technology in the world, and building the best relationships, you’ll still need to use great marketing to help the right customers actually find you.

We’ve asked Andrew & Pete (of…Andrew & Pete) to come to BITE and share with you their enthusiasm, their hilarity, and their wisdom about how your business can become the obvious choice for the right customers.

Here’s Andrew & Pete now! You can meet them by video (oh look, it’s “content”) and best of all you can meet them in person when you join us at BITE.

Technology is not the next great thing: People are

Ashleigh Lambert, Xero, BITE

“I’m passionate about technology and its power to change the way we live and work.” Ashleigh Lambert, Xero

Technology does have great power. But if that’s the case, why would we ask Ashleigh to speak at our BITE event about how technology is NOT the next great thing?

After all, this event is centred on the greatness of good technology. Tech like Xero, which simplifies your accounting. Like AutoEntry, which literally saves you hours of time on bookkeeping tasks. Rocketspark, which enables you to set up an effective website within days (not months).

But what is this technology doing for us?

We look around at humanity staring at their phones, heads down, constantly tapping and sending and viewing. It’s tempting to think that we have sacrificed the personal connection for the digital one.

The truth is, technology has changed the way we live. It’s an undeniable part of life. We tend to use Google maps instead of a paper map, look up an answer online instead of asking a random stranger, and text instead of call.

Even HMRC has recognised the need for businesses to utilise digital technology in relation to their accounts. Within the next several years, instead of a yearly tax return, businesses will need to set up a digital tax account and file an online return once per quarter.

There are hundreds of stories like that of Pete and Charlotte, who own a veterinary practice. Thanks to Xero they have more time with the animals and their owners, and less stress about getting bogged down with admin and bookkeeping.

You see, technology has great power: to point us back to human relationships.

We’re coming back full circle. The old days, where “people did business with people”, aren’t really the old days at all. People still do business with people. And if you want time with your family, time with your customers, time to relax, time to invest more in your business… that’s where technology comes in.

We know the power that technology has, because we’ve experienced it at Saint for ourselves and the businesses we work with every day. Delivering the BITE event for our clients and local businesses stems from our enthusiasm for what it can do for you.

Technology was the next great thing: but now it’s settling into the background. Now we can look at what the next great thing really is: people. Humans. Connection. Relationship.

You’ll get the full story from Ashleigh when you join us at BITE.  See you there!

Do I have to be a Saint client to attend BITE 2018?


Let’s cut to the chase: Can you attend BITE 2018 even if you’re not one of our clients?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Our upcoming free business event BITE is for business owners, plain and simple.

If you run your own business in the north of England (or further afield, if you feel like travelling), you’re bound to find something you’ll love in our packed agenda.

Why should I come along?

To learn, grow, and make better business decisions.

BITE stands for Business, Innovation, Technology, and Efficiency, and we’ve designed our agenda to make sure each aspect gets the spotlight it deserves.

During the course of the day, you will:

●      Be encouraged to embrace a spirit of curiosity and growth, regardless of industry or business type.

●      Get to meet and network with like-minded business owners, the Saint & Co team, and representatives from Xero and the apps.

●      Find out how Xero sits at the heart of your business, and which apps apply specifically to your type of business.

●      Connect with the apps and tech that are perfect for you and your business.

Agenda, BITE 2018

Who’s going to be there?

On the 12th of October, Carlisle Racecourse will be all abuzz with ambitious business owners, advisors, tech experts, and a selection of smart and engaging speakers.

Your next strategic partner could be at the same table. A new client a few tables over. And with dynamic keynote speakers Ashleigh Lambert of Xero, and content marketing duo Andrew & Pete, you’re bound to learn a thing or two, too.

Where is BITE? And when?

Where: Carlisle Racecourse (Get Directions)

When: Friday 12 October 2018, 08:30 – 16:00

Save Your Seat (It’s Free!)

Around 200 businesses will be joining us on the 12th of October for BITE, and you can be there too. Learn how to save time, save money, get found by your ideal client, get paid faster, and so much more.

You’ll even get lunch – and it won’t cost you a penny.

Sound good?

Grab Your Free Ticket Now

Take a BITE out of your biggest business challenges

BITE 2018

Join us in Carlisle for a FREE one-day business event this October.

There’s no denying that technology is moving faster than ever before. You might feel like you’re the last to know about a new app, website, or software, and when you discover your competition has been using a shiny new piece of tech to gain an advantage, it can be incredibly frustrating.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can move faster too. Get in there early, be an early adopter. While it’s tempting to wait and see which new technology becomes the tried and tested standard for your industry, it’s better to get in on the ground floor and lead the way.

Our upcoming business event BITE gives you the opportunity to do just that. Explore the latest and best in tech, all of which complements and integrates with the cloud accounting software Xero. Meet the app owners, download tools onto your smartphone or tablet, and discover what’s possible for your business.

Sign up for your FREE place here, or read on to learn more about what the event has in store.

What does BITE stand for?

In every sense, BITE stands for Business, Innovation, Technology, and Efficiency.

During the course of the event, you will:

  • Get to meet and network with like-minded business owners, the Saint & Co team, and representatives from Xero and the apps.
  • Be encouraged to embrace a spirit of curiosity and growth, regardless of industry or business type.
  • Find out how Xero sits at the heart of your business, and which apps apply specifically to your type of business.
  • Connect with the apps and tech that are perfect for you and your business.

Where is BITE? And when?

Where: Carlisle Racecourse (Get Directions)

When: Friday 12 October 2018, 08:30 – 16:00

Who’s speaking?

We’re delighted to confirm that dynamic content marketing duo Andrew & Pete will be our closing keynote speakers at BITE.

Bringing huge amounts of knowledge, fun, and humour to the table, they will take a look at the four BITE elements – business, innovation, technology, and efficiency – in a manner only they can, and with a huge dollop of personality thrown in for good measure.

Can I come?


If you’re running a business in the north of England, this event is specifically for you. Take a look at the agenda below to get a feel for the day’s talks and activities.

Register for BITE 2018 (It’s Free!)

We’re anticipating that around 200 businesses will join us on the 12th of October for BITE, and we want you to be there too. You’ll learn how to save time, save money, get found by your ideal client, get paid faster, and so much more. You’ll even get lunch – and it won’t cost you a penny.

Sound good?

Register Now (Did we mention it’s free?)

“Xero – Beautiful Accounting Software to Make Life Easier” Seminar

Xero – Beautiful Accounting Software to Make Life Easier”

Join us at our FREE workshop – hot lunch included

on Tuesday, 21st March 2017

at The Auctioneer, Rosehill, Carlisle

12.30 pm – 2.30 pm

“Cloud” Accounting software is becoming more and more popular as it can be accessed from anywhere at anytime.

In addition to being able to access it from anywhere at anytime, we think Xero is simple to use, jargon free and has the added benefit of no limit on the number of users. (Plus no more update CD’s to load!)

A numbers of partners and staff at Saint & Co, have become “Xero” certified.

Why not come and watch a demo of Xero, the world’s easiest accounting software and you will see why so many people are using this.

For further details click on our flyer.

Do not miss out on booking your place as demand is likely to be high. To secure your place(s), visit to book online or complete and return the attached reply slip below no later than Wednesday 15th March 2017.



Don’t miss our last ever Pension Automatic Enrolment Workshop

Why it’s easier to deal with Auto Enrolment than you think”

Join us at our FREE Pension Automatic Enrolment Workshop

on Thursday, 2nd March at 11.30 am

at The Shepherds Inn, Rosehill, Carlisle

All employers will soon need to automatically enrol eligible staff into a workplace pension. Join us to discover what your responsibilities are, and how you can ensure everything is taken care of for compliance.

Our FREE 1½ hour workshop will guide you through the automatic enrolment process and your duties. Our qualified financial services staff will also be on hand to discuss any queries you may have.  Tea and coffee will be available on arrival and we hope you can stay after the workshop for a hot lunch.

Do not miss out on booking your place as demand is likely to be high. To secure your place(s), please visit our events page












Auto enrolment: don’t get caught out by workplace pensions

You’ll have noticed a lot of talk about changes to workplace pensions over the past few years. And you’ll also be aware that ‘auto-enrolment’ – the compulsory provision of a workplace pension for your staff – was on its way.

But what does auto-enrolment mean for you?

The big corporate-sized businesses are already meeting this auto-enrolment requirement, and most smaller UK businesses (yours included) will need to have an auto-enrolment pension scheme up and running in the very near future – your staging date can be found out here by entering your PAYE reference.

So, with time slipping away, now is the time to assess how auto-enrolment will impact on your business.

It’s by no means a simple task – setting up the right systems, admin and payroll software is a big job. And that means acting fast to avoid being caught out by workplace pensions.

Read more →

Cyber Security Event – Thursday 24th March 2016

Barclays Bank are hosting a seminar on  ‘Protecting your business online – Cyber Security’

on Thursday 24th March 2016

1.00 pm until 3.00 pm

North Lakes Hotel & Spa, Ullswater Road, Penrith Cumbria, CA11 8QT

Find out what steps you can take to protect your yourself and your business from the threat of cyber-crime.

Register for free by RSVP to: or

Free pensions automatic enrolment workshop for employers

Are you ready for pensions automatic enrolment?  Want to find out more?

Why not come along to our pensions auto enrolment workshops?

Thursday 11 February 2016

at The Auctioneer, Rosehill, Carlisle

Times: 8 am or 11 am or 4 pm

Breakfast, lunch or tea are included as appropriate

There is likely to be a high demand for this workshop so email:  today for further information and to book a place.

What is pensions auto enrolment?

Most employers probably realise by now that where they employ at least one member of staff they need to set up a workplace pension scheme and automatically enrol their eligible employees.

You may already have received notification of your staging date which will be some time from now up to 1 April 2017 for businesses in existence prior to 1 April 2012. New businesses will have later dates between 1 May 2017 and 1 February 2018.  However if you haven’t checked this you should do so immediately as you need to start planning approximately 12 months before.

Remember that there are up to ½ million employers who will all be looking to implement new pension schemes in this year and 1.8 m in the next 2 years. Demand for experienced advisers will be high, therefore the more prepared you are and the sooner you consider your options the smoother the implementation will be.

Once you know your staging date the following need to be considered:

  • The costs to your business and how you are going to fund these.
  • Whether your existing payroll software will be able to deal with auto enrolment.
  • Create an online auto enrolment account and prepare information for your employees.
  • Choose software and check records.
  • Choose a pension scheme.
  • How you will deal with the ongoing record keeping to ensure you comply with all the regulations including opt-outs and opt-ins.

The Pensions Regulator can issue penalty notices for non compliance. They have already investigated 3800 cases since commencement of auto enrolment.  Although they are meant to be taking a light touch approach there have been several businesses fined for non compliance.

Why not come along to our pensions auto enrolment workshops  where we will guide you through your duties and responsibilities.