SUCCESSFUL YEAR: Julie Dickson, owner of the Black Sombrero restaurant in Lismore.
SUCCESSFUL YEAR: Julie Dickson, owner of the Black Sombrero restaurant in Lismore. Doug Eaton

Black Sombrero tips hat to business awards

TAKING out the award for Best New Business at last year's Lismore Business Excellence Awards gave Black Sombrero "incredibly valuable exposure", owner Julie Dickson said.

"We were only five months old at the time, and I'm confident that it increased word of mouth and awareness of the business," she said.

"It was also a powerful morale booster for the team who had worked so hard to get Black Sombrero open."

The Mexican restaurant opened in Keen St, Lismore, in January 2014 and has since attracted big crowds.

Ms Dickson said even filing a submission for the awards could help business owners review and refine their business strategy.

"The process of completing the submission, (and) the questions asked in the process, force you to hone your thinking on your business strategy and planning," she said.

Although submissions for this year's awards have closed, organisers are urging business owners and professionals to buy tickets and see what the evening is all about.

The awards night is also touted as a great networking opportunity.

As the owner of one of Lismore's newer business, Ms Dickson said one of her biggest pieces of advice to new business owners would be to harness the knowledge of the local business community.

"We have such a strong collection of business people here in Lismore, all of whom have learnt from experience and hard knocks," Ms Dickson said.

"So don't be afraid to ask for advice over a coffee from people who you see as mentor-material, and likewise don't be afraid to offer help."



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