A number of successful hospitality operators will take part in the City of Sydney’s free Business 101 seminar series this year, including Black Star Pastry’s Christopher The.

The will discuss the challenges of supply and demand, particularly in relation to Black Star’s strawberry and melon cake, up to 4,000 slices of which are sold each day across the business’ three Sydney outlets.

“I couldn’t meet the demand and I was disappointing customers,” he said. “I had the product, but behind the scenes it was a shambles. There were many sleepless nights just wondering if the business would survive,” he said.

“I always thought that if you were passionate and had a great product that was all you needed to succeed in business, but that’s just not true. There’s a whole lot of skills you need to run a sustainable business that continues to grow.

“Profit is the reality of any business, and for that you need to learn about accounting, you need strong leadership and management skills. A little bit of learning can save you years in the wilderness, or even bankruptcy,” The added.

He’ll be joined by The Grounds of Alexandria’s co-owner, Jack Hanna, Mary’s Burgers’ director Jacob Smyth and other business professionals as presenters in the Business 101 series.

Ten free seminars will run from March to November, covering tops such as the basics of setting up a small business, practical advice on common issues new businesses face and tips on how to market a business online.

The seminars will be held at Customs House from 6.30pm–8.30pm. The sessions are:

  • So you want to start, grow or rebrand your business? – 9 March
  • Consuming passions – starting a creative business – 12 April
  • Plug in your tech start-up – 9 May
  • Not your average small business – 15 June
  • Cult following – your brand, your business – 1 July
  • Bringing in the music – 10 August
  • Growing pains – avoiding the pitfalls of your own success – 7 September
  • The rocky road less travelled – new takes on traditional businesses – 5 October
  • Going against the grain – new business concepts – 2 November
  • Late starters – keeping the doors open for night-time trade – 30 November

For more information, click here.

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