Business Lessons from Manchester Christmas Markets

POSTED: 8th December 2014
IN: Guides

This year the markets are bigger and better than ever before after returning with more than 300 market stalls and two brand new locations, Cathedral Gardens and Market Street.

undefinedManchester’s beloved Christmas markets have returned, and after celebrating an impressive opening week that saw half a million visitors flock to the city centre, it’s clear that the festive season is well underway.

The annual celebration is a great way for small businesses to benefit from a boost in their profits while also collectively generating tens of millions of pounds for the economy.

But with so much competition and so many consumers from across the UK and elsewhere in the world, it’s important for traders to go the extra mile to impress.

In a location where so many businesses are battling it out to win over customers’ affections, we decided that this would be the perfect place to learn some worthwhile business lessons. With demand high for a place in the markets, it’s no wonder that these successful traders want to make the most of their stall while they can, collectively working approximately 122,100 hours over the course of 37 days.

To find out more about what it takes, we spoke to Popsters, a unique and environmentally friendly business that has been transforming old records into wall clocks and coasters since 1999. Boasting an impressive list of celebrity customers, including Alice Cooper, The Smiths and John-Cooper-Clarke, Popsters has come on leaps and bounds since its owner, Phil, first began recycling records over 15 years ago.

We also paid Mrs Kirkham’s Cheese a visit in Albert Square. A favourite with chefs and cheese connoisseurs, the family business has come a long way since Ruth and John Kirkham first began producing cheese three decades ago. We spoke to their son, Graham, who joined the business in 1993 and has worked tirelessly to build the brand by embracing regular markets and events across the country.

Lined with an abundance of handcrafted wooden gifts, the Timber Treasures chalet is a familiar sight for yearly visitors to the Christmas Markets. Now in their sixth year at the markets, the Southern-based trader of quality wooden items was only too happy to share a few precious business lessons with us.

Take a look at our Vines below for a taster of the traders’ valuable business advice, and keep your eyes peeled for more coming later in the week. If you have some business lessons of your own to share with SMEs and larger enterprises, you can reach us on Twitter using our handle @AldermoreBank.

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