In a video released this month, traders at Manchester Christmas Markets have shared some key business lessons for trading in a competitive marketplace.

Generating £2m in income for the local economy last year, the much-loved German Markets offer great potential to the small businesses that trade there. But with over 300 stalls packed into the city, competition is rife.

Three market traders from this year’s festivities were interviewed for the video released by Aldermore Bank, which showcases how other businesses can learn from trading in a crowded environment.

Those interviewed include small business pioneers Graham Kirkham from Mrs Kirkham’s Cheese, Ken Jackson from Timber Treasures and Phil Fowler from vinyl coaster creators, Popsters.

Lessons imparted by the traders included the importance of making your business unique, developing your product range and listening to what the customer wants.

Contributor Graham Kirkham, from Garstang-based cheesemaker Mrs Kirkham’s, commented:
“Bigger businesses can learn [from us] and I know it means coming out and being on the street, but it’s important to listen to the customers. Listen to the public. Listen to what your customers are telling you, time and time again.”

The video shows just how much can be learnt from trading in a customer-facing environment. Market traders – and even larger businesses – can ensure their new year gets off to a great start by embracing seasonal trade to boost profits.

By grasping these tips on how to stand out from the crowd, rise above the competition and harness customer feedback, businesses of any size can prosper.

Another successful year

The Manchester Christmas Markets are enjoying another successful year, with an estimated half a million visitors in the first week of trading. This year is the 16th year that revellers have flocked to the markets for mouth-watering hog roasts, traditional German bratwurst, sundries, clothing and accessories and Christmas crafts.

For more information visit the Aldermore Bank blog.