Students in a cafeForget the myths, students are big spenders and are keen to discover new places in Manchester.

There are significant opportunities for a range of SMEs, which have largely remained untapped. There are now close to 100,000 full-time students across Manchester spending over £800 million every year within the local economy.

How many of them are coming through your door? More importantly, how much of their money is ringing your tills? If you have no idea, or want to capitalise on this fruitful market, there is a real opportunity for many SMEs to grow their customer base by tapping into the student market.

Now you may be thinking that your business has little relevance to students. It is important to recognise that students are not a homogenous group. Like any other sector of society, there are a whole range of cultures, nationalities, ages and interests at play. And like the bigger companies, SMEs need to remember that students soon become young professionals.

Students make up the majority of the lucrative 16-25 consumer market.  Larger organisations, from banks to airlines, have long realised the benefits of investing in and marketing to students. Recruiting students as customers pays off many times over in the form of brand loyalty. It’s time for SMEs to take the lead, and there’s no better place than in Manchester.

Not only is Manchester the largest student city in the UK, it is a fantastic place to live and work. That’s why 68% of graduates choose to stay. The students of today could also be your customers of tomorrow.

The good news is that it’s not that hard to attract students to your business. Often a small discount can be enough, with 94% of students we spoke to saying a discount would encourage them to spend. Sounds easy enough.

But how do you get your message to them? Freshers’ Fairs, student publications and flyering are costly, wasteful and prohibitive for many local SMEs. They are also largely ineffective. Today’s tech- savvy students increasingly go online to find local goods and services. Of course they are also actively looking to spend money. If they then come across your business, there’s an 8-in-10 chance they will either call or visit. Whether you like it or not, the Internet is where you must promote your business to remain competitive.

By far the easiest and most cost-effective way to reach students today is with Think of it as a phone directory for students brought into the 21st century. More than giving your business a strong online presence, offers the complete package to grow your business.

Listings on the website start from as little as £99pa. Head over to or call 0161 921 8167 to start growing your business today.

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