UK business overlooking Olympic opportunities and risks

Less than half of the large companies outside London are prepared to take advantage of the business opportunities presented by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and are unprepared for the potential risks, according to research by Deloitte.

Thirty-two per cent of the companies surveyed said they have not started planning “because they do not need to”, while the same number said they have not started and “do not intend to”.  Less than a third (28 per cent) said their plans are either on track or are ahead of schedule.

The research also reveals that more than 70 per cent of companies in cities other than London expect the Games to have virtually no impact on their ability to operate business as usual.

Even in London, more than half (60 per cent) believe the Games, which will last for a combined 29 days over a six-week period, will have minimal impact on their business.  Twenty-four per cent of London companies expect a medium level of disruption with just 16 per cent planning for a high level of impact.

Chris Loughran, London 2012 partner at Deloitte in Birmingham, said: “The responses from our survey are astonishing and suggest that many companies are underestimating the impact the Games could have on their business.  While some businesses do have business continuity plans in place, these often only address periods of short-term disruption.  Companies really do need to satisfy themselves that they’re making the right assumptions about the impact on their businesses and people during Games-time.“

Mr Loughran said a similar approach is required if businesses want to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the Olympic and Paralympic Games. According to Deloitte’s research, just over half (52 per cent) of businesses outside the capital think the Games will lead to an increase in demand for their products or services.

But, according to Mr Loughran, it won’t happen by accident. He said: “There is a real disconnect here in that many businesses are expecting to see an increase in demand for their services but are not planning or thinking about what they need to do in order to secure that extra business.  Sadly for them, their competitors are.

“Fortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case for businesses in the West Midlands with more than £461 million worth of contracts having been won by more than 200 companies from across the region, according to AWM.  A clear case of the early birds catching the worms.” 

Deloitte is the official professional services provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Through this, the firm is directly involved in the delivery of the Games, supplying ad-hoc advisory support along with more than 95 employees being seconded to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

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