UK business overlooking Olympic opportunities and risks


More than half of large companies outside London are not geared up to take advantage of the business opportunities arising from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and are unprepared for the potential risks, according to new research from Deloitte.

Thirty-two per cent of those 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 revealed that more than 70 per cent of companies in non-London cities 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.

Richard Knights, London 2012 partner at Deloitte in Cambridge, said: “The responses from our survey suggest that many companies are either underestimating the impact the Games will have on their business or they haven’t conducted accurate assessments. Most businesses will have business continuity plans in place, but they will typically plan for short-term disruption. Complacency around planning assumptions could have repercussions at Games-time.

“Businesses need to go back to their strategic and tactical plans to reassess if they have robust plans in place and that where necessary, they have been tested.”

A similar approach is required if businesses want to take advantage of the potential 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.

Mr Knights said: “There is a 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. They should recognise that their competitors will be, and in some cases already are planning for this upturn. Relying on an assumption that demand will increase automatically could leave them out in the cold come 2012.”


The Deloitte Cambridge office comprises 8 Partners and over 250 staff who deliver a full range of professional services to the East Anglian region. As well as focussing on the life sciences and technology sectors for which the region has become so renowned, the office has long standing specialisms in other sectors including the professions, consumer business, food and agribusiness.

Deloitte LLP