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How the Olympics can affect your small business in London

21th December 2011
A number of businesses in previous host cities of the Olympic Games such as Sydney, Beijin and Vancouver admitted they underestimated the impact the games would have on consumer demand for their products and services.

This insight, combined with the strain on business operations throughout the 2012 London Olympic Games, means small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in and around the London area are beginning to assess the bearing the games will have on their business.

In a recent survey from Deloitte & London 2012, it was revealed 95 per cent of London businesses surveyed said they intend to assess the impact of the 2012 Games, although 53 per cent are yet to begin their investigations.

The London 2012 Olympics is set to be one of the largest sporting events in history and as a result, small businesses who rent commercial property in London should consider the potential for cashing in and boosting sales against a slow economy.

Over half-a-million visitors are expected to these shores during the games, with financial experts predicting consumer spending to rise by as much as £750 million in the coming months.

As a result business-to-business (b2b) companies have had the opportunity to provide goods and services to bodies involved in the Olympics project.

Over £6 billion worth of contracts have been issued to businesses in the UK for the games, with 70 per cent said to make up SMEs.

Nevertheless, small firms are also being encouraged to draw up plans to prepare for the impact the games will have on employees and customers. The games will present challenges to businesses in London and as a result many SMEs may be required to do certain things differently to ensure their business operates as close to normal as possible.

Congestion and temporary changes to local transport and parking restrictions could affect businesses, their staff, important deliveries and access for customers and visitors. Subsequently SMEs should consider creating guidelines for the following well in advance of next summer:
  • Alterations to business working hours
  • Staff transport to and from work
  • Remote working opportunities
  • Offering alternatives to face-to-face store visits for customers
  • Customer access to premises
  • Receiving supplies and deliveries
Most important of all, small businesses should readily test their solutions to the congestion and be prepared to embrace the alterations to operate as smoothly as possible throughout the 2012 Games.

More commercial property advice for SMEs

Four popular areas to let commercial property in the UK
Tips renting a commercial property
The importance of commercial property insurance
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