By Daniel Hunter

UK companies are failing to prepare for the major disruption this year’s Olympics could cause, new research has shown.

Almost 90% of small to medium-sized businesses admitted they had done little to plan for the predicted upheaval the six week-long tournament will create for customers and staff.

Those questioned said that whilst they were aware that businesses were being advised to get ready for the impact, they had not given any serious thought as to how they would cope with late-running transport, supplier delays due to transport restrictions and possible workplace restrictions for those businesses close to the sporting venues.

The survey was carried out by network support company Lifeline IT, as part of an initiative to raise awareness with its clients and offer them guidance on how to ensure they are best prepared for the games.

Lifeline IT questioned companies from sectors including retail, property and finance to establish what preparations they had made, including whether home and remote working has been organised and how they would cope with delivery disruption or emergency system failures.

Around 10 million tickets have been sold for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which run from July 27th to September 9th and involve 37 venues, predominantly around London, attracting over 200 countries.

As part of the preparations for the event, the Olympics’ organising committee has encouraged companies to plan in advance for any adverse impact the games may have on businesses.

Following the results of its survey, Lifeline IT is now advising clients on key procedures they need to put in place to ensure business operations can still function during the event.

Said Lifeline IT founder and director Adam Woolf: “The Olympics is a fantastic opportunity for business, but at the same time it also presents some logistical challenges. Effective planning now will save problems in the long run — simple things such as checking staff have the network infrastructure to work from home or making sure major IT systems works are carried out in advance of the games will be hugely beneficial.”

Added Amanda Mitchell, founder of My Travel Surprise, an on-line children’s travel games retailer and one of Lifeline IT’s clients: “As an internet retail business, it’s vital that our customers’ orders are delivered on time. Lifeline’s advice has been invaluable in helping us prepare for this crucial time — it’s also encouraged us to communicate with our own customers so they’re up to speed with what’s happening this summer.”

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