The Olympics are all about preparation, competing and winning and that’s what our companies are doing internationally.
London has been stunning. Our city prepared, competed and won the hearts and support of everyone from athletes to politicians, across the world.
As our athletes know, having what it takes to be successful on the world stage is about putting the hard work, determination and focus in to competing.
And our companies who are exporting are doing the same and show every sign that they will continue to grow
2012 is GREAT and the success of the British Business Club proves how much of an appetite there is to get the most out of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
At the Global Business Summit on Retail, Food and Drink at Lancaster House last week, I heard from some inspiring speakers.
Rita Clifton, Chairman, Populus and former Chairman, Interbrand had some very interesting things to say about Brands. We often hear about brands in terms of logo, design etc. and not the ‘torture test’, a term Rita used to describe what you stand for as an organisation. The test in simple terms applies to any organisation, big or small, public or private sector and is about your leadership attitude.
So thinking about your brand, consider the following:
- How it shows in the way you treat people
- How it shows in your recruiting and training
- Whether it reflects people’s concerns – staff and customers
- Whether you live the brand in your leadership attitude
The UK brand and the London brand are so powerful at the moment. Because we all believe in it. We are all proud of Team GB, proud of mLondon. We know in business that reputation is everything. And that has certainly been central to the success of our firms who won Olympic contracts.
Julie Diem Le, from Zoobug, a London company who are the UK’s award-winning specialist in children’s glasses and sunglasses, described the boost that winning an Olympic contract gave to them.
As a relatively small company, winning an Olympics contract has given us an incredible boost to our reputation here and abroad and a credibility which opens doors. We are now able to present our business alongside the big players. We are already selling into 21 countries, but we have certainly seen an increase in online overseas orders off the back of the Olympics contract with orders flooding in from South America, Asia, and the US with the Team GB range being the most popular product. Working with a UKTI International Trade Adviser has been an important part of our growth, her commercial experience and hands-on approach was extremely helpful to our business. We have grown from three to eight staff and are forecasting £1.5m turnover this year, up from £500,000 last financial year.
Firms like Zoobug, like our Team GB athletes, inspire others and show them how it’s done. Of course, there are huge benefits of being associated with such a major success as London 2012. But we have to keep striving, growing and seeking more global opportunities. That’s why at UKTI London we are constantly thinking of new ways to enhance the service and support to London businesses, setting the agenda with others as we can’t do this alone. So that means working with trade associations, Chambers, the Mayor of London and anyone else who can help make this happen.
Just like our athletes, having what it takes to be successful globally is about putting in the hard work, determination and focus in to competing. The 2012 Games will give firms a ‘proud’ edge in global markets.