Birmingham needs to get to grips with transport, image and skills, a major new report has claimed.
It follows a Birmingham Forward survey of members' views - although just 22 per cent bothered to participate.
Transport infrastructure, global reputation and image, together with improving skill levels to capitalise on the knowledge based economy, are seen as the top three factors for the continued success of Birmingham and the West Midlands.
The lobby group's board is developing an action plan in response to the survey.
It will be in two parts - first looking at the issues affecting professional service firms in the city and secondly members' views on the performance of Birmingham Forward itself.
Location was ranked as one of the most positive features of Birmingham and the ability to network and develop business opportunities.
The survey was unsurprising in its findings on the transport infrastructure - the network and congestion ranked as the most negative aspect of doing business in the city.
Meanwhile, when asked which of the actions in the Birmingham Prospectus - produced by Birmingham City Council - should be the highest priority, the most popular answer was the "redevelopment of New Street Station".
Chief executive Richard Brennan said: "Through our own transport working group as well as the West Midlands Transport Group, we are already lobbying on a number of fronts including New Street Station, the runway extension at Birmingham International Airport and road pricing. We continue to strongly support the redevelopment of New Street as the key strand of overdue improvements to the city's gateways as well as encouraging further consideration of long term capacity building for rail and other transport infrastructure."
The reputation and image of Birmingham is still seen as holding back the city and its business community.
Forward members found this issue the second most negative aspect of doing business in Birmingham.
Sorting the problems was deemed the city's second highest priority.
When asked whether Birmingham should have an elected mayor, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of participants said 'yes', with the remainder equally split between 'no' and 'don't know'.
Forward says it will now look to stage events to debate city governance and the possibility of an elected mayor, a move sure to irritate council leader Mike Whitby who is strongly against such a post.
Commenting on the findings, chairman Diane Benussi said: "Birmingham Forward maintains an open mind on the question of an elected mayor. We will provide our membership with access to the latest thinking and best practice so they can reach an informed judgment about this complex but important issue."
She went on: "The response level for this survey reflects the active interest our membership takes in both this organisation and the wider issues affecting Birmingham.
"It is encouraging that the survey shows networking among the professional community is the third best feature of doing business in Birmingham. That is testimony to both the culture of professional firms in the city and the work of Birmingham Forward in creating networking opportunities."