21 October 2004 | Mark Whitehead
Motivating employees was among the top management priorities identified by football club boss Karren Brady in the closing speech of the conference.
In a round up of her achievements as managing director of Birmingham City Football Club, turning it from a loss-making shambles into a successful business, Brady focused on the need to involve staff fully.
"The most important part of any business is the staff," she said. "But they need to know the individual contribution they make.
"Everybody in the company has to do all that is necessary to make it a success. You have to make sure you know what's wrong with your business before your competitor does, and you need the staff to help with that."
Last year Birmingham City made a £3.6 million profit and has spawned associated businesses ranging from a "Blues" (the club's nickname) credit card to a funeral service.
Asked for her view on the importance of purchasing in business, Brady told SM: "With companies growing so quickly, it's important to buy the right products at the right price and at the right time. It's more important than most businesses realise" (see Features
, 7 October).