3 Ways to Build the Perfect Business

When a military tank designer sits down to design the ultimate weapon, she aims for the best combination of:

1. Firepower

2. Mobility

3. Armour

To get that balance right is to discover the Holy Grail.

The little French-made FT pictured above changed warfare forever, not because it was the first tank -- far from it -- but because it was the the right blend for the conditions of the frontline in France in 1918. It helped break the stalemate of the Western Front, which huge lumbering British tanks had been unable to do for 18 months prior.

I argue your business should ideally balance those same three ingredients, too.

But first you need to understand what sort of firepower you need (is it design, is it sales, is it marketing?), what sort of terrain you're operating in (so you can best adjust to local market characteristics), and who your real competitors are (and what angle are they attacking you from - price, reliability, service, etc?) so you can defend your existing turf.

Then, and only then, are you ready to go to war and win.