9. Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed-in ground.

所由入者隘所從歸者迂彼寡可以擊吾之衆者爲圍地

Sun Tzu

Locations that are difficult to access or retreat from due to its geography or other factors is hemmed-in ground. Essentially, Sun Tzu is warning that if a military force finds itself in a position where it is surrounded by narrow gorges or can only retreat through winding, difficult paths, it is at a disadvantage because it would be easy for a small number of the enemy to defeat them. In this situation, the military force is “hemmed-in” and has limited options for escape or maneuver.

A market that has little opportunity for growth, is difficult to exit, and has no barrier to entry: this is hemmed-in ground.

Hemmed-in ground is a a market that presents significant challenges for businesses due to its lack of growth potential, difficulty to exit, and low barriers to entry. In this type of market, businesses may have very few options available to them in terms of expanding or improving their position, as they are limited by the constraints of the market and the presence of numerous competitors. Companies operating in hemmed-in ground may need to find creative ways to adapt or overcome these limitations in order to succeed.

In this type of market, it can be difficult for a company to expand or improve its position due to the limited potential for growth. The low barriers to entry also mean that new competitors can easily enter the market, increasing competition and making it harder for the company to stand out.

Additionally, the fact that the market is difficult to exit adds to the challenges faced by the company. If the company is struggling and wants to try a different strategy or shift to a different market, it may be difficult to do so due to the constraints of the market.

Overall, a market with these characteristics can be challenging for businesses to operate in, and companies may need to be resourceful and find ways to adapt or overcome these limitations in order to succeed.