48. On open ground, I would keep a vigilant eye on my defenses. On ground of intersecting highways, I would consolidate my alliances.

交地吾將謹其守衢地吾將固其結

Sun Tzu

“On open ground” refers to a battlefield with few natural features or obstacles, such as a plain or a field. In this type of terrain, Sun Tzu advises keeping a vigilant eye on one’s defenses, suggesting that it is important to be prepared and ready to defend against attacks from any direction.

Ground of intersecting highways, which refers to ground that forms the key to three contiguous states and allows the occupant to have control over much of the empire, is a battlefield with many routes or paths, such as a crossroads. In this type of terrain, Sun Tzu advises consolidating alliances, suggesting that it is important to have strong allies and to work together in order to be successful.

On open ground, a business should keep a vigilant eye on their defenses. On ground of intersecting highways, they should consolidate their alliances.

In a market with low barriers to entry (i.e., open ground), competition is likely to be fierce and businesses must be vigilant in protecting their market position. This may involve investing in marketing and advertising to differentiate their products or services, building strong relationships with customers, and developing effective strategies to fend off potential competitors.

On the other hand, in a market that serves as a gateway to other markets and offers an advantage to the business that controls it (i.e., ground of intersecting highways), the focus should be on consolidating alliances and building partnerships. This may involve forming strategic partnerships with other businesses, collaborating with industry partners, or seeking out opportunities to merge or acquire other companies in order to strengthen the business’s market position.