21. Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with food.

掠於饒野三軍足食

Sun Tzu

It is important for an army to have a reliable source of food in order to sustain itself during military campaigns. To achieve this, Sun Tzu advises making forays (raids or incursions) into fertile areas where there is an abundance of food, in order to secure a supply for the army. This strategy is intended to help ensure that the army has the resources it needs to continue fighting, rather than being forced to rely on the limited resources of a barren or inhospitable region.

Target the most profitable and easily obtainable products and services in a new market in order to fund expansion within that market.

In other words, it is important to focus on the opportunities that are most easily accessible and likely to generate the greatest returns. These might be considered the “low hanging fruit” of the market, as they require minimal effort and risk to pursue, yet can yield significant rewards. By targeting these opportunities first, a business can quickly and efficiently build up its resources and gain a foothold in the market, positioning itself for further expansion.

This approach aligns with the idea that it is often more effective to focus on small, achievable goals at the outset, rather than trying to tackle too much at once. By building momentum and achieving quick wins, a business can establish a solid foundation and gain the confidence and resources it needs to pursue more ambitious goals later on. By contrast, if a business tries to take on too much at once, it may spread itself too thin and struggle to make progress, ultimately hindering its growth and expansion.