43. When you leave your own country behind, and take your army across neighboring territory, you find yourself on critical ground. When there are means of communication on all four sides, the ground is one of intersecting highways.

去國越境而師者絶地也四達者衢地也

Sun Tzu

When an army leaves its own country and enters neighboring territory, it is on “critical ground,” meaning that it is vulnerable to attack from multiple directions. This is because the army is no longer protected by its own borders and is instead operating in unfamiliar territory.

Additionally, if there are “means of communication on all four sides,” or if the area is crisscrossed by highways or other transportation routes, it becomes even more critical. This is because the enemy can easily move troops and supplies to attack the invading army from multiple directions. Therefore, Sun Tzu advises that armies should be cautious and strategic when operating on critical ground, as it requires a high level of coordination and logistical planning to successfully defend against potential attacks.

When you leave your own market and enter a new one, you find yourself in a precarious position. When there are multiple competitors or ways to access the market, the situation becomes even more complex and challenging.

Entering a new market or industry can be a risky and daunting task for any business. It is important to carefully consider the potential risks and rewards before making the decision to expand.

One of the primary challenges of entering a new market is the lack of familiarity and understanding of the local industry and competition. When operating in your own market or industry, you have likely spent a significant amount of time developing relationships, understanding the local business landscape, and establishing your brand. However, when entering a new market, you may be starting from scratch and will need to invest time and resources into building these relationships and understanding the local dynamics.

Additionally, you may face competition from well-established local players who have a strong understanding of the market and a loyal customer base. This can make it difficult for a new entrant to gain a foothold in the market and can require a significant amount of time and resources to compete effectively.

Furthermore, when there are multiple ways to access the market, such as through distribution channels or online platforms, the situation becomes even more complex and challenging. This is because you may face competition from a wider range of players, making it difficult to differentiate your business and stand out in the crowded market.

Overall, entering a new market or industry requires careful consideration and strategic planning. It is important to thoroughly research the local market and competition, identify your unique value proposition, and develop a clear plan for how you will differentiate your business and succeed in the new market.