I applaud your comments about frienemies because you make two good points: businesses that appear to be competitors may not turn out to be competitors. For example, all attorneys aren't competitors because they concentrate in different areas of the law. Thus, attorneys (who appear to be competitors) can serve as good referrals to each other for clients seeking different areas of expertise. Second, as Ovid said: "A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace." Even if you identify another business as a competitor, this only serves to make you better if you want to succeed. And you may be able to complement each other by working together to provide better service for customers. For example, a printer in one local town formed a loose partnership (really more of a referral service since no revenue was shared) with a printer in a neighboring town where customers wanting one type of printing service were steered to one printer while those seeking another type of service were directed to the other printer; each printer benefited from the arrangement. These competitors helped each other do more business.