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Enemy Mine

Learning to live with the competitors you love to hate

By Michael D. Alter

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Thinking about the war with Iraq got Michael D. Alter, seniorvice president and founding member of SurePayroll inSkokie, Illinois, pondering the business lessons of conflict:

Do we need enemies in business? My company, SurePayroll,competes with ADP and Paychex, the No. 1 and No. 2 payrollcompanies in the country. SurePayroll is No. 6, having gotten thereby driving in ADP and Paychex's blind spot: We caterexclusively to small businesses. ADP and Paychex probably don'tthink about SurePayroll too often, but I think about them all thetime. Having an enemy motivates me. Our screen saver shows David(SurePayroll) using a slingshot to knock out two Goliaths (ADP andPaychex).

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