I am seeing a little different statistics about Florida on other websites. But whether Florida is dead last or # 6 from the bottom it all is saying the same thing.
My numbers, 2008 really sucked but 2011 Business has been good. Networking and referrals have been very good this year. (BTW Thanks to some Lawnsite members) But not unlike you, I am well established with a reputation and a following etc. I would hate to be a Newbie because while I am seeing some business I am also seeing a lot of People out of work or trying small service business. Everything from window washing to pool cleaning etc.
Other factor to consider are Local Demographic and while Z turn and myself are in small town America I believe Lake City has even less market. Also Lake City is more like Georgia than Subtropical Florida. It doesn't have the year round growing season
McDonald's does heavy research before selling a franchise. For that reason McDonald's has a huge success rate on new store opening. My point here is if I were planing to move south, I would be heavy into researching the best area. If I had it to do over, I would be in a different town for business reasons.