Dave, welcome back to the forum. I am much more optimistic and upbeat than my colleague David is! I would suggest to you that if you are truly passionate about outdoor lighting, lighting design, etc then I say go for it. I honestly believe that once you have found your true calling, that which you are meant to do, then sucess will follow. Do what you love! There is no need to spend anywhere near 30-40% of revenues on marketing to get a small lighting business off the ground. I don't care where your are operating. Find the hole in your market and fill it! Even if there are 5 other stand alone lighting businesses in your area I assure you there is a niche that is not being properly served. Think about your services as an art form, and a means of expressing your individual flair and you will find fans and clients. No one can take that away from you, it is yours and yours alone. Anyone can sell and install a bunch of fixtures and create light, but only you can have the vision to create a work of art on your client's canvass. If you love it, then build it.... and they will come.