"Good luck to everyone in an unforgiving economy," Chris Johnson (6-01-09). Optimism and denial was my usual response for: how's business? So, I went back and read between the lines. Let's face it, if we are to survive and experience growth, we need to face actual market conditions and actual market trends. I e-mailed my manu's rep requesting specific regional and/or national market data to help me plan my business and create a new model, but I got no data, no summary. Just, "Great!" The first week of January, 2006, Lawnsite's Landscape Lighting forum only contained two threads about Christmas Lighting. I sampled the first week of each January, and the first week of June, counting a sample of posts/replies for '07, '08, '09, '10, and '11. (E-mail me if you want more technical info on how I collected this, it gets tricky with post & reply dates). For '07, my sampling found 292 posts & replies, 75 on installations, service, product specs, and 117 on other topics, such as business, technology, resources, and general discussions. 2008: The busiest for participation at 387 posts/replies. 205 for specific or actual installations/service, and 182 on other topics. (This only includes up to the first week of June.) Summer 2008: banking and real estate crisis. 2009 Jan/June sampling: 32 posts/replies for installations, service, specifying products, and 33 for other topics. From a post: seagul files for chapter 11 bankruptcy 12-27-2009.... it's a reminder about staying lean until the storm passes. Conserve cash, stick with the basics. __________________ Alan 2010 (same time), 35 posts replies regarding actual installations/service, and 20 for all other topics. This year, for the first week of January, 2011, there were no discussions on actual lighting installations or particular service work. 18 posts replies on other topics. Use this information as you wish. I would appreciate any additional info about new trends or successful ideas in lighting or landscaping, as I am planning on re-entering this business. "Good things come to those who wait." is one of those timeless sayings. It must be repeated so often because it is true don't you think? (James, 1/01/2008).