Thursday, August 11, 2011

Looking for the fire escape

I'm hearing it more and more often.

People who've been self-employed, or who ran micro to small size businesses are calling it quits, looking for a way out.

Two years ago, when things were bad, I'd see home improvement contractors camped out in parking lots trying to drum up business when they had no jobs that day. Now, I'm seeing fewer professional vans and trucks in Home Depot and Lowe's parking lots. I suspect the vans are parked at home. Many have likely quit the biz.

Construction trades and real estate agents have been especially hard hit. But they're not the only ones. Consider how many indy shops have vanished from local shopping centers.

I've recently talked to folks in accounting and tax law professions. I ask 'em where the bright spots are, they say they don't have any. They say people are coming to them for exit strategies.

It looks like those who thought they could ride out the hard times are coming to the realization that there's nothing on the horizon to signal a lift. But there are plenty of signs more downside is in store.

For a growing number of once-prosperous people, the mindset today seems to be get out, and do what you can to preserve what you have left.

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