"I think the economy is staying about the same, which is not necessarily a good thing, but it could be worse. I have the privilege and fortune of speaking with business owners every day -- and the threat that comes to mind is an evolving business world.
"I've found that business owners fall into one of two camps. The first are those that have recognized how business has changed over the past few years -- globalization, managing employees, technology, and how to sell. And they have adapted their businesses to not only cope, but to take advantage of these changes. This group is growing by double-digit percentages year-over-year. Unfortunately, this group makes up the minority.
"The second group are those businesses that have not recognized how the world has changed and/or have not adapted. They're facing declining revenue, which has a disastrous effect on margins. In addition, as business valuation has fallen (based on multiples of revenue), these businesses are either dying a slow death or are getting acquired by those companies in the former group for far less than they would have sold for five or six years ago. For many of those business owners in their 50s and 60s, this has made retirement impossible."