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Calling All Entrepreneurs

One of the landmarks of the 21st century is the spread of the Internet into every area of business-and franchising is no exception. The best part for aspiring techies: You don't have to come up with a completely new Internet concept to make your fortune. A growing number of Internet franchisors have created innovative businesses on the Web that are ready for you to tap into.

It's the especially low overhead of these concepts that has the franchise world buzzing, according to Jerry Wilkerson, president of Franchise Recruiters Ltd., a franchise-executive management firm in Chicago. Businesses and consumers will need all types of Web services-from getting onto the Web and setting up sites to tracking customers online and surveying. "One of the big businesses-for franchising and any other business-will be surveying employees and tracking customers," says Wilkerson. "Tracking companies that [gather information] from restaurants and hotels and [provide] immediate responses from patrons are going to be large in the near future."

Internet franchises that fill a specific niche are on the rise as well. Zaio.com, an Internet franchise that specializes in putting digital photos of community structures online, has tapped into one of those niche markets.

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