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Speaking of Nets . . .

Franchise research often means a tough hike on the paper trail. The Internet may change all that.

This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Enter the word "franchise" or "business opportunity" into any of the competent search engines on the Internet, and you may feel a bit like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. A Google search kicks up 2,250,000 franchise listings; Yahoo! nearly 3 million. Head down any of these pathways, and you'll quickly find yourself browsing through dozens of sites extolling the virtues of various franchise and business opportunities, touting association membership benefits, and describing individual franchise and business opportunity investment benefits.

The Internet is an essential tool in the search for the right franchise or business opportunity. It has strengths and weaknesses, of course, but you can't afford to overlook it. Its greatest strength is that it gives you the ability to browse for ideas and prospects. If you have leads you want to check out, or if you're curious about a particular franchise, a quick search will provide at least brochure-level information about the program.

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