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The Burning Questions

Before deciding on a kiosk, be sure you've answered three essential questions.

This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Start Up.

A flip of the coin, a shake of the Magic 8 Ball, the fortune in the cookie-if only these could decisively tell you whether buying a kiosk is the right move. Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy. So if you're looking for a kiosk, it's up to you to do the digging, the soulsearching, to ask the tough questions that determine whether this is the right opportunity for you.

Kiosks generally work well for start-up entrepreneurs who want to test a product in a shopping center, says Sam Hosn, general manager for the Town Center, a shopping mall in Boca Raton, Florida. "They get the benefit from the high traffic, and the investment is generally much lower," Hosn explains. "In fact, kiosks generally work better for small-business owners who are just starting out than they do for large chains."

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