Before we examine the franchise and existing business opportunities, let's look briefly at a few of the challenges facing the entrepreneur who starts from scratch. High on his/her list of priorities should be location, advertising and marketing and financing. These three areas require time, money and expert planning. Most entrepreneurs starting a business have little expertise in these three areas. They choose the wrong location, spend, too little or too much on the wrong kind of advertising, and have insufficient capital to carry their business through the critical start-up period. This is why many of that 91 percent of start-ups fail within the first two years of business. The solid, well conceived franchise opportunity supports the franchisee in at least two of the above mentioned areas. Most have a regional operations manager who assists with site selection, using market studies on traffic counts, and patterns, zoning and demographics to find the optimum location. The franchisor will employ a professional advertising and marketing staff to provide proven promotional materials, sales and marketing techniques. In the area of financing, the franchisor may even offer help to the prospective franchisee. Many will go out of their way to assist you in getting the financing you need. Some may lend you the entire amount, with payments coming out of the income from the franchise operation. Others will carry part of the financing and find you a lender to finance the balance. Although franchising has enjoyed exceptional growth, and the failure rate is less than 10 percent, many who dream of owning their own business reject the restrictions and limitations often imposed on them by (be franchisor. This brings us to the third category: the successful existing business. The three problems we have been discussing — location, advertising and marketing and financing — have been addressed and solved by the present owner. The purchaser of a business in this category knows beforehand that the product or service has been proven in the present location. He knows, also that the advertising and marketing strategy has proven successful. Finally, because majority of the existing businesses sold are seller financed, and because they have a positive cash flow, the buyer will need little more than a down payment. In conclusion, remember there are risks in any business venture. The bankruptcy courts are full of those who tried and failed. Owning and operating your own business takes many hours of hard work. There islittle time for family, friend and vacations. There is little security and no guarantee of success. However, for many there is noother way. Owning your own business is still the American Dream!