Intuit put up a flow chart documenting the best (and worst) small business opportunities, and some of them may be surprising to you.
Good small businesses include pilates and yoga studios and accessory stores while bad choices range between movie rental franchises, music stories, and bookstores. Surprisingly, electronics (computers, etc.) aren't doing well either.
If you plan on opening a small business (or going to work for a small business franchise) consider some of the "good" options. Try working in your dream industry for a while (maybe even take a part time job to pay your tuition bills).
Accomplished small business owners and entrepreneurs fail before they ever become successful. In the same way, good salespeople know that they have to get a certain number of "Nos" before they will make a sale. This also translates to the entrepreneur who wants to convince a banker or venture capitalist to invest in his or her business. So if you are planning on going into business just know failure is a part of your success.
While some of these small businesses (successful or unsuccessful) are fairly predictable, are there small businesses they left out? What kind of small business would you like to open?