7 of the Most Creepiest Business Ideas

Most entrepreneurs agree that it is much easier to start a business around something you are passionate about. But, what if your passions tend to gravitate to the darker side of life (or death)? In the spirit of Halloween, here are seven of the most creepiest business ideas that people have turned into real thriving businesses:

Creepy business ideas1. Ghost hunting. Ever since the popular Syfy series Ghost Hunters debuted ten years ago, ghost hunting has attracted the attention of a host of would be amateurs looking for a thrilling hobby, or at least a good scare. If this piques your interest, keep in mind that the life and work of a real ghost hunter isn’t always so exciting. Ghost hunters are actually specialized paranormal researchers or “parapsychologists” who focus on locating and discovering the reasons spirits or energies exist. Parapsychology in general is a real field of study that can even be found in some universities. It involves the investigation of a whole range of paranormal and psychic phenomena, such as telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation, and apparitional experiences.

2. Crime scene cleanup. Movies and tv shows tend to dramatize the blood and gore left after a fatal or near fatal crime. But some real life crime scenes can get pretty gruesome, and that brings up the question: who comes to clean up the mess? This is where the CTS (crime and trauma scene) Decontamination company comes in. A CTS Decon Technician has to gets to clean up the bio-hazards like splattered blood and body parts as well as any dangerous chemicals that are left at the scene of a crime. If regular exposure to blood and dead bodies floats your boat combined with the “excitement” of seeing various crime scenes, then this may be the business for you.

3. Funeral home. Speaking of dead bodies, why not start your own funeral home? This creepy business involves the care of the dead along with their living relatives every single day. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be a licensed funeral director and have to graduate from mortuary school (which is generally focused on math and science) in order to get into this line of work. While the funeral home business may be hard to break into, there is certainly space for some niche market ideas, like giving the whole funeral experience a modern, artsy make-over.

4. Internet screening company. Perhaps you feel your calling is dealing with the dark side of human nature. In that case, why not start an Internet screening company? Lately, demand for content moderators or “screeners” has been sky rocketing- particularly among web sites built around user submitted content. Your company’s job is to flag material that is obviously pornographic or violent, illegal in a certain country, or considered inappropriate by a specific web site or company. There is plenty of smut and downright disturbing content out there to keep you and your employees busy. Just make sure you also hire a good psychologist. Recently, the internet giant Google got some unflattering attention when it was revealed that they hire contractual workers in-house for one year to do the dirty work and don’t even provide them with counseling.

5. Creepy art. Have some real artistic ability? You can combine it with your penchant for creepiness and sell your works of art to other lovers of the dark and bizarre. For inspiration, here is a collection of creepy illustrations and sculptures. There is even a demand for creepy catering. You find some great and vivid examples here and here.

6. Pest control. Maybe you like dealing with creepy crawlers instead. As long as snakes, scorpions, rats, and all kinds of bugs exist, there will always be a demand for quality pest control. And, hey, you may get lucky and get called to handle a massive bat or spider infestation.

7. Mannequin repair and renovation. Mannequins are just plain creepy- second only to those museum wax figures. Let’s be honest. Have you ever looked at a mannequin in a store window and felt sure it would move and then just as sure that if it did move, you would totally lose it and run? If the thought of working with life size plastic body parts is your cup of tea, then why not start a mannequin repair and rennovation business?

Are you running a creepy business not mentioned on this list? Let us know your creepy business ideas in the comments below.

What Do Small Business Owners Fear the Most?

Small Business Fears

Wondering what keeps small business owners up at night? Conventional wisdom aside, things like recent government legislation, time management, and Internet marketing are all important concerns, but they’re not giving the majority of small business owners the jitters. The following eight things are the real ghosts and goblins of running a small business. How many can you identify with?

Getting and keeping customers

If few people or businesses come to buy your products or services, you won’t be in business very long. On the other hand, if you are constantly bending over backwards to please the customers you already have in the fear that they’ll defect to another company, you can easily exhaust vital energy and resources, hinder growth, and have little to show for it. Instead, focus on targeting your ideal, best paying customers and on building your brand with quality products and services.

Weak sales

Following on the heels of the point above, a sales slowdown can bring a good business to a screeching halt. Part of what makes poor sales so scary is that it can come from a number of unexpected occurrences, such as an economic downturn, bad weather, a natural disaster, or a sudden shift in consumer trends. The best way to cope with this fear is to have an “emergency” plan in place for dealing for the most likely scenarios. Depending on your business, this could include setting up an emergency fund and having multiple sources of income.

Not having access to credit or capital

Even if you belong to the bootstrapping camp, to sustain healthy business operations and growth, you will likely need access to some kind of outside credit or capital along the way. You don’t want to pass up on an opportunity to buy inventory in bulk at a great discount, or be unable to cover a sudden cash short fall, or put off buying the equipment, hiring the workers, or making the renovations that will increase your sales. While getting access to financing through traditional means, such as via your local bank, is extremely hard for small business owners these days, there are other alternative financing options out there, such as business cash advances, invoice factoring, micro loans, and even peer-to-peer lending. Just make sure you do some research before settling on the product that makes the most sense for your business.

Not being able to pay the bills

Many small business owners are so focused on increasing sales and ultimately their bottom line, that they don’t pay enough attention to their cash flow. This can cause a lot of operational issues, not to mention a huge load of stress and anxiety for the small business owner. The most important thing that small business owners can do is to create and monitor a weekly or monthly cash flow statement. Most accounting programs will do this automatically. Even business owners who are relying on Excel to keep track of transactions, can download a simple cash flow statement template. They are many kinds available online for free.

Loosing key employees

A small business’ employees can often be one of its biggest assets. After all, think about all the time, energy, and money that goes into recruiting, hiring, and training these people, not to mention compensating them for their work. One of the biggest fears that small business owners have is loosing their key employees to their competitors- especially those that have the size and the resources to offer better compensation and more opportunities for education and advancement. While this is certainly a real concern for many small businesses, business owners should focus on the positives that they offer aside from compensation, such as their unique work environment, more intimate setting, and perhaps the ability of employees to have more of an impact on business decision making than they would in a bigger business.

Not keeping up with the competition

Many businesses these days are being overwhelmed by their competition- whether their competitors are big brands that can slash prices and conduct flashy and pervasive marketing campaigns, or they are small, scrappy companies with a knack for drawing market attention. Add to this the reality that the Internet and the technology that supports it all is rapidly evolving, and businesses are having to deal with an increasingly impatient and demanding customer-base. It’s little wonder why many small business owners are in constant fear of loosing their customers to their competitors. The real solution to this starts with properly defining your ideal customer, developing your brand so that it highlights your company’s strengths and your customers’ needs, and then figuring out the most effective places and ways to reach these people. In other words, getting back to the basics of running a successful business.

Not being able to retire

Though many small business owners enjoy what they are doing and aren’t necessarily thinking of retirement, nevertheless, nearly two-thirds of small business owners fear outliving the money they need to retire, according to a poll from the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute. But it’s more than that. Many business owners may not have a clear succession or sales plan for the business when it comes time for them to leave. It’s for this reason that even new small business owners should hash out a strategy for both retirement savings and for passing on the business to others.

The fear of failure

Every single person on the planet has failed at some point or other, yet the fear of failure can be one of the most debilitating sources of anxiety for small business owners. When a business owner hits a road block in the business, the worst thing he or she can do is to spend too much time on what went wrong without spending valuable time analyzing what went right and what was gained from the experience. Small business owners should also make sure they’ve got a strong support group to help them through the down times. Plus, taking care of physical needs such as proper diet, exercise, and sleep, can significantly affect both mood and performance.

So, where do you fit in this list? Are you dealing with other fears not listed here? How are you coping? Let us know in the comments below.

5 Ways to Get Your Customers to Pay You Faster

A couple of months ago, President Obama announced a new White House initiative, called “Supplier Pay,” which is meant to encourage big corporations to pay their small business suppliers more quickly. Ever since the Recession, small businesses have had to wait longer for their larger customers to pay their bills with billing cycles stretching from 30 days to 60 and even 90 days after an invoice is issued. Such a long delay can take a heavy toll on a small business’ cash flow, often with painful results: they may be forced to cut into their profit margins by borrowing costly money, business growth can be stunted, and in some extreme cases, a business can even shut down completely.

Get paid faster in your businessWhether or not your small business works with big corporate clients, when your customers take a long time to pay, it can wreak havoc on your whole business. Though many small businesses owners tend to focus on sales and net revenues, without an adequate supply of available capital, you’ll spend a great deal of time and effort scrambling around to cover the cost of necessary supplies, inventory, payroll, and other typical operating expenses. This can lead to anxiety and pull you away from focusing on other, more important aspects of running your business.

So, what’s the solution? Here are five tips that any business owner can follow to significantly improve the cash flow within a business while trying to preserve customer relationships and remaining competitive.

1. Be clear about your customers’ payment patterns. Getting paid quicker starts with fully understanding your target customer. This may sound simple enough, but I’m amazed at how many businesses overlook this one vital step. When you consider your target market, what is the typical length of payment among these individuals, businesses, or groups? How do they prefer to pay? What potential obstacles get in the way of their ability to pay? Will certain value added products or services shorten the billing cycle? You need to be able to answer these questions and then you can begin to structure your business accordingly.

2. Be clear about how much cash flow you need to operate. As a business owner, you owe it to your business to be in touch with the flow of capital coming and going out of your business. You should therefore first learn how to read a cash flow statement. But above that, you should also be aware of and have a plan for your business’ essential, non re-occurring expenses, such as big equipment purchases or property upgrades. Once you are clear about your customers’ payment patterns and your business needs, you can structure your payment collection policies accordingly.

3. Walk away from no-pay and extremely slow-pay customers. I know it’s hard to turn away potential sales. But, at the same time you want to generate the kinds of sales that will actually pay your bills with the least amount of headache. If you extend credit in your business, you need to establish a set of criteria that will help you weed out the good (i.e. profitable) customers from the bad ones. You also need to set reasonable time and amount limits on this credit. Again, this will go back to being in touch with the operating needs and flow of your business as well as your customers’ needs and payment behavior. If this is hard for you to figure out on your own (and for most business owners it will be), then make sure to consult with a qualified professional, such as a CPA.

4. Look for creative ways to get customers to pay quicker. There may be many small things that you can do to encourage your customers to pay quicker. For example, you can offer your best customers a small discount if they pay right away or require that clients make a down payment before any work is completed.

5. Look for other ways to generate cash flow. Another option is to open your business up to a slightly larger target market that includes those customers that tend to pay quicker. You can do this by adding another product or service, tweaking an existing one, or simply directing part of your marketing efforts to this new group. This can help you generate needed cash flow, while allowing you to keep your bigger, slower paying customers.

Over to you… What strategies do you use in your business to help ease the cash flow crunch caused by slow paying customers?

How to Use Public WiFi Spots Safety As a Business Traveler


If you have to do a lot of traveling for business, then you probably appreciate all the opportunities to connect to public WiFi hotspots when you’re on the go. While the number of hotspots is growing in coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, airports, and even public areas like parks and buses, they also represent ripe opportunities for hackers to steal the sensitive information both on your mobile device and the websites you are accessing.

As a business traveler, you not only have to worry about your personal information, but you may also have sensitive business data, such as customer profiles as well as connection to a company intranet, that you need to protect. While it is best to stay away from accessing your credit card information, bank account information, or performing a financial transaction of any sort on unencrypted free wireless service, there still are some simple steps you can take to help make sure your data is as safe and secure as possible when using open public WiFi.

  • Install a reliable firewall on your device and make sure that the firewall is enabled before connecting to an open WiFi hotspot.
  • If you use a web-based email service, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook make sure your login, email composition, and email browsing all use a secure https connection.
  • Get a virtual private network (VPN), which is a service that encrypts all of your internet traffic making it undetectable to hackers.
  • Opt to use your cellular or mobile network connection instead for sensitive transactions. There are several ways that you can do this: you can use the mobile broadband connection on your mobile device; if you are using a laptop, you can tether your phone to your computer, and the phone can act as a modem; purchase a dedicated mobile modem; or get a mobile hotspot.

Again, in situations where you must use open WiFi without any protections then make it a point to refrain from conducting financial activities or using any platform where you need to login and keep those prying eyes away.

The NFIB Will “Certify” Candidates As Small Business-Friendly this Election

NFIBThe National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), has been quite publicly announcing that it will play an active role in the upcoming congressional elections, and this will likely be a warm up for the 2016 presidential vote. According to the NFIB on it’s new website Vote for Main Street, “The 2014 elections are set to serve as a critical referendum on Washington’s ability to restore trust with Main Street businesses and workers.”

In order to determine which candidates really fit the bill as small business advocates, the NFIB has developed a “test” based on the candidates support of the following five key issues:

  1. Requiring Congress to pass a balanced federal budget each fiscal year
  2. Repealing the annual fee on health insurance providers enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  3. Returning to the original definition of a full-time work week to 40 hours, instead of the recently recognized 30 hour work week in the Save American Workers Act
  4. Requiring the federal government to certify that the ACA is not having a negative economic impact on the nation’s small businesses
  5. Enacting “reasonable” limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate utility plant emissions

Though all of these measures have been introduced in Congress, none of them have made it into law. The NFIB believes that voting these five bills into law will create a significant positive impact on U.S. small businesses and result in the creation of millions of jobs. The organization has stated that it will begin listing a roster of “Small Business Certified” candidates on it’s website as the elections draw closer.

The NFIB has further promised to put some political muscle behind the candidates who pass the test. According to Kent Hoover, Washington Bureau Chief, at The Business Journals, “NFIB will be putting money and manpower behind candidates who pass this test, and telling voters about candidates who fail it. The organization plans to spend more than $1 million on political ads in its “Vote for Main Street” campaign, and some staff and NFIB members will directly work on campaigns as volunteers…”

What do you think? Do you consider the five issues above to be the most pressing for small business owners heading into the 2014 congressional elections?

Surprising Small Business Tax Facts

When it comes to recording and managing their finances and reporting tax obligations, many small businesses owners are surprisingly ill-equipped and unprepared, and this oversight can end up costing them thousands of dollars.

Surprising Small Business Tax FactsIn a recent survey conducted by internet domain registrar and web hosting company, Godaddy.com, 600 small business owners were asked to describe how they manage their finances and how those habits are effecting their tax reporting. The survey revealed that over half of respondents still use manual processes, such as a spreadsheet or paper files, to record their income and expenses, and close to 40% set aside several days in order to complete their tax return.

Here are a few other interesting small business tax facts from that study:

  • Almost half (46 percent) of small business owners reported they do not work with an accountant.
  • Of those small business owners who do work with an accountant, 47 percent see their accountant once a year at tax time or only when they have a question or need help.
  • 32 percent of small business owners do not set aside money throughout the year to pay income taxes.
  • 12 percent of small business owners have no idea how much they will owe in income taxes, while 74 percent reported that they usually know the “ballpark” of what they owe, while just 15 percent know exactly how much they owe.

These are some pretty shocking statistics, and it seems to corroborate reports that have come from a variety of other sources, including the IRS and the National Small Business Association. Here are a few eye-opening statistics about small business tax habits from around the web:

  • According to the 2014 Small Business Taxation Survey from The National Small Business Association (NSBA), some business owners spend up to three weeks a year dealing with payroll taxes. Eleven percent of those surveyed spend over 10 hours every month working on payroll taxes, while 43 percent spend between three and 10 hours a month. The survey also found that forty percent of small business owners spend 80 hours preparing their Federal income taxes.
  • According to the IRS, 106,776 small businesses were audited last year. These were these were non-farm businesses that reported less than $25,000 in gross receipts and didn’t claim the earned income tax credit. Auditors demanded on average $5,500 from these businesses
  • There are more than 15,000 tax codes in the United States and from 2001 to 2012, there was an average of one change a day to the tax code.
  • A third of small businesses get fined for doing payroll incorrectly, typically do to unintentional mistakes.

If you are running a small business, take these numbers to heart. As we head into the middle of the summer, you have a lot of time to make some changes to the way you manage your finances that can potentially save your business a lot of money down the road. If you can, hire an accountant or a bookkeeper, or at the very least use accounting software, such as Turbocash, GnuCash, or Quickbooks, to keep track of your cash flow. You’ll be glad you did come tax time.

Why Small Businesses Should Pay Attention to Google’s Product Listing Ads

Have you’ve been noticing anything different in the search results lately? If you’re in the U.S. and you’ve been doing any online searches for products, you may have seen some Amazon-like product listings popping up within and along side the search results. Below is an example of what they look like:

cocnut flour

This is Google’s new paid shopping ads program, which poses a direct challenge to other online ecommerce platforms, particularly Amazon.com. The program as a whole has three main components: the Google Merchant Center dashboard, the Product Listing Ads campaign section of Google Adwords, and finally the Google Shopping data feed, which is basically a file provided by an advertiser made up of a list of products and their unique attributes, such as “color” and “condition.” Google’s Product Listing Ads are cost per click (CPC) ads which online merchants can purchase through their AdWords accounts. These ads appear on Google Search pages to the left, and top of the search results page. Product Listing Ads are most distinguishable in that they feature a product image, and they cater to products and product categories instead of keywords.

Though Google has yet to roll out it Product Listing program on a full scale, there are a couple of really compelling reasons why you should be paying attention to it whether you run an ecommerce site or sell numerous physical products from a brick and mortar location:

  • You’ll get more visibility in Google searches than if your product was listed on Amazon. Unless shoppers are searching Amazon directly, they’re pretty likely going to do a search on Google first. And, even though Amazon has highly ranked searches in Google, Google has been pushing down those natural search results in favor of its own product listing ads. As further proof that Google Product Listings are the way to go, other big ecommerce sites, such as eBay, are quickly buying up advertising space.
  • You’ll tap into Google’s repository of search data. Another less talked about, yet potentially powerful part of using Google’s Product Listing program, is that every time a user conducts an online search it gives Google data, and if that user hasn’t turned off personalized search, then Google can retarget the user later on with relevant ads and promotions. For example, say someone does a search for “almond butter.” Even if no purchase was made or it was made through a non-Google vendor, when that person walks by a health foods shop two weeks later, he or she could receive a text message like, “Big sale on Almond Butter up the road!”

In short, Google Product Listing Ads, is definitely something to consider if your business involves the sale of products- whether online or off. For more information on Google’s Paid Shopping Ads program and how you can use it successfully in your business, take a look at this great ebook over at CPC Strategy.

(Image Credit)

How to Keep Debt Low When You Work on Your Own

When you work on your own, it’s hard to ignore the financial challenges that come along with it- especially when you’re just starting out. There are currently millions of Americans who work for themselves, and many of them find themselves in debt without a safety net. Not only is this an uncomfortable situation, but it can significantly impair your ability to do the kind of work you want to do.

deskYou don’t have to let debt get in the way of your dream of striking it out on your own. Here are three things you can do to keep your debt to a minimum as you go about building your income stream:

1. Pay attention to your cash flow. You need to be very clear about the flow of money coming in and going out of your business. This is particularly important if you are bootstrapping your activities. Consider purchasing an accounting suite, such as Quickbooks, or if your budget is limited, you can also check out the free opensource option GnuCash. These programs generally offer a full range of features, such as financial reporting and billing- all of which will help you to stay on top of your cash flow. Once you are in touch with your income and expenses, you can make financial decisions that stay within your means.

2. Know when and how to hire. As a self-employed professional, you’ll likely reach a point where outsourcing some of your responsibilities will make sense. But when you do, here’s a rule you want to stick to: never bring anyone on board unless by doing so you can anticipate gaining twice that person’s wages in new revenue- whether directly or indirectly. For example, you may hire a freelance virtual assistant or social-media expert who can free up your time for more direct revenue generation. One way to ensure that your hired help will deliver on the additional revenue is to be very clear about this person’s goals and job summary.

3. Use credit and financing responsibly. Even if you are a conscientious boostrapper, there will likely be moments when you will need to tap into outside financing- whether it is in the form of a business or person credit card or even a small loan from friends, family, or peers. Deciding if and how much to take in financing is similar to the decision of whether or not to hire above. You want to be as certain as you can that the financing you receive will either be paid back quickly or will be used to expand your business in a way that very likely will lead to an increase in revenues.

In short, working on your own doesn’t have to leave you drowning in debt. With a little forethought and discipline, you can turn your self-employed work into a lean, mean operation.

What Successful People Do That You Aren’t

Ever wonder why success isn’t beating down your door? Don’t just chalk it up to bad luck. Even if it seems that some individuals may have been dealt an amazing hand in life, the truth is the vast majority of successful people became that way because they wanted it, worked for it, and throughout it all, kept their eyes on the ball.

10 Keys to successSo,what are they doing differently? What’s the secret to being successful in business and in life? Here are 10 things that successful people do that most others overlook:

1. They get up early and make the most of the morning quiet. All you night owls out there, listen up! Most successful people use the wee hours of the morning to exercise, focus on their most important projects, and set their agenda for the rest of the day or week. That is when their minds are the freshest and there is less risk of being interrupted. They also make sure to eat a healthy breakfast. If mornings are particularly hard for you, though, then there are several things that you can do to at least make your day start a bit earlier. If not, then tune into your body to see where your energy is the highest, whether it’s in the late mornings, afternoons, or evenings, and then do what you can get to create an uninterrupted work environment.

2. They choose a work environment that energizes them. While we’re on the topic of work environment, one of the most essential aspects of working productively is how conducive your surroundings are to getting work done. For some people, this may mean having a clean and quiet work space, for others a window with a nice view, still others may prefer to work in a busy, collaborative space surrounded by other people working on their own projects. Again, you have to be in tune with your own rhymes and rhythms to see what gives you the biggest boost.

3. They spend time on meditation and visualization. You don’t have to get into the lotus position to take advantage of meditation. Meditation really just means focus- an inward focus on yourself, your goals, and your place in the world. And, when mediation is combined with visualization it is a tremendously powerful tool you can use to both keep yourself focused on what you want to accomplish and to help you see the steps that are needed to get you there. The most productive times to do meditation are for a few minutes first thing in the morning as well as right before going to sleep at night. But, if you are struggling with it, then here are some fun tips.

4. They spend quality time with family and friends. Successful people know how to set boundaries for themselves in order to preserve their energy, time, and space. This includes ensuring that there is adequate time for loved ones. Not only will this make you feel more balanced and energized, but your friends and family will be more likely to be supportive of what you do as well.

5. They go outside of their comfort zones. Successful people constantly push themselves to acquire new skills and competencies even under difficult circumstances. When they have issues that get in the way, such as fear or real deficiencies, they look for ways to work around them. For example, an introverted person could look for ways to use his or her nature to get further in life- even in a world that favors extroverts.

6. They learn by doing. Successful people spend more time implementing the ideas and knowledge they already have till they achieve a sufficient amount of mastery and less time gaining new knowledge.

7. They look for inspiration. Successful people have a role model that they study. They will often not spend their energy trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they’ll also consider what is already working and then adapt, expand, or improve on those ideas.

8. They track their progress… the old fashioned way. Successful people set goals that are specific, measurable, and attainable, and they take the time to reflect and learn from their mistakes. Writing things down is key. This means using an old fashioned notebook. Eminem keeps a journal. Peyton Manning keeps a journal. Richard Branson uses one too. There’s just something about writing things down, the physical act that creates a physical thing that is not so easily lost among all the other bits of digital data, reminders, and metrics.

9. They spend time with the right people. Successful people associate with people who are likeminded, focused, and supportive. They reach out to connected, influential individuals who are right for their dreams and goals.

10. They know how to handle failure. This is one of the biggest factors to success. High achievers aren’t perfect. In fact, many of the most successful people faced an extraordinary amount of setbacks along the way. The key was knowing how to either turn those set backs into opportunities or know when to cut their loses and move on.

In short, real success is about real work and focus. There is no way around it. So, are willing to do what it takes to be successful? If the answer is yes, then you’re already well on your way.

8 Ways to Use Fiverr to Get Professional Services for Your Business

Over the past few years, online jobs platforms, such as Fiverr and a wave of alternatives and clones, have been gaining credibility as a serious, affordable business solution for an assortment of professional services. But, don’t expect to just dive right in. The trick to really getting some good work done for your business is to learn how to use these platforms properly. This means knowing which sellers to buy from and what kinds of services to target.

logoTo get you started, here are eight different categories of work that professional sellers offer on Fiverr. I’ll give you some examples in each section of what you can accomplish as well as how to spot a good seller. Though I’ll focus on Fiverr, the same strategies can be used on many other micro jobs platforms as well:

1. Logos and Graphics. Need a new logo for your business? What about an icon, social media background or header, ebook cover, or some photoshop work? There are many professionally trained and naturally talented graphic designers on Fiverr. To spot a good seller, make sure you take a look at their portfolio of previous work, and pay close attention to buyer reviews.

2. Writing and Editing. Microjobs sites can also connect you to skilled writers and editors. Need an article either written or edited? What about an ebook? Do you need some help with the content on your website? The problem is that the quality of writers and editors varies significantly. If you are looking for quality, then most of the better writers and editors will be a bit more expensive. On Fiverr, for example, expect to pay $5 per 100 words for writing and $5 per 750 words editing. You should also check to see if they list any credentials.

3. Video Production and Editing. Another hot category on Fiverr is in video production and editing. You can hire a spokesman or woman to put together a video announcement or an informational video. There are also the popular white board videos. Finally, there are an assortment of professional video editors who can give you quality work at a fraction of the cost to hire directly. To find a suitable seller, spend some time looking through previous work, read the gig description carefully, and check out their introduction video.

4. Voice Overs. You can get professional voice overs on Fiverr too, and by professional, I mean some of these people have been the voice behind the commercials of well-known big brands. Just spend a little time listening to samples to find the best “voice” for the job.

5. Translation Services. Need to translate a text into another language? This is a big category for most microjobs sites. You can find many translators proficient in a range of languages, from German and French to Chinese to Hebrew. Just pay attention to their level of proficiency in both the original language and the language you want your text translated into.

6. Website Audit. Is your website failing to bring in targeted traffic? How are your conversion rates? Do you have clear calls to action and an easy to navigate site? There are many people who offer a range of website auditing services that include seo audits and design consulting. Just make sure you choose a person who already has a solid reputation and that there are many positive reviews from satisfied customers.

7. Conduct Online Market Research. Do you need to get a list of market data together, but don’t have the time to search for the information and create it? You can hire someone else on Fiverr to do it. The biggest piece of advice with this kind of work is to make sure that you clearly explain what you are looking for, and that you budget a reasonable amount of time and money for the project. Cutting corners over here is never good, and it will probably lead to a list of data that is ultimately lacking in quantity and quality.

8. Virtual Assistant. Finally, if you need a helping hand in your business, but can’t afford to hire someone directly, then Fiverr can be your go-to source for a range of virtual assistant assignments. You can have someone update your social media accounts, for example, sort emails, and do online research. Again, here you really need to pay attention to the seller’s background and reputation.

So there you have it. Eight ways to use micro jobs sites like Fiverr to run your business and get some professional work at a fraction of the cost.