"Starting a Business"? 5 Pointless and Expensive Things That You Can Stop Doing Today
“Starting a business” is not a distinct activity.
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“Starting a business” is not an activity. Fucking what is this idea that you sit in a building “starting a business”? Running a business is literally identically to just selling goods and or services in exchange for money.
Here are five things that you should stop wasting time and money on before you have, like, probably at least $100k in revenue per year.
What is A/B Testing?
While there are many variations and implementations for A/B testing, the basic process is simple: Try a few different things, measure performance, and pick the one that works better (e.g., testing whether making a green button orange will result in more sign ups to an email list).
Why A/B Testing is Bullshit
If you want to run A/B tests that are actually useful, you’re going to want to make sure that:
- You have enough data to be statistically significant;
- You can gather new data in a reasonably short timeframe for new tests; and
- The A/B testing process is mostly or at least substantially automated (or at least well organized) so that you can run many different tests efficiently.
Consider this scenario:
- You don’t have any fucking data;
- You have like 100 views per day; and
- You probably don’t have substantial, consistent conversions.
Conversion testing can increase your sales by a percent, but a 10% increase to FUCKING ZERO is still zero. If you wanted to get enough data to make any kind of useful conclusion, you would have to wait like eight years. When making a new website (particularly an ecommerce/affiliate-type site) a good formula is to:
- At the top of your landing pages, include a banner that explains your site and its benefits in like three seconds by having:
- A relevant background image
- A large heading that summarizes your product in like three words
- A smaller subheading that explains main benefits in like 10 words
- An orange button with text on it that serves as a “call to action” (CTA), such as “get your fucking cheap dog right now” that links to your sales/order/conversion page.
- For the body of the page:
- For home pages or pages that you’re try-harding on, have a list of benefits of your product with relevant images next to them to make the page easy to read and process quickly; or
- For articles/more general landing pages, just put your fucking article text here.
- At the bottom of your page, include another call to action to your sales page.
Trying to gather data to refine this further is basically pointless without at least tens of thousands of data points.
Hiring Accounting, Legal, and Other Professional Services
Accountants, legal services, and many other professional services are useful because they can increase your revenue as a percent. If you have a lot of revenue, accountants can be useful; if you don’t, then there’s nothing for them to work with. Here’s a nice story:
> Be me
> 2016, plus or minus
> Run network of sites that render custom services
> Occasionally get questions from other people in the niche who have smaller sites, or who are starting new sites
> Usually reasonable questions
> One guy emails a question
> Answer it.
> Occasionally get a few more questions over the next few months
> Some are kind of obvious things that could have been found through search engines, but still answer most of them at least briefly
> Been like probably a fucking year since
> Few months pass, haven’t heard from guy recently
> “Oh cool he’s probably doing adequate”
> Eventually get another message
> “How many thousands of dollars should I spend on attorneys to draft my terms of service. I’m going to launch the site soon.”
What the fuck are you doing? Who is going to hypothetically attempt to sue you? The clients you don’t have after like an entire fucking year of not running a business?
Incidentally, lawyers are not magic. It is reasonably straightforward to write an enforceable terms of service document:
- Write a list of rules and guidelines in clear, coherent English
- Include a link to the terms of service in your site’s footer
And that’s basically it. You can pretty much say whatever you want and have a reasonable expectation that it’s enforceable, as long as:
- You aren’t trying to waive liability for shit that you can’t legally waive liability for;
- Your document is coherent and unambiguous; and
- A reasonable site user would be able to find the TOS, which can be covered pretty easily with a footer link (as mentioned above), as well as:
- Including a link to the terms of service in your site’s sign up form (if applicable); and
- Including a “I agree to the terms of service” (with a link to the TOS) box on checkout/order pages (or similar)
Obviously the fine details can vary on a case-by-case basis, but if you just started a business yesterday, the fine details are statistically irrelevant.
Hiring “SEO Consultants”
Search engine optimization (“SEO,” as we say in the biz), is fucking bullshit. If I had a Dollar for every blatantly false SEO myth out there, I’d spend at least five dollars on cheap rope. There’s are multiple reasons why this industry is full of cancer myths:
- Search engines are secretive about their algorithms, and most public statements from Google et. al. are vague or incomplete;
- Since SEO is therefore basically impossible to make objectively accurate claims about, it’s extremely easy to repeatedly state dumbass shit while still looking credible; and
- Everyone thinks they can get rich quick with SEO, so they believe the things that these clowns say.
Because of this, the only way to actually make any kind of meaningful (useful) assertion about search engines is to personally experiment with SEO, which incidentally takes fucking forever to study, since search engine result and site position changes generally occur gradually over weeks or months. While large businesses can often get away with shotgunning money at D-tier SEO services (because they already have quality links for unrelated reasons), it’s basically always a bad idea to hire for tasks that you do not yet personally understand. There are basically three parts to SEO--Keyword research, onpage SEO (content), and offpage SEO (links).--and basically every SEO consultant will fuck up all three.
Also, Hiring People in General
New businesses fuck up primarily by having too many expenses. You don’t need employees when you don’t even have revenue. Also, don’t hire employees. Unless you literally need to have someone physically occupying a location at specific hours (such as a cash register), hire for all work on a contract-by-contract basis.
Registering a Business
Whoever created the concept of “registering a business” should be shot for being a communist and a traitor to the United States. All of the alleged benefits of registering a business only exist because some bureaucrat fucked some shit up that you can then partially unfuck by registering a business. This shit includes:
- To avoid the self-employment portion of the income tax by allocating your income to the “business’” account;
- To limit liability, such as if you intend to go bankrupt by being sued, in which case you can prevent your personal assets from being lost during a company’s bankruptcy; and
- Some other bullshit that is mostly irrelevant for most businesses that aren’t very large.
Everything else is stupid bullshit and a waste of time, at least for any new business.
All of this shit is fucking pointless. Exchange goods and services for currency.
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August Garcia is some guy who used to sell Viagra on the Internet. He made this website to LARP as a sysadmin while posting about garbage like user-agent spoofing, spintax, the only good keyboard, virtual assitants from Pakistan, links with the rel="nofollow" attribute, proxies, sin, the developer console, literally every link building method, and other junk.
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