A simple guide to running your business

The noted investor and entrepreneur James Altucher posted a piece on running a business on TechCrunch. The piece got a lot of positive reviews, but we took issue with some of the points raised in it.

While it can be very useful to try to narrow things down to the most simple, elegant form, and remove any distractions, over-simplification often leads astray. For instance, regarding incorporation:

1) C Corp or S Corp or LLC?
C-Corp if you ever want to take on investors or sell to another company.

This thinking has changed. In the first d0t-com wave, S-Corp was the norm, and mandated form if you wanted to take in venture capital. Nowadays, almost all bootstrapped companies that we work with are LLCs, and convert only if and when needed.

And regarding VCs as advisors:

13) Do you listen to venture capitalist?
Yes, of course. They gave you money. But then don’t do anything they ask you to do.

That’s a surefire way to piss off your board.

21) Should I ever focus on SEO?
No.

I’ve seen B2B SaaS companies use content marketing + SEO to generate significant, well-qualified volumes of leads. Whitepapers = corporate candy. SEO (white-hat techniques only, please) on them makes them that much better.

22) Should I do social media marketing?
No.

I’ve seen B2C companies with huge success using social media. Dell Outlet on Twitter has over 1M followers and good results. If the point is that startups can’t leverage it as effectively, then fair enough. But it’s worthwhile, especially if you can let an intern manage it.

81) My wife/husband thinks I spend too much time on my startup?
Divorce them or close your business.

Hmm… Doesn’t sound like sage advice. If you have a supportive spouse or partner that can listen to you and let you vent as you go through any startup’s trials and tribulations, you’ll be that much better off.

 

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