It was then that we made a decision to focus on bringing the business to cash profitability in a year or so. This meant that we would have to bring down expenses and work harder to grow the existing revenue streams faster. It would also mean eschewing newer ideas to bring a stronger focus on the things that were working. This was especially hard for me because I always like to experiment and try out new ideas. But the need of the hour then was different.To reduce expenses, we first focused on the two biggest cost heads – staff and SMS costs. We asked a few people to leave (less than 5%). We worked hard to manage our SMS costs better. And on all the other costs, we introduced tighter controls. At a company meeting, we explained our decisions to all the staff.
We also postponed a few projects to put more resources on those projects that would pay off quicker. It was a sudden change of gear, but we managed it quite well. In April this year, continuing in the same vein, we reduced salaries of top management, put the sales team on a higher variable pay, and froze salaries of everyone else for six months. All of these cost management exercises helped us fix our expenses at a figure which was 15% lower than what it was a year ago.