Inc. 5000 honorees tell us how they would tackle a common business challenge.
--As told to Sheila Marikar
"We'd review our AdWords campaign and pull the funding on the bottom 10 to 15 percent of keywords. The next areas would be meals and entertainment, client gifts, travel--anything that's not a necessity. I would never cut employee or contractor salaries. I want to make sure they're all paid correctly so everyone's morale stays up. The last option would be to scale back officer salaries. I know my co-founder brother would be pretty pissed about that."
"We go to 30 trade shows a year. It's our No. 1 expense other than employees. I would definitely cut the number of trade shows we go to. It would force me to pick smarter-- quality over quantity."
"Talk about the major priorities you have. The things that are low priorities, either delay the spending on those items or eliminate them. Then figure out your fixed versus variable costs. Variable costs are easier to cut. Third, go through all of your spending and figure out which items can be outsourced. Often, it's much cheaper to outsource things than to do them internally."
"Travel is what we would cut. We're spending more money these days bringing top managers from each market back [to our headquarters] to create that connection with the rest of the staff."
"If we cut out OT, we could save 20 percent tomorrow. Or we could say, 'Hey, everyone needs to take a 10 percent pay cut.' "
"Let's not go straight for the money. They're working for a living here."
"I always expect my vendors and suppliers to be partners in this business with us, and when we have to cut costs, I expect them to share the load. If I can shave a fraction of a percent off two or three raw materials, it adds up to a lot."