Downsized Into Entrepreneurship, the 21st Century Way


What’s the answer to being downsized? According to some, the answer is “start a business.”

In a recent survey by RingCentral, twenty-two (22%) of small business owners said they started a business after being downsized. One of RingCentral’s customers, Chad Whitermore, started ChairsForYou.com after being downsized.

His example is not unusual. With starting a business being so inexpensive, it can seem like an easy answer to a difficult situation. Of course, once you get started in your business, that’s when the real challenges begin.

Keeping expenses low is a huge part of being successful in a small business. Most business owners instinctively know they have to structure their businesses to keep expenses low, especially in the face of soft economic times.

For instance, other parts of the survey show that a low overhead structure characterizes many small businesses today:

  • Nearly 40% of small businesses cut back on office space to have their employees work from home.
  • About 50% are conducting more meetings virtually versus in person.

“This survey demonstrates that the workplace is changing, as many former employees become business owners and many employees in small businesses begin to work remotely. The ability to work independently and remotely offers new efficiency opportunities, but it also means working without the established infrastructure of a large organization,” said Vlad Shmunis, CEO of RingCentral.

The survey was conducted by RingCentral, a provider of hosted phone systems that give you voicemail, automated attendant and other capabilities, based in Redwood city, California.

UPDATE:  Read the press release about the survey here.



Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.