SMALL BUSINESSES ADAPT TO ECONOMIC PRESSURES BY FINDING CREATIVE STRATEGIES TO THRIVE
RingCentral Customer Survey Reveals Small Businesses Are Increasing Remote Work and Choosing Telecommuting over Costly Commutes
Redwood City, Calif., June 30, 2008 – RingCentral, an award-winning hosted business phone system, today revealed new survey results demonstrating that savvy small business owners facing rising energy costs and an economic downturn are implementing creative cost cutting measures. The survey, completed by small business owners and entrepreneurs across the U.S., reveals that the majority of small businesses (59 percent) are cutting overhead costs or otherwise changing business practices in response to the economic downturn and rising energy costs while remaining productive. In addition, in response to job losses, some former employees have become employers by starting their own small businesses.
Additional key findings from the survey include:
Rising gas and energy prices have impacted the cost of doing business for 70 percent of the responding small businesses causing them to change business practices.
Nearly 40 percent of responding small businesses are cutting back on office space and having their employees work from home.
Twenty-four percent are telecommuting rather than driving to work.
More than a third of responding small businesses (37 percent) are reducing business travel due to the economic downturn.
Small businesses employ remote work solutions
Small businesses are responding to the economy and rising gas and energy prices by finding creative ways to reduce expenses and work more efficiently. For many small businesses, this means employing remote work solutions. With 40 percent of small businesses encouraging employees to work from home to reduce travel and office-related expenses and 24 percent opting for telecommuting rather than driving to work, the results of this survey underscore the rising trend of a distributed workforce.
Ramona Ramsey-Pinedo's company, QSED Consulting specializes in resource management for corporations. "With ever increasing gas prices, I have cut the frequency of in-person client visits. I visit clients quarterly rather than monthly and use the phone to stay connected," said Ramsey-Pinedo. "Even though our employees work from home, RingCentral gives clients the impression that we are all working out of the same office."
Impact on job market
According to the survey, the ripple effect of the economy has given rise to increased business start-ups. Nearly a quarter of survey respondents (22%), stated that they started their business after being downsized. Chad Whitermore started his company, ChairsForYou.com, when he was laid off from his construction job. "I started this company on a shoestring budget during a recession and business is growing. RingCentral helps me look like a large company, even though I'm a one-man show," said Whitermore.
As small businesses adapt to the changing economy and new businesses enter the market, phone communications remain a cornerstone that makes businesses work. The majority of small businesses ranked the telephone as the most important business tool (66 percent) followed closely by email (63 percent). In these tight economic times, 50 percent of small businesses 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. "While small businesses continue to rank the phone as their most important tool, traditional, office-based phone systems don't meet the needs of this new working environment. Our hosted solution connects proprietors, their employees, partners and prospects regardless of location and, more importantly, gives businesses the services they need at a small fraction of the cost of old solutions."
About the Survey
RingCentral conducted this survey from June 3, 2008 to June 19, 2008. Close to 200 RingCentral small business customers answered an online survey.
RingCentral provides an award-winning hosted business phone system for small business. With top industry honors, including PC Magazine's Editor's Choice Award and Small Business Computing's Excellence in Technology, RingCentral offers full-access to core small business phone services and helps improve productivity for tens of thousands of customers worldwide. Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., RingCentral is privately held with backing from Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures and DAG Ventures. For more information, please visit: http://www.ringcentral.com/.
For additional information,
Jennifer Dong 650-288-0485