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Small business success stories for entrepreneurial inspiration

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Starting a small business is not for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of hard work and many bumps in the road to face in order to become a successful business. However, most entrepreneurs will tell you that it’s well worth the struggle to own your own business. 

These small business success stories will lift your spirits and inspire you to keep working through the challenges with the hope that your business will thrive.

👀  Looking for more small business success stories? Get our free eBook to dive into five small business success stories.

👀   Get this free eBook to get an inside look at five small business success stories.


1. Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio

Located in Saxtons River, VT, Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio (JMMDS) may be a small landscape architecture and design firm, but there’s nothing small about its vision and impact. Its founder, Julie Moir Messervy, is an innovative leader in landscape and garden design theory and practice. Julie has written nine books on the topic and has presented too many high-profile lectures to count.

The firm is committed to bringing nature back into people’s lives, whether through a private garden or a community space that draws those appreciative of what Mother Earth has to offer. 

As a woman-owned business, JMMDS is highly aware of the need to provide a healthy work-life balance, so it offers its employees flexible work arrangements. That, combined with creating its own unique design app, has helped the design firm to thrive and grow for almost four decades. 

The willingness to embrace innovative technologies to help the business grow is one of the keys to the firm’s success. Even though its mission is all about getting back to nature, JMMDS uses technological advances to push that message to a much wider audience. 

The dedication JMMDS shows have led to multiple successes and honors, such as a Leonardo Da Vinci Award for innovation and creativity, bestowed on the firm for its work on the Toronto Music Garden, and recognition as one of Deluxe’s 100 Small Business Revolution Stories.

Key takeaways for entrepreneurs:

  • Stay true to your vision and mission
  • Offer flexible work arrangements to your employees where possible
  • Embrace technology to help your business grow

Small business success: The secret ingredients
Small business success: The secret ingredients

2. The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is one of the most successful online publications in the world. It was founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005 and has since grown into a massive media conglomerate.

Huffington had previously been working as a conservative commentator and political activist for many years when she decided to start her own business—she created a website called The Huffington Post.

The website was an immediate success, but it almost went bankrupt within its first year of operation. Huffington was forced to lay off most of her staff and sell her home to keep the business afloat.

However, she refused to give up and eventually turned The Huffington Post into the powerhouse that it is today. The website now has over 200 million readers and employs over 2,000 people.

Huffington is a true testament to doing whatever it takes to be successful. Not very many entrepreneurs would take such drastic measures to keep their business alive, but she did, and it paid off in a big way.

Key takeaways for entrepreneurs:

  • Be persistent, even in the face of adversity
  • Be flexible and adaptable to changing conditions and circumstances
  • Be alert to market gaps that your product or service can fill

3. Netpicks

Netpicks is an online trading platform that offers users both the education and tools they need for day trading and swing trading forex, futures, stocks, options, and ETFs. The business has grown rapidly in recent years, with the advent of online trading rooms and real-time trading communities. 

Interestingly, when Netpicks started back in 1996, the technology was not yet in place to do what the company does today. But the interest, expertise, and passion for trading were a large part of what has made Netpicks so successful. Once the technology caught up with the passion of its founder, Netpicks has been off to the races in the growth department. 

Netpicks employees don’t just talk the talk–they walk the walk as well. Being active traders themselves, they don’t just give clients guidance. They follow their own advice, staying active in the trading community and keeping their fingers on the pulse of the industry. 

Founder Mark Soberman sums up the business philosophy this way:

“We continue to never rest on our laurels, always looking to improve our abilities, systems, and training.”

—Mark Soberman, Founder of Netpicks

Key takeaways for entrepreneurs:

  • Choose a business idea that caters to your passions and interests
  • Adopt new technologies that make sense for your business
  • Be authentic

Person messaging on phone at home, sitting on floor near sofa with communications tool
How to choose the right communications tool

4. Red Rabbit

Red Rabbit founder Rhys Powell was a Wall Street trader by profession, but he became passionate about something else when he talked to parents who were struggling to find healthy meal options for their children.

He decided to create a company that would make it easy for parents to get their kids healthy lunches at school. At first, the business model was to have parents order meals online that would then be delivered to the schools, but that model created unacceptable costs and generated little return. 

So Powell switched things up, deciding instead to tackle the challenge of providing healthy, nutritious meals to children by partnering with the schools instead of the parents. Now, Red Rabbit provides made-from-scratch, fresh meals to over 20,000 kids per day. 

Red Rabbit is now a multimillion-dollar company with over 100 employees. It’s been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States and has won numerous awards for its innovation and entrepreneurship.

Key takeaways for entrepreneurs:

  • If you see that your business plan is not working as well as you’d like, don’t hesitate to make changes based on solid data
  • Stick to your mission and be persistent in following through
  • Be agile and adaptable

5. Asana

In 2008, Dustin Muskovitz and Justin Rosenstein founded Asana, a project management tool that helps teams manage their projects and tasks.

Muskovitz and Rosenstein were both working at Facebook when they came up with the idea for Asana. They were frustrated with the way that tasks were managed at Facebook, and they realized that there was a need for a project management tool that would allow team members to collaborate effectively.

At first, they were not sure how to get the business off the ground, but they eventually landed a deal with Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook. With Thiel’s help, they were able to launch Asana and grow it into a successful business.

Key takeaways for entrepreneurs:

  • Never underestimate the power of networking
  • Find market needs and develop a way to fulfill them
  • Use your technical skills to create solutions

What does every small business success story have in common?

Did you notice any common themes in these stories? One of the most important things each of these businesses has done is to adopt new technologies when they become available. The other common theme is that each of these small business success stories highlights the need to be adaptable and flexible in a changing business environment.

Having the right communications technology can help simplify your workstreams and offer flexibility. How so? For starters, a cloud-based communications system can make it easy for your team to collaborate with one another and customers from anywhere, at any time, on any device. Your business can stay connected 24/7 so that you never miss a sale.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Do you have a clear way to communicate with your team members in the office or on the go? 
  • Can you connect with your customers via any communication channel they choose? 

woman smiling at small business
How small businesses are staying connected with RingCentral

RingCentral offers communication tools at a price you can afford. With RingCentral, you can improve your customer service, sales, and marketing efforts with a comprehensive suite of communication tools that includes:

  • Phone, messaging, videoconferencing, SMS, and more all in one app
  • Call center capabilities, including omnichannel routing
  • 99.999% uptime that keeps your business connected during outages and disasters
  • Dynamic end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and seven layers of enterprise-grade security 
  • 250+ integrations in the RingCentral App Gallery (including Salesforce, Google Cloud, and Microsoft 365) and open APIs through the RingCentral developer portal to customize all your workflows
  • 24/7 support by phone, chat, and email

Improve how your small business communicates and collaborates with RingCentral. Ready to see how it works? Watch a demo today!

Originally published Apr 13, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022

Work together from anywhere with messaging, video conferencing, and phone calls—all in a single platform.

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