Published April 8, 2018
Grant Stanley is the CEO and co-founder of Bric, which is located at 1904 Harney St #710 (in the AIM building). You may contact him either at 402.679.8398 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q1: Are you originally from Omaha?
Grant was born and raised in Omaha. Growing up, he attended Burke high school and went on to graduate from UNO with a degree in economics.
Q2: Where did the idea for Bric come from?
“The idea for Bric came from my first startup, Contemporary Analysis.” With that first company, Grant provided data to Fortune 500 companies. After working on several projects, Grant noticed a need for workforce analytics. “Most of the data science and predictive analytics was happening on things and transactions and that people had left understanding your workforce alone.”
Q3: How did you come up with the name Bric?
“The name Bric is actually short for fabric, because we help you weave together your people and your projects.”
Q4: How did you obtain your first customer?
Mr. Stanley shared that the first customers of Bric were also customers of Contemporary Analysis. He explained how those customers had seen the success that Mr. Stanley and his team could bring to companies through data analytics and knew that Bric would be able to help them in new ways.
Q5: How did you know you were passionate about what you’re doing?
Grant chuckled as he told me how much he loves number. Analyzing data has always been fascinating and came second nature to him. He built his very first business at the age of ten by analyzing and tracking data of houses that needed maintenance in his neighborhood. When he was in college, he had used public data that he had gathered from Facebook to determine the optimal day to ask out a girl pursuing specific degrees that would guarantee she date him for at least eight months! Grant has been using math and analyzing patterns his entire life.
Q6: What was your goal when starting Bric and how has it changed?
At first, Grant saw Bric as his next step in his entrepreneurial journey. Now, he is trying to create a completely new market with Bric. This market is one that tracks workforce analytics for small startups to large corporations alike.
Q7: How many employees did you start off with and how many do you have now?
Bric began with just three employees and is currently still at three employees. Mr. Stanley does the product management and design, which entails meeting with clients to determine what they need. His partner, Josh, is in charge of engineering, development, and coding. After Josh finished the product, both him and Mr. Stanley test the product. Lastly, Hunter is in responsible for sales and marketing. Hunter meets with new prospects, runs the e-newsletter, creates blog posts, etc.
Q8: Did you develop any key partnerships or mentors that helped you along the way?
When forming Bric, the company decided to go through the Straight Shot program and were actually founding members of the Omaha Startup Collaborative. Being a part of this community when trying to get a business off of the ground was very beneficial to Bric. Grant explained how it had helped establish instant credibility. “It took care of that initial ‘Who are you guys? What are you doing? Why should I talk to you?’”
Q9: Were there any businesses you looked up to or aspired to be like?
Mr. Stanley told me that he had really wanted to build something like Basecamp of Flywheel, because they were companies that were building solutions that thousands of people could use. These two companies in particular inspired him to build a company that could help out thousands of people.
Q10: What was the greatest challenge you faced when starting Bric?
“The hardest thing about starting Bric was finding cofounders.” Grant explained that it was a struggle to find someone who had senior level talent who was also willing to take a risk on his idea. He is very humbled that he was able to find a great team that also believes in his vision of helping businesses through workforce analytics.
Q11: What products and services does Bric offer?
Bric sells a software subscription to their product that helps teams plan and track time. Their sweet spot is companies that have several different people working on multiple products.
Q12: What makes Bric unique?
“Bric is helping small business owners understand their numbers.” Grant has spoken with several business owners who delay or even completely avoid their financial statements. He helps business owners and managers like this to truly understand how much they are making and where their employees’ time is being occupied.
Q13: How do you decide where to spend your money as a small business?
According to Mr. Stanley, there are three things that you can spend your money on: build product or provide a service, do sales and marketing, or you can do administrative work. Only two of these three things make you money. Mr. Stanley’s rule for startups is to solely focus on building your product/service and sales and marketing. He believes that everything else will fall into place and take care of itself.
In the first couple of years of Bric, the focus was solely on building a product. They would occasionally do sales, but only to validate that people like they idea and would pay for it. Now, because the product is finished, the company is starting to focus more heavily on sales and marketing. Grant humbly bragged that as of the time of the interview, Bric had over 1300 users in 77 different countries!
Q14: What methods of advertising do you use?
“Content marketing and app directories.” Bric is constantly developing content to educate people on how to run a business. The company also focusses heavily on increasing their ranking in app directories, so that when people are searching for keywords such as “project management” or “time tracking” then Bric’s application always pops up towards the top for the recommendations.
Q15: What is Bric’s relationship with the Omaha community?
Grant told me that he believes, “It is very important for corporations to be involved in their communities and to give back; but it can be lethal to startups.” According to Grant, anything that distracts you from building your business is typically a major distraction and can even be fatal.
Despite this belief, Grant says that one of the roles of the CEO is to also engage with other people outside of the startup. He believes that it is important to establish many different connections. Grant had a very incredible policy that he always follows, which is that he will meet with anybody at least once. He believes that by doing this, he may meet people he may be able to help, be exposed to new ideas, or even meet new customers. Although Grant isn’t necessarily making Bric become part of a movement, he says that it is more about helping the individual that he is meeting with.
Q16: What is your favorite part about doing business in Omaha?
“My favorite thing about Omaha is the lack of distractions.” Expenses in Omaha are very small. Traffic isn’t that bad. It is easy for people in Omaha to build businesses because Omaha does not have all of the time hindrances that larger cities do.
Q17: What is your current view of Omaha and where do you see it going in the future?
Grant believes that one of the challenges that Omaha faces is the city does not have many small business employers but has tons of very large companies that employ the city’s workers. This causes most people to have solid career tracks and large company salaries, which makes working for small businesses or starting a company very difficult to do. It is easy to compare yourself to a friend or family member who gets a high salary working somewhere like Union Pacific. Even though you two may have the same credentials, and even if you work harder, you still might not be making as much money as the person you know at the large corporation. Grant thinks that Omaha needs more of a small business culture.
“There is a very unfortunate trend that I see in Omaha. Right now, Omaha is a very comfortable place to live…but there’s not a lot of jobs that are developing people’s careers,“ Grant said. “So what you get is a comfortable place to live, comfortable jobs that don’t push you or expose you to the projects that are going to push you to the top of your field.” According to him, “If that trend continues, Omaha is going to become the suburbs of the United States.” He believes that in order for Omaha to remain competitive, it is important for there to be more smaller businesses employing people and giving them the chance to truly develop their skills and become top workers in their fields.
Q18: Why should someone from New York, LA, or Chicago move to Omaha?
“Creativity doesn’t happen without stability,” Grant said. He believes that if you are stressed, you cannot at your maximum level for creativity. In Omaha, it is easy to have a stable life and pay your bills. “Entrepreneurship requires having the time to explore the world,” he said, and Omaha allows people to have the time and resources to refine their idea and work on their side hustle.