SPN interviews Grant Stanley and Tadd Wood of Contemporary Analysis
When I asked Grant Stanley, co-founder of Contemporary Analysis, what his parents thought about him starting a business right out of college, he replied, "My parents do not like that I'm an entrepreneur, yet they molded me for that."
At age 10, Grant could be found selling produce at Hy-Vee in order to save up the funds to replace the pair of glasses that he broke. His parents deciding to foot him the bill, resulted in him acquiring sales skills at a young age. After his produce job ended with the season, he utilized his sales skills to start a landscaping business, which he was working for until he began Contemporary Analysis (CA) a year and a half ago.
When he began planning for CA before his graduation, he literally stopped people in the hallway at the university he was attending and asked them what they wanted to do with their life. Tadd Wood gave him a satisfactory answer.
"Tadd, on the other hand, has a little bit different background," Grant explained, "and that's exactly why I partnered with [him]." Although, the two do share an important similarity: interest in numbers. Grant earned a degree in economics and Tadd earned a degree in finance and economics, and he's currently pursuing a masters.
CA, which describes itself as a marketing analytics firm, opened its doors just as news of a slowing economy was making the headlines. As a result, they've had their highs and lows.
Tadd said that one of their clients called them "the Penicillin of the recession," but overall, they said the recession has been really hard to get people to trust them. "We always say that our solutions are going to cost more than you think," Grant explained, "they're going to take more time than you ever think, and the solution is never going to look like the solution you think it's going to look like. And it's going to take you at least three times to understand what we've created for you."
"From a sales, marketing, operations, that's a pain. Most of our clients we go back three or four times and say, 'Okay, here's what we've built for you.'" He said it will take several months, but there are success stories. For example, they helped a company make $200,000 more a year without adding a single person or piece of equipment, Grant recalled, just by billing more accurately.
CA provides a service that Grant says "a lot of companies [aren't] able to do what we do internally." That fact is motivating them to build their own technology systems and attempt to attract the talent that they think is necessary.
In my interview with Grant and Tadd, they introduce me to the term econometrics, speak candidly about their ups and downs with employees, explain the second part of their mission statement, "to help establish Omaha as an entrepreneurial hub of the United States," and recommend a few books that have influenced them in business.