One of the most significant business lessons Eric Grant has learned is to always pick up the phone when someone calls you. Luckily for Grant, he took his own advice and discovered a ranch-owner in Warsaw, Missouri, was interested in funding the business he soon hoped to launch.
Grant had worked as a journalist since 1986 for various agriculture publications when, in 2007, he decided to try something different: He took a public relations job with the American Angus Association in Saint Joseph.
He left that position 10 years later with the intention of founding Grant Company, a business that would provide communication, public relations and other media-based services for agricultural businesses and organizations.
Brian Bell, the ranch-owner in Warsaw, provided the seed money after seeing Grant’s work at the American Angus Association. Grant Company became a reality in March 2017.
Currently, the company has six full-time employees and approximately 30 clients internationally. Grant also works with numerous freelancers.
“I think the niche we’ve found is that most of these companies are trying to find ways to cut costs and be more efficient in telling the stories of their brand, products and services,” Grant said.
To keep costs down, his company usually sends one cameraperson into the field to capture a good story for a variety of media platforms, with a focus on broadcast. Grant said he believes his staff’s agricultural backgrounds assure his clients they know the business well and can produce the materials that will work best for them.
“We live the business,” he said.
Grant said his company is expanding and is working with hunting and recreation companies. Saint Joseph is an inexpensive place to live and is just a half-hour drive from the Kansas City International Airport, he said, making it convenient for his team to reach clients in various locations.
“It’s a perfect place geographically for us to be located,” he said.
My Biggest Mistake
“I think I underestimated how slow the decision-making process can be within some of the really big companies we work with. And, you know, entrepreneurs can move pretty fast, but it can take pretty big companies six months to make a decision. So you’ve always got to work about six months out — we are talking to clients now in hopes of having those projects six months from now. It takes a lot of time before you can reap those kinds of rewards. That’s one of the things that surprised me … that’s the way the world is anymore, it takes a while to get off the ground. Or else you run into periods where you don’t have business and are aware of the bureaucratic green light before you [can] proceed.
Every personality you deal with is different, but good communication is key: Whether it’s a client that’s easy to get along with or a more challenging client, letting them know where you are with a project and what your capabilities are — just [keep] them informed by communicating.“