WJR Business Beat: (Episode 427) How Hansons Got Its Start

On today’s Business Beat, learn how Hansons founder Brian Elias knew he had made it in business.

Tune in below to hear how Elias gained the trust needed to grow his company:


Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat! 

Jeff: Good morning, Paul. It’s Friday and this morning on the Business Beat we’ve got a preview of our Business Biography show, which airs every Saturday right here on WJR at 1 p.m. Now tomorrow’s show features an amazing story, Paul. It’s the story of how Brian Elias created Hansons in 1988 with $5,000 and grew it to a major success culminating in a sale of the company in 2017 that is nothing less than the stuff of dreams for any entrepreneur. Here’s a teaser, Paul. Brian?

Brian: I started Hansons with $5,000. My father’s name was Hanley. I’m his son. That’s where the name Hansons came from. And literally I was in a room no bigger than 200 square feet and that was my office at 12 Mile and Van Dyke in a dumpy office building. And that’s where I started. And that was the beginning of the story. And I remember hiring my first installers and I used to have to wake them to get ’em out of bed to install because nobody wanted to work for the little guy because they didn’t trust him. So these are the challenges that I was up against.

So we’d sell a job. Nobody gave me credit so I had to go and run and take the money from the customer to go give it to the supplier to make my windows for me. And then, the day I installed the windows, part of my deal with them because they didn’t trust me and I didn’t blame them, is I had to go pay the window bill the minute that that money came in. That went on only for four or five months and then they got to get comfortable with me. And I always paid everything early.

I did everything to make sure that my supplier was my partner and we did a great job with that so as we grew, people wanted to do business with us. And then I realized I was in the business, not on the business, not working on the business. I was in it.

Jeff: We’ve got the full story tomorrow on Business Biography at 1 p.m. right here on WJR.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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