In 1973, 51-year-old Lloyd Hanson walked into a bank with nothing more than a business card and a business plan. Forty years later, his company, Hanson Directory Service Inc., is still going strong.
He had no money, no staff and no equipment, but with hard work, he prevailed. In his first two years, he ran the company from his basement. He hired his wife, Valora; his son, Dannis; his daughter, Cheryl; and his son-in-law, Mike. He had contractual agreements to produce directories for 11 telephone companies, and within few years, he moved his business to the Midtown Building.
In 1979, Hanson hired his son, Bill, who later became the president and CEO and had nothing but praise for his father.
“He was always thinking about business, talking about business, or doing business,” Bill Hanson said. “Dad would be amazed at the growth of Hanson Directory Service today with the new ideas, the Internet and mobile marketing. He would be astonished.”
Lloyd Hanson saw his business transcend from a basement into the Midtown building. It was in use from 1975 to 1999. In 1999, Hanson ran out of room and had to move to new location. Later, he found that he needed even more space, which led to the building of a new location that was completed in 2007.
Forty years later, Hanson’s company employs 77 people. On Jan. 19, the company held a Christmas party and reminisced about Lloyd Hanson.
“We could not have achieved this level of success without all of you,” Bill Hanson said at the party. Thank you for all that you do!”
“My grandfather taught me a strong work ethic and that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, no matter how old you are,” Telephone Sales Manager Veronica Hanson said. “My father taught me compassion, integrity, not to cut corners just to make a buck and, most importantly, that success isn’t measured in dollars.”
The company’s website states:
“The shared goal of our staff for each directory that we publish is to produce a quality, user-friendly directory that both the telephone companies that we represent and the communities that they serve can truly be proud of. The numerous telephone companies that we represent and the valued advertisers in our many markets have all experienced the attention to detail that helps us to consistently produce quality directories.”
Hanson Directory Service Inc. is located at an 25,000 square-foot state of the art facility in the Industrial Park area. They currently publish 114 telephone directories in 28 states and serve 490,000 homes and businesses in Iowa.