How did Prince Charles come to meet Willy Wiper?

How did Prince Charles come to meet Willy Wiper? Find out below! Also find out the basics on how to become a successful entrepreneur by following the tips from Mark and Graham themselves.

Shortly after the Toxteth riots in Liverpool in the early 1980’s, brothers Graham and Mark Wray along with Paul Harper decided to be proactive in the pursuit of employment as the prospect of finding work for young people in the area was bleak. Despite having no prior business experience they approached the Prince’s Trust with a business model and secured a loan of £3,000. With this money they began buying clothes from charity shops, removed the zips and buttons, and sold them on as rags to local companies and garages. However, in 1987 Paul decided to part company with Willy Wiper and pursue other avenues of employment.

The company traded under the rather humorous name ‘Willy Wiper’ and despite the obvious connotations managed to draw significant amounts of positive attention to the company. So much so that in 1986 HRH The Prince of Wales visited the company to see how the funds from his charity had been put to good use. You can almost imagine the shocked faces of Liverpudlians seeing ‘The Prince’s Willy Wipers’ in their local paper. Upon a recent visit to Clarence House Prince Charles was also quoted saying ‘Congratulations, you are a great example of how my trust helps young people. I wish you every success for the future’.

Prince Charles, Wray Bros, Willy, Wiper,

Prince Charles visiting Willy Wiper in 1986, Graham (left) and Mark (right) in 2011 and a montage covering the early success of Willy Wiper.

After a visit to St James’ Places in 1992 with a turnover of £700,000.00, Mark and Graham started to think the unthinkable and contemplated the prospect of changing the company name. However, it took until 1996 to finally retire ‘Willy’. A decision Graham’s son would come to greatly appreciate upon starting school. Despite this, he inherited the name of ‘The Prince of Hygiene’ which will come to make sense in a few sentences time. In order to reflect their hard work Mark and Graham decided to change the name to ‘Wray Brothers’, changing it further in 2002 to ‘Wray Brothers Limited’ with the slogan ‘Kings of Hygiene’ added at a later date.

Wray Brothers Limited is now one of the leading organisations on Merseyside for the total provision of hygiene supplies and washroom services as well as having an extensive range of work wear and personal protective equipment. Both Graham and Mark turned Wray Bros from a small company selling rags to a company, whose grounds cover a whole street, selling 4,500 items in a 138 page catalogue with a multi-million pound turnover. It truly is a rags to riches story.

Starting up your own business is no simple task and any prospective entrepreneur will encounter many hurdles before they hit success. Mark Wray’s advice to any start up is to ‘never give up’ and attributes the success of him and his brother to having an ‘ignorance to failure’. Below you will find a selection of useful tips on how to be a successful start-up. Given the circumstances and the expertise Wray Bros has in the area of cleaning we thought a cleaning business would be the area we could provide the best advice on.

Start small – it doesn’t make sense to tie up all your capital in equipment and chemicals before you’ve secured a few contracts. Keep things simple to begin with and ensure you have the time and capabilities for each job you take on.

Research suppliers – ensuring you source commercial-standard cleaning products and equipment is essential to keeping your business afloat. Buying your chemicals from the high street will end up expensive and you won’t be able to access the higher quality products that commercial clients will expect.

Have a Budget – with a little research you can estimate how much money you’ll need to spend initially to get setup. This shouldn’t be too excessive when compared to other businesses but factor in the cost of professional cleaning machines as well as your cleaning equipment supplies and items will need to be regularly restocked.

Invest in Marketing – if you invest properly in marketing then others will find your business and the chances of success are much higher. You need to make your potential customers aware of who you are and what you do and then if they need you, they can find you.

Starting a business in the janitorial sector can be extremely fruitful if you have the right attitude and the dedication to make it so. For a more in depth explanation on starting your own cleaning business read our What you need to set up your own janitorial cleaning services business blog on our website.

Suggested Housekeeping Cleaning Schedule and Cleaning Supplies

Following on from the previous post Suggested Washroom Cleaning Schedule and Cleaning Supplies the article below continues the theme but looking at the cleaning regime for general office spaces.

A selection of Jangro housekeeping cleaning chemicals ideal for office cleaning

A selection of Jangro housekeeping cleaning chemicals ideal for office cleaning

The post covers a suggested schedule for daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks as well as recommended cleaning supplies suitable for the task of cleaning office reception areas, general office spaces, corridors and stairwells.

Suggested Cleaning Schedule: Office Reception and General Office Space Suggested Housekeeping Cleaning supplies
Daily cleaning tasks

  • Empty waste bins and remove refuse
  • Brush or vacuum entrance mats
  • Spot clean floor surface

Weekly cleaning tasks

  • Dust surfaces up to hand height
  • Spot clean doors and wall partitions
  • Polish decorative metal surfaces
  • Polish wood furniture
  • Clean underneath loose mats
  • Fully clean floor surfaces

Monthly cleaning tasks

  • Dust surfaces to medium height
  • Clean telephones
  • Dust shelves and cupboards
  • Clean radiators and pipework
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture

Suggested Cleaning Schedule: Corridors, Stairs and Lifts

Daily cleaning tasks

  • Empty waste bins and remove refuse
  • Spot clean doors, glazing and mirrors
  • Brush or vacuum loose matting
  • Spot clean floor surface

Weekly cleaning tasks

  • Dust all horizontal surfaces to hand height
  • Polish handrails and balustrades
  • Polish brass work and other decorative metal surfaces
  • Polish wood furniture
  • Damp wash/burnish laminate surfaces
  • If applicable, clean and polish lift interior and exterior surfaces
  • Polish door finger and kick plates
  • Clean underneath loose mats
  • Fully clean floor surfaces

Monthly cleaning tasks

  • Dust surfaces to medium height using flick mop
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture
  • Damp wipe marks from doors and partitions
  • Damp wipe radiators and pipework
Suggested Glass and Mirror Cleaning chemicals:

Quick Guide to Cleaning Windows, Glass and Mirrors:

  • Spray sparingly onto surface
  • Wipe immediately with lint free cloth
  • Polish to a sparkling finish
  • For small areas spray onto cloth & wipe surface

Suggested 750ml Spray Polish Cleaning chemicals

Quick Guide to Cleaning Furniture, Fixtures and Telephones

  • Spray sparingly onto surface
  • Wipe immediately with lint free cloth
  • Polish to a lustrous finish
  • For small areas spray onto cloth & polish surface

Suggested Air Freshener Spray products

Quick Guide to Air Freshening

  • Spray high into the air, away from the face
  • Do not spray over furniture or fittings

Further suggested janitorial supplies

For consideration: 

  • Always read and follow the Jangro label instructions.
  • Wear suitable and recommended ppe and use the correct colour coded cleaning equipment.
  • Routinely check stock levels of your cleaning chemicals and janitorial supplies.

Managing ongoing hygiene standards

There are additional cleaning tasks that should be undertaken on a quarterly and/or six monthly basis, e.g. clean window blinds, internal windows and dust high level surfaces.  To help maintain a good working relationship between the customer and cleaning services company there should be agreed standards in-place that can be benchmarked against during cleaning inspections.

Look out for our supporting article Suggested Washroom Cleaning Schedule and Cleaning Supplies provides a template covering a cleaning plan for clean and hygienic washroom and toilet.  Further posts will look at a cleaning schedule for catering environments. Contact Wray Bros for further help and information on how to get the best from your wholesale janitorial supplies or for information on our hygiene audit.