Best told from the very beginning! (By Nina Wyers)
I’ve heard the story a million times and I’m proud to have told it a million times too….
My Dad, Martin Wyers, began Floorbrite in 1972, before I was born, before he’d even met my mum Linda. He moved to Manchester from the Midlands at the age of 21 to work as a carpet salesman after he'd traveled the world for 2 years. As you do, he met a girl and one day happened to have a conversation with her father that would change his life forever. The father was the manager of Tesco in Sale, Manchester and mentioned to my dad that he was having problems with his cleaners at the time. My dad took a look at the figures and said, “I’ll do that for you”! and so Floorbrite was born.
My dad sold his pride and joy, a Vauxhall 101 in order to start the business. He worked all through the nights, alone in the beginning, in order to make the business a success. He would fall into bed at about 4am, get a few hours sleep and then get up, put a suit on and go out looking for more business.
Dad soon needed help with all the work he had and so he employed his first 3 cleaning ladies, Emily, Maud and Faulder and the 4 of them worked together as a team. In time, Martin walked into an office opposite Lancashire County Cricket Ground, touting for business. There he met my mum Linda, who was working as a Personal Assistant. The rest as they say, is history!
Dad opened his first premises, a very small ground floor office and small store room in Kingsway in Altrincham, apparently the room consisted of dad’s desk and chair and was filled to the brim with an assault course of mops, buckets and vacuums. He quickly outgrew this first office and moved again to a shop and office above, on Shaftesbury Avenue, in Timperley, Altrincham. He and mum would spend Friday evenings flying around all his sites delivering brown envelope wage packets and small boxes of cleaning materials to the cleaners. Mum also joined forces with dad in a sales capacity for a while and as an attractive young woman in the 1970’s, wearing white, knee length boots, unsurprisingly, she did very well.
Gradually, dad increased his cleaning team and moved in to new premises on Britannia Road in Sale, where he employed office staff for the first time. He had legendary Christmas warehouse parties and "Scrubbers Balls" in the Embassy rooms in Sale, where all the staff were invited. Until dad had between 100 - 200 cleaning staff, he knew every one of them and their family members by name.
Over the years, myself and my brothers Alex and Nik were born. Floorbrite grew and developed relationships and clients across all sectors of industry and commerce within the North West. In 1987, dad again needed to move to larger premises and Floorbrite took up residence in Cranford Avenue, off Dane Road in Sale. Shortly to be extended and refurbished into purpose built offices and warehouse. Always at the helm, dad was in the office before 8am and was rarely home before 8pm.
As my brothers and I grew up, school holidays were spent in the warehouse counting bin bags and toilet urinal cubes (which we called pineapple chunks) into bags for payment of a chippy lunch. Mum joined the sales team again, this time minus the white boots and she enjoyed another few years developing a new telesales role.
After leaving university in London myself, I joined Floorbrite in 1999 to take over the telesales role after previously discovering that I was actually quite good at it, in what was supposed to be a temporary role to solve my zero cash flow problem. It was too late… I was hooked too and fell in love with Floorbrite and its people. After progressing through the sales department and becoming Sales Manager at 25 I soon entered a period where I relaxed my involvement in Floorbrite to begin my own family and now have 3 boys of my own. Today I am the Marketing Director and have returned to using my natural creative skills for the benefit of Floorbrite which I love.
My brothers too are now Joint Managing Directors after leaving university with business degrees and like me, joining Floorbrite at the bottom. They have worked in every department, broken new ground in so many areas of new business and taken the company to Yorkshire, Birmingham and now UK wide. They have earned their stripes. Dad would have it no other way and the best you could hope from him in the way of praise, were his famous words “You’re coming along”! Extremely frustrating.
Sadly, dad was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2007 and passed away at the age of 61 in 2010. He was respected by everyone who worked with him. He was loved by so many and is sadly missed as our founder. Dad had the foresight though, to employ a Managing Director before he died; John Perkins, with the capability of running what had become a multimillion pound business. His primary role with the help of the board of directors was to do what dad didn’t have time to do and that was to mentor myself and my brothers into a position where we had the experience and skills to run the company ourselves which we now do. Floorbrite, the Board of Directors, including my mum who is now Chairwoman, must be doing something right, in the years since dad’s death; we have grown by over 100%. We have all achieved this with the board’s freedom to try new ideas, by diversifying and becoming a facilities company and by entering new vertical markets and expanding geographically. All this is however, carefully considered. Our values have not changed. We are a family business, now with over 1500 staff that we have a responsibility to. We will continue to ensure that there is a bright future for Floorbrite and the people that we employ and look forward to what the next 45 years will bring.