Even though it is still very early days for The Guild, we are hearing reports of others in the industry making negative comments as to the validity of The Guild and what it is we are trying to achieve. Although we feel that our purpose is quite clearly stated throughout The Guild website, it would appear that further clarification is needed.
The main concern seems to be that we are only here to make money for ourselves. We do not want to get involved in mud-slinging, life is too short, but we would like to make our position very clear.
Yes we actively promote glass polishing services. Yes, all glass polishing is undertaken by our members. No, we do not employ our own glass polishers. Yes, If asked to oversee or manage a glass polishing project for a client, we do provide this service. Yes, we only recommend Guild Qualified glass polishers.
By collectively developing and agreeing to higher standards of service and quality of repairs, proven by industry recognised qualifications, we can establish a ‘trusted brand’ for glass polishing. This can only have a positive benefit on our industry as opposed to a negative one. A recognised qualification shows that you are a true industry professional, able to repair scratched glass to a required standard, in a safe, cost effective manner. This enhances our reputations and benefits our businesses, both collectively and individually. Why would a true professional not be in favour of this?
Yes, we do make a small profit on referring work generated by own marketing. This profit is nominal and goes some way to subsidising our marketing costs.
The Guild of Glass Polishers has been and continues to be funded by its founding members. The Guild has not been funded by membership fees, joining fees or administration fees. The Guild is registered as a limited company and operates as such allowing us to stand on our own two feet and lead by example.
A point has been made that the founder members of The Guild also have interests in or run their own glass polishing companies. This appears to be a problem for at least one person in particular. We would like to point out that The Guild of Glass Polishers is a working collaboration of professional glass polishers and glass polishing companies, working to promote and support our industry, those working within it and those employing its services. A professional body, promoting a professional industry, should be run by industry professionals. As for any potential conflict of interest, we would hope that our actions alone in setting up The Guild would go a long way to proving our motivation, but in the interests of transparency, The Guild steering committee regularly reviews all Guild business and practices.
Offering training courses is yet another bone of contention. Apparently by providing training in glass polishing and assisting new comers to the industry, we are diluting the market, taking work away from other glass polishers. Whether The Guild offers training courses or not, we cannot, as an industry, prevent other people from becoming glass polishers or adding glass polishing to their existing services. Any industry that offers reasonable earning potential will attract people. Surely it is better to have well trained people with relevant qualifications with whom you can develop a strong working relationship.
It is also true that there is a high failure rate with new glass polishing companies, even established glass polishing companies get can experience difficulties, around 70% of new glass polishers will fail in their first year.
I can think of no better reason to have a Guild of Glass Polishers to support new and existing glass polishers, helping them to succeed. Perhaps if we had a Guild before now, that failure rate of 70% would not be so high!
It has also been mentioned that there are other organisations out there offering similar services, such as The Guild of Master Craftsmen. This is very true and they do a very good job. But, they are not glass polishers. They deal with an impressively wide range of trades. The Guild of Glass Polishers (and at the risk of sounding like a U.S Senator) is run by glass polishers for glass polishers and those that use glass polishers.
Finally, it should be noted that we are not asking anyone for anything. There are no joining fees and we are offering the first 6 months membership for FREE so as it says at the top of the page, the proof is in the pudding. If you like the idea of The Guild, call us and let us prove the value of The Guild and how membership of The Guild benefits it members.
If you don’t like the idea of The Guild, we respect your opinion and wish you well. All that we ask is that you air any grievances you may have with us first, before sending unsigned emails containing misinformation and vindictive comments to all and sundry, whilst hiding behind an anonymous gmail address.
Better still, join us, join our steering committee and have a say in how The Guild is run.