Tuesday, 14 July 2015


I own and use a Tilley hat. I've had one for many years and the current model has been around the world with me and has suffered through long hikes along the Great Wall of China as well as sea kayaking in the Channel.

Ten years of hard work have taken their toll, however, and with a tear in the fabric I have had to admit that it was time to retire my hat and buy a new one. In celebration, I posted a picture of my hat on Twitter.

Within minutes I had a reply from Tilley themselves. They offer a lifetime guarantee on the hats that they make and pointed me to their website with details. I pointed out that I had used the hat rather hard for a decade or more - and they cheerfully stood by their lifetime guarantee.

Now there is a company that is proud of what they produce and is happy to put their money where their mouth is. I'm sure that the cost of the replacements they offer is vastly outweighed by the good will and good PR that they generate - and I'm equally sure that this is not the reason they do it. Quite simply they are proud of what they make and are happy to say so.

How many lawyers have that sort of faith in what they do? Some - I'm sure. But what guarantee do you offer?

I'm often asked to discount my rates (this is connected to the section above, honestly. Stick with it). I hate discounting (unless you are a charity) - it makes me feel undervalued and it's often a very bad way to start a business relationship. Nowadays I make a counter offer. I will do the work at the quoted rate - if you're not happy with the quality of what I do, don't pay it*.

I am proud of what I do and am happy to stand by the quality of my work.

What offer will you make..?

* So far, I'm glad to say, I've not had a penny taken off an invoice

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