1. Definitely a question for Mike…. Mike?
Yeah, here I am Gabe. That’s a great question and a tough situation. You obviously don’t want to alienate a client you’ve had a good relationship with for 10 years, but my guess is that if they’ve been in business for 10 years they understand the need for contracts, and probably have them with their other vendors. Approach the situation delicately, let them know you’re at the point where you’re trying to tighten up your business practices and you’re getting all of your clients onboard. Explain the contract protects both of you and offer to walk through it together, in person if possible, instead of just e-mailing it in. It’s all going to come down to your delivery.
And congratulations on having a client for 10 years! Nicely done.
2. I’m sure there are resources, but I’m not aware of any in particular. As for whether it’s always a good idea to get a lawyer, I swear Mike will get mad at me if I say that you don’t always need one…. So, I’ll let him answer.
Thanks Gabe, When we were starting off we picked up a bunch of Nolo press books. I recommend them. But they’re no substitute for an actual lawyer. I recommend reading up a bit so that you know what questions to ask, and then getting a consultation with a lawyer that understands freelancing. Hunt around a little and you’ll find one that’ll do an initial free consultation.
AND the accompanying tumblr of Q&A with Mike and Gabe.
Terrific work guys - a true service to many.