While you love you family during the good, the bad and of course, the ugly, is setting up a business or working side-by-side a good or bad idea?

Whether your family has a small business, or a large company, bringing a family member (or two) into the fold could be an iffy situation.

But before you think it may turn out to be all gloom and doom, many families work well together under one roof. You won’t know until you try, right?

Biggest challenge

One of the most common problems and biggest challenge to working with a family member is keeping personal and private issues separate; you just might need to have two relationships with this person.

Yes, this can be hard trying to manage two relationships with one individual, but it can be done. Keep in the back of your mind that for the business to stay successful, you need to be professionals.  In other words, don’t talk to your sister about the fight she just had with her boyfriend, or discuss with dad why he forgot your mom’s birthday at work.

Here are some other tips on how to successfully work with family:

  • Work through disagreements. In any business, challenges and disagreements will happen. Just because someone is family doesn’t mean you won’t disagree; in fact, you might argue more. Keep calm, cool, and collected. Talk it out like you would with any other employee. Find common ground and search for a solution that benefits both parties.
  • Keep communication open. In any venture, communicating is key even without family issues. Adding the family dynamic emphasizes the need for open communication even more. Again, talk things over and don’t rush to judgment. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face so to speak, just because it is a family member, don’t immediately think you can get your way.
  • Talk openly and honestly about frustrations. Bear in mind when working with family, not everything is going to go smoothly and expect frustrations to pop up regularly.  Instead of stomping away like you did when you were growing up, learn to have an adult discussion. But make sure you are conversing with all family members far away from other employees. Do it behind closed doors, or in a conference room.
  • Enjoy success as a team. While it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what each person in the relationship isn’t accomplishing or doing, or could do better, it’s important to remain focused on the overall goal and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.

Leadership squabbles

Another major issue family businesses face is preparing to pass leadership duties to a successor, which is not something they all do well. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey revealed that 40 percent of family business leaders are reluctant to pass the baton to the next generation, and 73 percent of family businesses have no succession plan. Learn to talk things over and do what’s best for the company and not who in the family has seniority.

Working with family can certainly be a challenge, but it can also be rewarding, and hopefully some of these tips will help should you decide to embark on the journey.