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Doing business with a family member may seem like a great idea on the surface. After all, blood is thicker than water and so on. But no matter how great your family relationship is, you are far more likely to argue with a family member than with a traditional business partner – and the effects of these battles can extend beyond the professional into the private.

However, if you take the plunge, here are some tips to avoid conflict (and ruin your relationship) when doing business with the family.

Acknowledge that families can be difficult to do business with

You grew up with your siblings or you know your cousins ​​very well. They know what’s causing them, how likely they are to get dirty in a fight, and who of you should be managing the books and who should be doing customer service. Hell, you’ve been preparing all your life to deal with this person professionally! Use what you already know about each other – both good and bad – to guide your actions professionally and personally.

“Since we’re a family – and a very close family – our ideas sometimes collide,” said Angela Nardello, owner of bars in New York City with her brother. The two used to work under their father, but after his recent death the business fell to the siblings. “There were often little discussions about something as simple as the color of the chalk used to write a sign, whether a new menu item should be served with fries or onion rings, or how many employees should be at a party. My father had a very special way of doing things. It was a bit more old school. “

Nardello is showing the right amount of attention here, so be careful. She knew her father and brother well and knew what they agreed on and what they disagreed about. Don’t be surprised if your relative slash business partner shares a like or dislike that you already knew they had. You won’t get ahead in business if you don’t deal realistically with one another.

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Michael and Zak Zakar are 28-year-old twins who wrote together Pray the gays away (and the accompanying off-Broadway production) and How to be damn happy. Zak was the one who answered questions about what it was like to work together and write together, “Do you know how they say you are your own worst critic? This person obviously did not have a twin brother. “

In essence, you will disagree. A lot. Prepare for it, then get used to it.

Say goodbye to “Off Hours”

If your family is made up of colleagues, time at home becomes time at work – working with the family means a permanent fusion of personal and professional life.

“The only major downside is that work comes home with you,” said Nardello. “It’s there when you go to bed, when you wake up, on vacation … It’s non-stop.”

Do your best to keep the business idea where it belongs (in the store, not at the dining table), but also know that everyone involved is human and that emotions take us everywhere.

Be the bigger person if you can

Nardello remembered arguing with her family over the color of the chalk used as a sign, but the Zakar twins went so far as to argue over a single word.

“It can be overwhelming to be able to say something to your work partner at times,” said Zakar. “We were in the middle of writing and fighting over the word ‘regulate’ for an hour because I thought it sounded stupid and he loved it. We are perfectionists at heart, so it is sometimes difficult to bite our tongues. “

At some point, you may have to bite your tongue anyway, no matter how hard it is. Remember that the success of your business depends not only on your ability to work together, but also on a number of family dynamics. Don’t blow up your family over a word or an onion ring! You wouldn’t be in the business if you didn’t have a surefire money-making plan. So focus on the strength of your product and do whatever you can to make it successful – including the Bigger Person.

“Nothing is permanent,” added Zakar. “In many of the battles we’ve gotten into, we’ve argued over ideas. Now we talk to each other respectfully. It only took 11 years. Communication is the key! “

After all, you know it could be great too

Sure, you will have differences of opinion that a normal business partner would not have given your close relationship with the other person, but that relationship will be strengthened as well as destroyed.

“As much as we fight – and we fight – the end product is always better than we imagined because we can talk about our ideas as silly or seriously as we want,” said Zakar. “It’s like having a different pair of eyes that think the same way as you do.”

And Nardello said, “I know a lot of people say that working for the family is the biggest mistake, but I think it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I think it brought me a lot closer to my father and brother, especially when it came to my father. Like most fathers, he would work a lot. When I started working for my father it brought us closer together and I really got to know him better as a person. Now that my dad has died, I am so grateful that I worked with him because the memories and things he taught me are the crazy things he did, even the fun arguments we had Things that I have in my heart forever. “

Sometimes you may find it difficult to gain a foothold and wish to work with someone who your relationship with is purely professional, but once you’ve overcome a few family problems, celebrating your success with someone can feel great too. that you love