Now the company's bottom line takes precedence over her sister's spouse. "I have made my sister aware that our main goal is the company's profitability," Elliott says. Money can be a major point of contention in many families, so nail down compensation and percentages in lucid written agreements to avoid brawls and squabbles later, Romeo advises.
Can't We All Just Get Along?
Remember your parents' heated debates on living room decor? In a business setting, clashing opinions scream even louder, so prepared to get diplomatic. "We work like a Japanese consensus model. Once a decision is made, everyone rallies behind it as opposed to continuing to press their point of view," says Dennis Pinto, managing director of Micato Safaris , a tour operator and safari outfitter which his parents founded 40 years ago. Even though you're family -- and more so because you are -- set down a partnership agreement that clearly defines roles in case of any dispute, says Harry Dannenberg, counselor at the nonprofit organization Score NYC . Define the big issues, such as what happens when a family member moves, or when one partner wants to get back some of his or her investment.
But It's His Turn!
Passing the blame or burden between siblings is a classic move, but if nobody in your family likes to shoulder responsibility, you're in for an aggravating and noncommittal ride.