Family firms, though far out numbering traditional businesses, are never-the-less misunderstood by the unwary consultant. Even consultants with experience note that you have to know who the "real power power behind the throne" is or to "understand the family politics" but most, with backgrounds in business, law or finance, do not have the training or background to know how to help with the human dynamics they encounter. The unique nature of family businesses and the complex interplay of the "owner-manager-family member" roles create opportunities and challenges give them their own special needs from consultants. Many rely only on the family, perhaps with a trusted advisor such as an accountant or lawyer, to provide a guiding hand for these complex issues and many suffer tensions as the roles and demands of the complex system play out over time.