In Small Business things can happen quickly.

One minute you are cleaning the kitchen and the next minute the boss is sick and your in Charge!

What to do

Don't panic. If they put you in charge they saw your potential and now you have the opportunity to see what you can do.

This is your business now. Change your mindset. Being a boss is about being in a mindset of owning the solution and resolving or avoiding the problems.

If you are just working a job then your mindset tends to revolve around getting to work on-time, doing your assigned jobs, and leaving at a predefined time.

Being a boss does not contain itself to these ideas and you have to change how you think and in a hurry.

This is your opportunity to show the boss what you can do and very importantly, show yourself what you can do.


Get to work early and plan the day. 

This would be earlier than you are used to. Perhaps even one or two hours earlier. 

This is an opportunity to improve your future so tell your partner of the situation and get their support.

When you arrive, tidy up as much as possible and clear away the things you would normally do. This is so that you have time to focus on the added task that you may be required to do.

Don't leave early. It is very tempting and a well known event that when the boss is away, you can get out the door faster. Don't and don't let others. If you do, other staff will also take the point and leave early.


Tell the staff that the boss is away for x days/weeks and that you are in charge. 

This is a very important declaration. People need to know who is taking charge else from experience, it all becomes a bit of a shuffle and no one picks up the reins.

Tell them that if they have a problem, you may be able to help. If you can't, you will ask the boss. And if it's not important or employment related, wait for the boss to return.

Keep the ship tight and don't let idle conversations become the norm. Your the boss for a day or two, you will be tested and you must act like one else no one will take you seriously.

Don't Become a Patsy

You are not trying to be friends or take sides so if someone comes to you with a special request, that is going to mean someone has time off, take equipment, or stock, or arrive late; make it clear that it has to be approved by the boss first. If its not approved you cannot make the call. If they can't get a hold of the boss then the answer is no.

If possible get them to talk directly to the boss or send an email. Don't become the middle person or as is know in the trade as a patsy.

Avoid any conversations where staff want to talk about the company problems where there is no actual solution present. You will know them when you hear them.


In business the priorities are simple; Make Money (without harm to the environment or living things).

  1. What are the key tasks your boss wants you to perform? Make a list.
  2. Make sure everything gets billed out.
    1. Do not wait, bill out anything that is taken or any labour that is spent on a job
    2. Invoice everything and anyone. Even fiends of the boss or special arrangements need to be invoiced. 'I'll fix it up later when the boss gets in!" is not an option Bill them.. They can always fix things up later. Your boss is going to see that when they were away, you held the fort and you may have annoyed a few of his/her friends but they really won't care and they will see you as a huge asset. A lot of the 'friend' arrangements are not really what they would like to happen.
  3. Make sure staff start and finish on time. If not keep a log and pass it on to the boss when they return.
  4. Decide on how you will personally measure the business. is it that you will make sure $2,000 a day gets billed out? Or is it 10 invoice are sent out? What is it that lets you know you are doing your job?
  5. Records are up-to-date and filing is complete. The desk is to be clean
  6. Get a notebook and place any phone calls that you cannot answer into the book. Or put them on an email and send it to the boss.
  7. Avoid leaving the boss's desk in a mess. Keep it tidy. When they return your goal has to be that they see it all in order.

Daily Update

Sometimes a quick update emailed to the boss is a good idea.

Hi Victor

Report for 1/4/2018


10 Invoice closed

$2,000 Billed out

Everyone came in on time and left at 5:00

Customers are happy

You mate called in and took a battery. I billed him retail less 10%

No calls required as I either solved or said you were back next week and they are happy to call then.

Hope you are enjoying your holiday. All good here so stay longer if you like :)

Cheers Kimmy (The boss and in control while you are away)

On Their Return

  1. Make everywhere clean. 
  2. Organise the paperwork.
  3. Make a review list and when they arrive
  4. Go through it with them.

A good result leaves a lasting impression and every business owner wants to find someone who could genuinely run their business. It could be you.