A Key Small Business Backup Strategy

As a car wash owner, you are the face of the business. You are the one who greets customers, manages employees, and makes sure the operation runs smoothly. But what happens when you need to take a day off? Or a week? Or even a month? It's important to have a second-in-command—a kind of Chief Operating Officer (COO) who can fill in as a strategy manager and keep the business running while you're away. Here's why.

When you're the only one in charge, there's no vice president to delegate day-to-day tasks to or to brainstorm new ideas with. Having a second-in-command gives you someone to bounce ideas off of and helps to take some of the pressure off of you. Additionally, having a second-in-command means that you have a leadership team with decision-making authority, ensuring that the business can continue to run even if you're not there. This is especially important if you own a small business or if you're the only person with certain knowledge or expertise.

But how do you choose a second-in-command? And once you've chosen someone, how do you make sure they're prepared to take over? Read on for tips on both fronts.

How Do I Select a Second-in-Command?

When choosing a second-in-command, look for a business leader who shares your vision for the business and who has the skill set and knowledge necessary to carry out that vision. This is a big-picture senior executive who should be able to make decisions independently and should be comfortable taking on initiatives. Great leaders also need emotional intelligence to be successful at the top job. As a business owner, you should also make sure that this person is someone you can trust—after all, you'll be entrusting them with your business!

Once you've found a great leader who meets these criteria, sit down with them and spell out exactly what their new role and job title will be. Discuss what will happen in different scenarios—if you receive a phone call that a team member needs to take a sick day, if there's an equipment malfunction, etc. Work with this new member of your c-suite to come up with a plan for each situation. The more prepared they are, the easier it will be for them to be a great second in command.

How To Prepare Your Business for Your Absence?

In addition to preparing your second-in-command, there are steps you can take to prepare your business as well so that it can run smoothly in your absence.

First, create an operations manual. | Outline your company's procedures for each contributor—from opening the doors in the morning to closing them at night. This manual should be clear and concise so that anyone can follow it without difficulty.

Next, make sure all employees are aware of who the second-in-command is. | They should also know how to get in touch with them if they have any questions or concerns while you're away. You should also provide your second-in-command with a list of emergency contacts—people they can call if something goes wrong while you're unavailable.

Finally, refrain from checking in too often while you're gone. | Give your second-in-command the space they need to run things their way. After all, that's why you chose them in the first place!

As a car wash owner, it's important to have a second-in-command—someone who can fill in for you when necessary and keep things running smoothly while you're away. When choosing a second-in-command, look for someone who shares your vision for the business and has the skills and knowledge necessary to carry it out. Once you've chosen someone, make sure they're prepared by sitting down with them and outlining their duties, as well as creating an operations manual for the business. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your business will continue to run smoothly even when you're not there.