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Balancing Back-to-School Like a Boss image

Like most things this year, the start of the school year is shaping up to look quite different for many parents. Based on your child's school county, they may be required to go back fully in-person, some are doing a hybrid mix of virtual and in-person learning, while others are mandated to do 100 percent remote learning. We have heard the buzz around our Sola community that parents are struggling to navigate this new norm, specifically regarding how it affects their life as a salon owner. But the silver lining, like most curveballs you have been thrown this year, is that you are not in this alone. In an effort to support you in finding your groove as a working parent, we hosted a panel discussion with some of our parent Faces of Sola who, too, are balancing back-to-school with life in the salon.

If you weren't able to join us live, you can still watch the recording on our YouTube channel or in your Sola Pro app. We've also broken down a recap of the top 6 tips we learned from our panelists below.

“None of us are experts, we’re only experts in loving our kids, loving being at Sola and having the freedom to do what we want...that has given us every opportunity to adjust during these times.” - Kim Bennett, panel moderator

1. Stay Organized

Like many adults working from home during the pandemic, setting up a structured schedule is crucial to your kids’ success. Even if you don’t have an agenda written out for each day, you can help your kids stay on task by doing specific subjects and activities at or around the same time each day. 

“Before the school opened back up, we found getting into a routine and having organization helpful. We got up in the morning at the same time as she would for school. She got dressed as if she was going to school. I had a little ‘school center’ with everything organized. I had an agenda and a schedule, and we would just try to do what she would be doing during a school day. We would do recess and have lunch at the same time...structure is what worked for us.” - Shelbie Donoho

2. Adjusting and Readjusting 

It’s safe to say that this year, we have had to adjust our plans. Now with school back in session, we have had to adjust yet again. Most working parents with school-age kids have had to change their work schedule to accommodate their kids’ remote learning schedules. 

“The beauty of being a suite owner and entrepreneur is you can have flexibility. For me, I’m already off on Mondays and I’ve adjusted my Tuesday and Wednesday schedule where I’m home during the morning and I’m leaving in the afternoon. So, for the most part, their schools are ending 2-3 pm, but I’m able to be the principal or the supervisor, the lunch guy, or whatever it is on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the day.” - Steven Wren

3. Maintain Open, Honest Communication with Your Clients

Being flexible with clients could be something you were used to in the past, so switching to a schedule that they now have to work around can feel daunting. Keep open communication! It will keep scheduling much easier and keep you feeling at ease. The odds are that they will be understanding of your situation and happy to accommodate your schedule because they want to their services done by you.

“It truly is so important to communicate with your clients and to let them know what’s going on and to have that transparency there...Everybody has been super understanding and more than willing to accommodate whatever is thrown at us. We’re all in this and just working together.”  - Ashley White

4. Use Outside Resources

Just because you are more involved with the facilitation of your kids’ learning, that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel! Using outside resources is a great way to take advantage of others’ expertise and take some pressure off yourself. Tutors, learning pods, and online lessons are all great resources to help you out. 

“I use an app called OutSchool.com. They offer different classes your kids can take. Whatever you need help with, the class is on there. If you don’t see a time that works for you, you can request a time.” - Tahesa Nelson

5. Lean into Technology

It’s safe to say that stylists everywhere have had to schedule and reschedule more than just a few times this year. Have you simplified your process? Using technology like SolaGenius makes booking and rebooking a breeze. Use the Sola-exclusive all-in-one scheduling app to block time in your calendar -- whether it’s needed for school drop off or social-distanced learning, and quickly and easily communicate scheduling updates with your clients. ⁠

“I have really loved all the features of SolaGenius, but I’ve especially used the email feature and the text message feature to communicate with my clients in a quick manner, that gets my message out to them directly with a personal touch from me...It’s been wonderful and has definitely helped me through all the changes.” - Ashley White

6. Take Baby Steps

At the end of the day, no one has been through this before. Helping your kids through this strange time while running your salon is no easy task. You should give yourself and your kids some credit and remember to check on each other's well-being. Your mental health is a huge priority always, but especially during this unpredictable time.

“Perspective has been a major focal point and concern for our family, especially when planning for what’s unexpected. What is the attitude we’re approaching it with as a family? We’ve utilized some support from a community wellness center, so regardless of what our school schedule looks like, we’ve been able to obtain some tools and practices. Take a deep breath... we can do this, we are capable of doing hard things together.” - Amanda Fagan  

Want more from our amazing panel? Watch the full discussion here!

Check out our other back-to-school blogs, Back-To-School Tips For Salon Owners and Balancing Work and Parenthood