Why You Need a Season Debrief

At H&H we say we are more than just a lab. But what does that even mean? Sure, when you partner with H&H you get best-in-class products and technology at your fingertips. But who else, besides yourself, knows as much about your business and has a vested interest in your success? Who else has the experience and perspective of working alongside thousands of businesses like yours? H&H Color Lab is your resource. And you’re leaving money on the table if you are not making sure you at least familiarize yourself with all those resources at your disposal.

Many of our customers request a seasonal download. It’s just good business. It helps dot the i’s and cross the T’s. Not to mention it helps both of us continue to improve. You would be amazed at what opportunities come from a simple 30-minute conversation discussing what worked well and what didn’t. And even highlight what is new that you may have missed in the newsletter. Season debriefs are also an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the developments just around the corner—in the lab and in the industry. But priority one is to take the time to review your goals for the past season. What barriers did you have to overcome to move towards that goal? What aspects propelled you toward that goal?

How often should you have a seasonal debrief?


There are two times a year that are critical for a studio working to actively grow their business. That’s between each of the major seasons. Typically, once in late-November or December, and once in late-May or early-June. This provides a time that you can debrief what did not go as well as you’d like and what went well that you want to repeat from the previous season. It’s also a time that you can prepare for the upcoming season and put together your game plan. You should be asking questions like, “Hey, what’s new?”, or, “What do I need to be doing to stay in front of my competition?” Maybe it’s not always formal with the management team. It can be as simple as checking with your customer service rep, one-on-one. Sometimes it works best to come visit us at H&H in Kansas City, Missouri. You may not need to do this every year, but if you invest the time every three to five years you’ll be shocked what it will do for your relationships and business planning. If you have not ever been to H&H, it is definitely worth the visit and investment.

The goal of your debrief should be to figure out where you went right, where you went wrong, and where you can improve next season.


This may depend from studio to studio, based on the time of year and your specific goals. But in general, it’s two-fold. The number one goal would probably be a fix-it mode. In other words, identify the issues you may have had the previous season. “What went wrong?”, “What worked out surprisingly well?”, “What didn’t work out the way you thought?” Whether it was performance on our part, or the system—or performance on your part. We’re not here to point fingers. We are here to help get down to the root of the issue. We do this by asking the hard questions, both of ourselves and of you. And then we immediately follow up with, “What do we need to do to improve it?” This will set both your studio and your lab up with better goals and developments we can implement for the coming season so that we can better the system for everyone.

Video conferencing is a great method for getting the most out of a season debrief with your team.


You should finish each briefing feeling very confident you know what you need to do to improve next season and grow your business. Many times, that’s where we can be a helping hand just by saying, “Hey, let’s take a half hour and sync up.” A conference call is a great place to start, but video conferencing is even better. Whether it’s consulting and business development or teaching and training—communication is more efficient and clearer when you can see each other’s faces. The most important thing is you schedule uninterrupted time so you will be present and focused on the meeting. So, shut off the phone, lock the door, and focus your team’s attention. This is some of the most important time you’ll spend working ON your business.


It’s knowing. Seriously, the biggest benefit is that you know about the tools at your fingertips that will help you grow your business and improve your profitability. Confession—this is a big benefit to us, too. Not only are you learning about the systems at your disposal, but we also get a glimpse into the details and goals of your business. This directly influences how we at H&H continue to innovate. Everything we build is with our customers in mind. How to save them time. How to increase profitability. How to grow their business. The download opens the door to make sure, whether pre-season or post-season, you have the best information and resources available to help you take care of the customers you have and attract the ones you don’t have yet.

Let us know what you think. Comment below.

Team H&H

H&H Color Lab is not only the market leader in the sports photography business, we are your partner. We’ve been helping independent sports photographers run profitable businesses for 49 years.

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