ConfusedWith tax season starting, we know every business owner is looking at their financial statements from the past year and getting things in order to file their taxes. It’s a time when owners take stock of what they have, where they have come from and, most likely, how they are going to do in the next year.

But is this really the best place to look for a glimpse into the future of your business? We don’t think so, because the thing about yearly financial statements is that they are a documentation of what has happened in the past. And if you haven’t noticed, the last year was still pretty rough on the kitchen and bath industry.

It’s History

Your financial documents last year, good or bad, are truly history for your company. They are great for measuring how well your company did in the last year, but it shouldn’t be the measuring stick you use for the next. Instead, you should be looking at last year’s documents and finding where your losses were and where you could have done better. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to lead your company to become more efficient and successful every year. Knowing how tough the last few years were, this is a great place to look for those shortcomings and make changes that will keep you from falling into the same trap.

Find a Problem and Fix It

So now that we’ve come to terms with the idea that you don’t need to obsess over what happened last year, it’s time to make that change you’ve been talking about to make this year more successful. As the famous Gandhi quote goes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and it’s time to start making changes. Pick the one place you found to be most troubling last year and work on making it better. Whether it be loss of income due to mistakes in sales or deals that fall through because of lack of communication, these are things that can be fixed by implementing better operational workflows. It’s your job to take charge this year to make it an even better one than last year.

You wouldn’t accept the excuse “I just didn’t have time to do it” from any of your employees, so don’t accept it from yourself. It’s time to understand what has happened in the past, close that chapter of your company’s book, and start a new chapter this year that will focus on the future instead of the past.