A successful business has many ups and downs, as well as ins and outs. Here are four key tips for entrepreneurs.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

In an entrepreneurial role, you can take much more direct control and accountability for your own actions and results. At a big company, the time horizon for results can be too protracted, and all the different processes and bureaucracies create a high level of frustration.

In a smaller setting, you derive much more satisfaction and value by working with teammates in an accelerated, hands-on and creative way compared to what you can do at a larger company.

The Power of People

In both successes and failures it’s all about the quality of people you work with, whether they be clients, partners, employees or board members. Being able to seek out and choose the right people to associate with really determines the level of success you’ll have.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

It’s been said before, but it’s true: Quality is more important than quantity. You need to define your end game more on success and less on effort because, ultimately, that’s how you will be defined. Some people go to work and think it is good enough if they just put in the time and go through the motions of dealing with what’s urgent and responding to requests. In reality, you need to focus on what’s important in order to drive success.

It’s more about being proactive, as opposed to reactive, and working smarter, not harder, to get where you’re trying to go. In the end, that will lead you to a better outcome.

What’s Your Blind Spot?

What’s your blind spot? It’s lurking in your peripheral vision — large and important — but for whatever reason, you’ve blocked it out. You can work hard and have a mental vision of where you’re going. You can take charge and be an eternal optimist to be able to suffer through setbacks and still power on. But the personality that’s derived out of that type of attitude can still be prone to blind spots, and that’s something that could harm the momentum of your business.

Successful entrepreneurs continually look for unseen challenges and reassess the way they move forward. Did I see it coming? Am I agile enough to react? Learning to recognize and remedy these blind spots can be a game changer for your business.

Joseph J. Thomas, CFA, is president and CEO of Bay Bank. He can be reached at 410-312-5400 or [email protected].