Dancho Dimkov founded BizzBee Solutions, which he also runs as CEO. His interest in growth has led him to pursue a career as a serial entrepreneur and senior business consultant. For his work, he guides “startups and businesses on the path to prosperity.”
As the owner of BizzBee Solutions, Dancho Dimkov also takes his duty to assist other business in their pursuit of growth and development. His company is a “full-stack solution provider from concept to market.” For clients, the company mixes “multiple services into one robust solution, smoothening out the road to success.”
Through BizzBee Solutions Dancho Dimkov realizes his passion to help “small businesses and visionaries” as they try to “defy statistics of failure.” His wealth of experience and expertise does a lot to push other businesses to get over the hump and find their success in their respective fields or industries. With a team of “30+ in-house experts,” the company serves a growing number of clients, with an average of over 300.
Dancho Dimkov helps his BizzBee Solutions clients perform critical tasks for business growth such as “market research, business plans, product sourcing, lead generation,” among others, so that the clients can focus on building up their companies in the market.
In 2008, prior to BizzBee Solutions, Dancho Dimkov embarked on his adventure as a serial entrepreneur. He started the first Balkan mobile marketing agency, called AdvertSMS. For this venture, he received the Global Innovator award for 2009. He also received speaking opportunities on the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship across Brazil, India, and Finland. In ten years, he became a senior business consultant, passing on his knowledge and experience to other businesses that want to succeed.
I wanted more from my life. Dancho Dimkov, BizzBee Solutions
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Dancho Dimkov: Hmmm, where to start ☺
I had a good job (at least when it comes to salary) — Product owner for a software and hardware company from the UK. I was recently engaged, so things were on the right track. In my home country — Macedonia — that is like hitting the jackpot.
The problem? I was not fulfilled. I wanted more from my life. In my spare time, I’ve started doing some freelance gigs, mostly in the market research and business planning area. And I loved it. I was able to help entrepreneurs and startups achieve their dreams. While I was stuck as an employee.
At one point, I’ve started earning more from my freelance gigs than from my full-time job. And that was the turning point — deciding to do management consulting as a full-time job. It was a tough decision (some might consider it mad even) to leave a stable job and pursue the unknown. I was determined to start as a digital nomad, working with my fiancée while travelling around the EU. And it was a fantastic experience.
But then I got sick — nothing serious, but enough to shake things up. We’ve realized that if we want stability, or even to start a family, we can’t be digital nomads forever. We need to start a business, where people would continue working, even if we need to take a temporary step back. And that is how the idea of BizzBee Solutions was born.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Dancho Dimkov: Well, as a startup founder, I was supposed to recruit, train and mentor/manage the first set of 4 interns (we couldn’t afford experienced employees). In addition, I needed to take care of quality, finance, marketing, and still find time to talk to prospects and bring in new clients. I hardly think that this is a one-man job, and keeping focus was the only way to stay on top of things.
But I was not alone. My wife was the person that kept me motivated and worked alongside me. In all the ups and downs, she was full of understanding and was here to support me. When we started the business, the first 3–6 months, we were both working 18h per day, together. When I started my business, it was an emotional leap. I had no money in savings, a big apartment loan and a desire to have a kid. Succeeding was the only option — there was no plan B.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Dancho Dimkov: Not sure how funny it is, but it is a mistake. ☺ When I started my business, I continued my freelance mentality. I was looking at freelance platforms, applying for gigs, and once we sealed the deal, I was giving the job to my team. And for this kind of gigs, you don’t really need a brand, marketing, or social proof — as long as you have a strong profile, you can easily find a job.
It was 3 years after I started my business that I realized that if I wanted “normal” clients, I need to start investing in marketing, in promotion, in case studies and other digital marketing assets that any other company has. I felt silly, as for 3 years, I had zero marketing budget, and things were going rather well.
It is quite easy to lose focus on what’s important when you are running a company, especially a bootstrapped one.
Jerome Knyszewski: Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Trust brings long term relationships.
I signed a client that needed market research on locations best suitable for cryptocurrencies mining. As such, it involves looking at different countries, temperatures, prices of electricity and plenty of other variables. The project was expected to last 2–3 months, depending on the available web data. Within the first 5 hours, we found a third-party report that addressed all the questions the client needed. He was so confused when we told him that there was no need for 2–3 months of work and that the job is done. Since then, he trusts us entirely and has been a client since.
- Value over profitability.
We were working with a client for some time, with the end goal of bringing more meetings for him. And we were struggling to figure out how to obtain results. We needed time to do testing, but the client had a limited budget for that project. And I needed to deliver. So we put on the extra manhours while cutting our profits. That worked liked charm. We made significantly less profit on that particular project, but we came out with some great results and a loyal client glad to spread the word about our services.
- Risk brings profit.
I was in the Netherlands when the email hit my inbox. A Spanish client wanted to hire us for some quite challenging project. It involved 10 people working for 2 months. And we had a deadline of 2 weeks to start the project (and I was coming back after a week). My team consisted of 5 people at that time, and we were working with full capacities already.
Within one week, we’ve managed to find a new office, recruit 10 new people, buy desks, computers, and everything else, and even deliver some training to the new employees.
As it was a new client in question, I had no way of knowing if they will keep their end of the deal, or will disappear forever. It proved to be one of the most fruitful risks I’ve ever taken. 5 years forward, they are still our clients.
- Take care of yourself and your employees.
It is quite easy to lose focus on what’s important when you are running a company, especially a bootstrapped one. When the time, budget, and resources are limited, we are often prone to burnout. I found a way that helps me stay on track — taking some time off with my family, being present and travelling. Often for weeks, at least before the pandemic hit. And I tend to take care of myself, so I can also take better care of the people I care about, and my employees, of course. Even when my schedule is hectic, I aim to dedicate at least 15 minutes to each. To see how they are doing, is there any way I can help them, or so we can work on our growth.
- Re-evaluate your company at least twice a year.
It might sound weird, but every few months (6 at the most), I am assessing my company like it is not mine. I imagine that I am an external consultant, doing a review of BizzBee Solutions. And I question everything. “Why are we doing this?” — is one of the frequent questions that I ask to justify processes or to close them. I often learn that things that I thought were right and suitable 6 months ago, are no longer so. And that is why I take the role as an external consultant in my own business. Questioning everything and making the necessary business updates so it can be a great company.
Jerome Knyszewski: Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?
Dancho Dimkov: I can elaborate on this topic based on my experience. We’ve started as a general consulting company. We were a man for hire — so we could potentially do anything that brings money. And I think clients can smell that attitude — you are after their money, not after actually helping them.
But then we evolved. We’ve specialized in B2B outreach and prospecting, targeting high-ticket service providers (startups and SME’s). Why? Because we are confident we can help them. I don’t see our business as sales support. I see our business as helping startups, and SMEs reach out to more companies and solve a particular problem of theirs. So it is a win-win-win: we get paid by helping our clients get new clients, and the prospects are having one less problem to care about.
Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?
Dancho Dimkov: I think that I’ve already mentioned the focus a few times, but I really think it is crucial. BizzBee is focused on B2B high-ticket service providers. Knowing our target helps us in creating more engaging copy on our website — relevant testimonials, relevant case studies, and relevant examples.
We’ve gone a step further, we even divided the high-ticket service providers into 3 categories — a) consultants, b) software providers, and c) agencies. We’ve then created a completely different home page for each target, giving even more specific case studies, testimonials, and showing what we can do specifically for them.
This improved our conversion exponentially.
I don’t think that there is a hack for getting a reputation as a trusted brand. It has to be earned — the hard way. Dancho Dimkov
Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?
Dancho Dimkov: I don’t think that there is a hack for getting a reputation as a trusted brand. It has to be earned — the hard way. So most of the activities we often believe are unnecessary, and can be easily skipped — those are usually the ones that actually increase your brand reputation.
Being active on social media — providing value-based posts and comments is one way to go. After a while, people will start turning to you for specific problems.
Publishing content on the subject — I’ve also experienced a significant boost when we published 6 eBooks on B2B outreach and prospecting. It boosted our credibility and trust.
I also know what I should BE doing intensively (but I don’t). I am trying to finish a book on B2B prospecting which will significantly improve our brand credibility. In addition, I want to start a podcast, interviews, and other channels where I will discuss our experiences and build brand awareness and credibility.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Dancho Dimkov: Well, LinkedIn is always my go-to platform, so they can always find me there. They can find me on Facebook as well. If you want to keep up with my great company (pun intended) check out our website: https://www.bizzbeesolutions.com/.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!