[00:00:00.430] – Dancho – Once we started working on the network, the stronger the network was, the stronger BizzBee grew. Because I even started networking with competitors. There is an Association of Management Consultants here in Macedonia, and, you know, at the beginning I was like with high guard, okay, they’re going to steal my idea or I’m going to steal theirs. But then I’ve realized that there are project opportunities that you cannot capture on your own and you need to team up. Yeah, we are competitors, but that is a good project, let’s do it together. Really opened my eyes that it is a way of networking.
[00:00:36.490] – Michael – Welcome to Coaches and Mentors Unwrapped.
[00:00:38.530] – Roslyn – The show that brings you remarkable insights and practical steps to help you in becoming the best version of yourself. We’re your hosts, Ross and Mike. We both didn’t have it easy growing up. Through our story, we’ve made it our life mission to ensure every young individual will have the opportunity that we didn’t have.
[00:00:56.470] – Michael – This would be achieved through offering you unrivaled access to mentors and coaches and the opportunity to help you uncover how they impact our lives. Our vision is to have a world where we can all help shape each other’s lives through shared experiences and carefully applied tools and systems that has been tried and trusted. Good evening, Dancho. And welcome to the Coaches and Mentors Unwrapped podcast.
[00:01:22.330] – Roslyn – Good evening, Dancho, nice to have you on the show today.
[00:01:25.210] – Dancho – Good evening, Mike. Good evening, Ross. Nice to be on the show.
[00:01:28.810] – Michael – Thank you. So I guess for the sake of our listeners, once again, thank you for tuning into Coaches and Mentors Unwrapped. Today on the show, we have Dancho at Dimkov. So Dancho is amongst many things, the founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, that’s spelled B-I-Z-Z B-E-E Solutions. And we want Dancho to basically share some tips in terms of his journey into entrepreneurship and some of the lessons that he learns and how our listeners can convert from that. So without further ado, I guess Dancho will hand over to you to give us some introduction.
[00:02:08.410] – Dancho – Hello, hi. Thanks, Mike, for the introduction. Sounds very good. The company BizzBee Solution, it was like a business bee, like a hard-working bee that works every day in order to grow businesses and personally, should I give you quickly my background story?
[00:02:33.530] – Roslyn – Listeners are tuning into you for today. So where are you based? Please do share? Definitely!
[00:02:39.770] – Dancho – Sure. Well, I come from Macedonia. It’s a very small country and I always make the joke, can you guess where we are? Figure out where is Macedonia? And my whole life, I’ve been an entrepreneur, a serial one, started several business, failed a lot, made so many mistakes, I cannot even count already how many mistakes we’ve done. But through all those mistakes, I started learning and upgrading our logic and every other business was better and better. When it comes to BizzBee Solutions, it’s a management consulting company that actually helps entrepreneurs and startups to grow their businesses. And I’m really fascinated with the entrepreneurship world. I mean, I did even my master’s degree in entrepreneurship, and I took the executive MBA at Sheffield University in UK. And my whole goal through our company is to help the B2B world and help entrepreneurs grow into startups. And as they grow into startups, to grow into SMEs and beyond. So, in short, in a business management world, we usually work with market research, business plans, lead generation. And my particular field is young enthusiasts or entrepreneurs because I feel with them I know the headaches that they had ahead of them and they’re just not aware. And perhaps that is why I wanted to come and talk on this podcast because I really think that I could save some headaches to some of future entrepreneurs.
[00:04:10.670] – Roslyn – Yeah.
[00:04:11.270] – Michael – I appreciate it. And I love the fact that you made a mention of you made a lot of mistakes, but we’ll come on to that because I guess led you on to becoming more creative and making sure that you can build a sustainable business in BizzBee Solutions. For the interest of our listeners, today’s topic is entitled Six Critical Tasks to Address When Starting Your Business. Basically, we’re trying to ensure that any pitfalls that are potentially ahead of you. In case you’re a listener and you’re trying to start a business, Dancho will hopefully be your coach or be your mentor and some of his tools, and some of the steps will hopefully guide us along that way. I guess let me hand it over to you, Dancho. In terms of run this through, what’s your learnings been in terms of setting up BizzBee Solutions, maybe share six critical tasks that our listeners need to be aware of when you started your business.
[00:05:06.950] – Dancho – Sure. When I was thinking which one should be, one more tasks, once were things that you should consider when starting your first business. Yeah, I can reflect because it’s not my first business. So when I was coming to BizzBee, I was like, I know that mistake. Don’t do it, or I know that one. But when I need to summarize, the first one was to try not to be a one man show, because when I started my first business, I had zero experience and zero knowledge. And as a one man show, you need to do everything. You need to start working on marketing, you need to pitch your services and start broadcasting about what value you can offer to your clients. Then you need to put your sales head, in order to start convincing and talking with clients and try to close them actually. Then you need to have the execution head when you also need to actually do the project when you’re a one man show. And on top of that, you need to take care of finance, you need to think about strategic tasks in terms of improving your services. So one thing that I’ve learned in my last business is I didn’t do it myself. I on boarded my own wife from the start. So I really felt the difference when there are two people side by side working and growing a business compared to the previous ones where I had to do everything on my own. The second thing was to ensure the finance because all my businesses were bootstrapped. We didn’t got any external venture capital and I wish I could tell you a story, you know what? I had an idea. I got 5 million in funding and everything was a downstream from there. So a lot of blood and sweat and hard working. But all our businesses were started by just going into the bank, take a loan in terms of few thousand euros. We didn’t start businesses in hundreds of thousands and from there working all day, all night and just reinvesting as the company grows. The problem we have here is that first you have to recruit junior people because you cannot afford experienced senior people. But on the other hand, that was maybe even an advantage here because when you work with juniors, they’re so ambitious, they’re so eager to learn and you can shape them exactly what you need them to do rather than when you’re working with seniors, they have the luggage, but they have how they prefer to do things. The third thing that I had here for the critical tasks was to learn to delegate because as I started onboarding people, it was really hard to give people something to someone else. My always saying was like, ideally, I should just be able to clone myself and just control C, control V make a few clones with me. One can do execution, one can do marketing, but it doesn’t really work like that. I’m sure, you know, unless if you know the cloning secret, please share it with me. But after that now, even during this Corona thing, I’ve realized that if you put enough effort in standardization and when you have clear expectations of the employees, all you need to do is empower them and train them and they will shine like a star. So I didn’t do it at the beginning and I regret it. But now I see how big is the impact where employees are not just executioner, but they’re actually a valued part of the team, and they are actually contributing to deliver better project, rather than just executing. Number four was actually to start marketing as soon as possible, because even with BizzBee, I made the same mistake because before BizzBee, I was working as a freelancer and you go on freelancer platforms, Upwork or PeoplePerHour or Guru. You find some gigs, you make some money. And actually that was my motivation to start the business because more work was coming, you start recruiting people, more work was coming. But when you work on freelance gigs, you don’t really need the marketing. You just look at the job post. I like this, let me apply, let me do it. But as we grow to 20-30 people, I’ve realized that it’s not sustainable to actually chase all the freelance platforms. There I was three years into the business with zero effort in marketing, so we had to go from scratch, building a website, building blog post, newsletters, the whole thing. But we were years behind. On my next startup, I will know I will start with marketing before I start the business even. Not after three years.
[00:09:40.710] – Dancho – Exactly! And point five was to start networking with people, again, coming from the freelancing world. I didn’t have the need to be recognized in Macedonia or abroad because it’s a gig economy. You see a job, I can do it, you pay me, I will do it. Or I have an agency, I can do it for you or some of our employees. But then when you go out, nobody knows you. And it’s not just it doesn’t know you. You cannot use the network on your behalf, because once we started working on the network, the stronger the network was, the stronger BizzBee grew because I even started networking with competitors. There is an Association of Management Consultants here in Macedonia, and you know, at the beginning I was like with high guard, okay, they’re going to steal my idea or I’m going to steal theirs. But then I’ve realized that there are project opportunities that you cannot capture on your own and you need to team up. We are competitors, but that is a good project, let’s do it together. Really opened my eyes that it is a way of networking.
[00:10:45.510] – Roslyn – Yeah.
[00:10:46.170] – Dancho – The last thing was the outreach. The thing that I actually now I’m preaching everywhere where I get. I’m even writing my book on the outreach process for the B2B, is that at one point we’ve realized that we cannot depend on the freelance platforms. And our only way was to just start picking up the phone and start cold calling, which I realized it’s not really a good idea. You’re catching people at uncomfortable situations. But we’ve realized that instead of waiting for the phone to ring, we need to proactively start looking for clients, whether it’s LinkedIn, whether it’s email, whether it’s different events, that you can go, at the end of the day, if you want to have a sustainable business, it cannot be just done organically. Organically it’s a very good way, but it’s mid to long term, while the outreach has immediate effects, because if you talk to 1000 people by some statistical mistakes, you’re going to get a new client at least. So these were like six tasks or aspects I believe that any entrepreneur should know before starting a business. And now we’re even delivering some training for entrepreneurs these weeks. And yeah, I’m strongly believer that youth is the driving force of the economy. And only entrepreneurs are the ones that are creative and problem solvers, and they know to connect dot A with dot B and try to create something amazing.
[00:12:09.090] – Roslyn – Yeah, that’s awesome. One thing you spoke about was delegating and marketing, which I think is two key things. With delegating, you can’t take everything upon yourself. And I do believe there’s power in collaboration as well. So if you know that someone’s doing something that’s similar to yours, collaboration is key. It’s not about having that kind of helmet that you were mentioning of someone stealing your idea. But Dancho, how was it like working with your wife? Obviously, me and Mike work together. How was that?
[00:12:41.010] – Dancho – Well, you know what? It’s weird at the beginning because you spent 8 hours. Actually, you spend 16 hours at work together, then you come home and then you’re still together. But on the other hand, I’ve talked with a lot of entrepreneurs that are not understood by their spouses, whether it’s girl or boy. They need to work 16 hours, and then they got home and then their wife, or what’s the alternative to wife, spouse. Okay, where have you been until now? You haven’t done anything or stuff. But when we’re jointly building the business, we support each other. I mean, I have rough paths. Maybe she has some rough paths and we try to support each other. And seeing you both on the podcast, I know that when two people are involved, it’s always easier to go through the entrepreneurship journey.
[00:13:33.930] – Roslyn – Oh, yeah. I mean, at the same time you help one another, you find a balance. That’s what I was looking for.
[00:13:42.690] – Dancho – Yeah. You need some break or relax from time to time. It’s like, okay…
[00:13:50.590] – Roslyn – Go to that side of the room, and I’ll go to this side of the room. You do need that. How did you uncover to be key to your business?
[00:14:02.170] – Dancho – Well, through a lot of mistakes. As I started from the beginning, it helped that I did a lot of academic background, and I did the master degree and entrepreneurship. It gave me some ideas on what are the alternatives, what’s the good and what’s the bad. But at the end of the day, you can learn three years about how to swim. But until you actually get into the water, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. And for me, it was a bit easier because it’s not my first startup. I have some background. But when it comes to the outreach, it really came naturally because I’m really interested in growing people, in growing companies, in growing services. So when I saw the benefit on the outreach, it was like, okay, I need to actually start helping companies to do the same. And it’s weird enough, during the Corona, we switched from a general management consulting company to a specialized B2B outreach company. So before the Corona we were like a man for hire. You need market research, we can do it. You need a business plan? Sure. Do you need any analysis? Of course. But now we even redesigned our website to say, look, we are marketing and sales outreach agency. We specialize in B2B world. In particularly, we specialize in agencies, in consultants and in software companies. And when we got that straight focus, I’ve realized that the things started changing. I’ve realized that we started attracting the right audience.
[00:15:35.890] – Roslyn – Right. One thing I come across, Dancho is, my previous work being in project management. We had opportunity of doing social enterprise projects with young people, and often at times, one thing that would arise when we’re trying to sell projects or trying to get young people in the mindset of work readiness. Is it’s going to take too long? I want to start a business, I’m very entrepreneurial. With the young people that I come across, and I work with day to day, what I find is that they’re doing things on the side, and they’re not realizing that it’s very entrepreneurial, but they need to channel that into offering as a service or getting some kind of funding from it. So my question to you is, how long did it take you to address the tasks, the six tasks that you’ve given us today?
[00:16:24.430] – Dancho – Well, it is an ongoing battle. It’s a task in marketing, in sales, in service development, it is a process of growing. But interesting, we embedded the change in our culture. So now, for example, in our marketing team, a few months ago, we introduced a bi-weekly newsletter. And so when you introduce something new, you destabilize the whole team how it should be. But after several newsletters, it got back to normal. Now we just introduced video interview series that we started doing from 1st January on marketing and sales automation. And now it’s a destabilization again. And it is as a company culture that we destabilize, we grow a bit, then we shake a thing, then we grow furthermore. And ongoing process, I’ve realized that it is not a one time task. And it’s interesting that you mentioned that the social enterprises, because when I talked with entrepreneurs and I mean, we’ve had more than 400 clients already. I see two types of entrepreneurs. The ones are like, I’m going to start a business within six months I’m going to be a millionaire and all those ambitious goals. Good luck, dude. Not going to happen, probably your first startup, obviously. On the other hand, we’re talking with entrepreneurs that are driven by passion. And, you know, when you have the passion about it, if I tell you, look, starting a business is a journey of not even a few months, in years. They’re like, well, I actually enjoy doing this. So for me, it’s not a hustle to keep doing this for two years or five years or ten years. I’ve realized that the people that are driven by passion in order to start their business. Either it starts as a hobby and then they realize that they can commercialize it. And those are the people that usually succeed in business.
[00:18:12.650] – Michael – That’s brilliant. What are some of the books that helped shape your thinking? I know you learn more from mistakes, like you said, right? You had a couple of other startups and obviously all the learnings you put it into BizzBee Solutions. But in terms of resources, for the sake of us and our listeners, are there any specific books or kind of tools that you’d like to recommend that helps you build your other businesses, plus BizzBee Solutions?
[00:18:40.890] – Dancho – Yeah, there is a lot of literature now, and of course, it’s free. And if I need to recommend, of course, I would recommend my ebooks. Joking, but yeah, actually.
[00:18:50.860] – Michael – Please share it.
[00:18:53.830] – Dancho – Well, on our website on bizzbeesolutions.com, we have a series of seven different ebooks. They’re not that big, 50 to 60 pages each, and each address a separate topic in the B2B outreach and sales process. Whether how to actually do your ideal client profile or how to build a database of ideal prospects, or how to create messages that are not salesy, but are more conversation starters, how to actually do LinkedIn outreach, how to do email outreach. And then once people start responding, how to nurture them into a relationship rather than burn the bridges by directly pitching. And we have it under BizzbBee Academy, like seven different books that are addressing different topics. And really, those are things that as we learn, as we see what works with clients and what doesn’t, we actually adjust it on the books. And now the goal is to combine those seven into one single book, which we hope it will go out in 2021. But it’s January, so I still have enough time to actually merge it. But when it comes to B2B world and especially for entrepreneurs, I think that going over those few books will give them a completely different perspective.
[00:20:05.710] – Michael – That’s great. We’re going to share the link on our show notes, so our listeners can also access those resources. It’s been amazing talking. I like the fact that it’s been very structured, right? You talked about starting from, not starting a alone for this, especially for BizzBee Solutions and working with your wife, all the way down to outreach. And again, we’re going to outline all these steps. So thank you once again for that. How can our listeners connect with you? Are you on kind of the socials? I know you’re on LinkedIn because we are connected, but are there any other channels that we can share?
[00:20:42.310] – Dancho – Yeah. My two main channels are Facebook and LinkedIn. I know that there is Twitter, Instagram and everything else, but obviously it is a headache to be present on so many networks. So I choose Facebook, because it’s from my time. I know that millennials got into Twitter, TikTok and all the platforms that are out there.
[00:21:04.970] – Roslyn – Dancho, you’re not doing some videos on TikTok?
[00:21:08.850] – Dancho – No, no. Honestly, but also, as I’m targeting B2B world, my community is more on LinkedIn. Also, people could come on our website because every two weeks we publish a new blog, and it’s not a blog in terms of three tricks how to do something. But it’s more insightful blogs that we really put some effort on those.
[00:21:29.430] – Michael – Fantastic!
[00:21:30.810] – Roslyn – Great!
[00:21:31.170] – Michael – Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure talking and yeah, we just want to say thank you. Hopefully, our listeners would find this insightful and informative. And again, it’s a wrap from Coaches and Mentors Unwrapped.
[00:21:44.190] – Roslyn – That’s it guys. Thank you very much Dancho, for your time today.
[00:21:47.070] – Dancho – Mike, Ross, thank you very much for having me on the show. I really hope that this kind of interviews will inspire or help entrepreneurs in order to pursue their passion and their dreams.
[00:21:58.950] – Michael – Fantastic.
[00:21:59.490] – Roslyn – Thank you.
[00:22:00.630] – Michael – Thank you.
[00:22:04.270] – Roslyn – For all the links to the resources discussed on this episode, click the details link, next to the podcast. For any questions or topics you’d like to discuss, mentoring and coaching requirements, kindly drop us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org
[00:22:20.590] – Michael – Thanks for listening. Until next time. Remember, inch by inch, you form a stitch and 1% improvement daily can help you become 37 times better within a year. That’s absolutely staggering. Let’s go get this guys.
Danco is a serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of a 3-year-old and a burger enthusiast. He is inspired by growth and goes above and beyond to make it possible – whether it comes to his 300+ clients or his people. Eager to learn more? Follow Danco on LinkedIn and Facebook.