18 Nov 2021
In episode #297 of “The Leadership Stack Podcast”, Dancho talks about the right time for quitting roles in the business.
“In the expensive services, relationship is king. Positioning yourself as an authority in the field, and connecting with people, because when people need a new website, or something expensive, they never just try to find a complete stranger. They first try to see their network. Who do I know that could actually do that for me? And our goal is to put our clients into the circles of their ideal clients, and be the “go-to” guy.”, says Dancho.
Sean: Hey guys, welcome back to the show Sean here. And I have with me a guest from the other side of the world. I have Mr. Dancho Dimkov and he is the CEO and founder, so guys, we have a CEO and founder here on the show of BizzBee Solutions. And what they do is they do B2B lead generation solutions for businesses, SMEs, mostly all over the world.
And they have a team of 25 people and he founded it from the ground up. And right now he has graduated in seeing the horizon instead of being hands-on knee, deep in the operations and looking at each tree. Now he’s looking at the forest and that is what we are about to learn from here today. thank you so much for being here on the show.
Dancho: Yeah. Hello, Sean. Thank you very much for inviting me to the leadership stack podcast. I really hope I can meet up with more leaders and trying to inspire some of them.
Sean: I’m sure you will. And maybe the first thing that I want to learn from you Dancho is, how did you come about Bizzbee Solutions? Why is that the name? Why’s that what you’re doing right now? What is your why? What’s the purpose why you started this thing?
Dancho: Well Sean, I usually say I have a long version and the short version. For the long version, I need a beer. I’m not going to do that without a beer next to me. So I’ll stick to the short version this time.
But BizzBee is a management slash sales consulting company and it didn’t start like that. I mean, I was working in a software development company as a project manager in a corporate world. But it was really routine job from nine to five. Not really exciting. And in free time, I was actually going to the freelance world like Upwork or Udemy or whatever.
And I was actually really inspired to work with entrepreneurs, with startups, for they had so exciting ideas to workaround. So I was really eight hours at work. Eight hours after work on the exciting part. And at some point I was like, wait a minute, actually, after work, I’m making more money than doing the work.
Plus, it’s more really exciting when you talk with entrepreneurs, with hustles, with solving different kinds of problems. And this was actually for me, the tipping point as an entrepreneur to say, you know what, I’m quitting my job, I’m continuing going full time. Although it was scary because I was recently married, but it actually worked out pretty good because when you don’t have a job, actually, you can travel.
And me and my wife, we said let’s became digital normal. I am in Macedonia by the way, and I doubt that everybody – anyone knows where is that on the map, but it’s really close in Europe. So we had the opportunity to go to Germany, to go to Italy, to go to France, to go to the Netherlands, and really, you know, wake up in the morning, go to a club, work a bit in a coffee bar, travel a bit, then do some additional work at night.
And it was really quite six to nine months traveling around the world and still getting some money on the side. But the problem there, it came that when I got sick, there is no revenue because my wife takes care of me. I mean, nothing seriously sick, but when someone needs to take a step back, there is no money because you are being still paid by the hour.
And that’s the tipping point where I realized. “Okay, Dancho, so if you really want to grow a family or have kids in future, you really need to figure out a more sustainable way of how the company can keep growing even without you.”
And maybe this is how actually your point on how seeing the forest and not the trees, even from the core fundamentals when Bizzbee was founded was that I need to build a company that can work without me.
So we got back to Macedonia. I actually took four insurance, found some secondhand furniture because it’s not like we had the money, and rented a really old apartment in a really old building. I mean, you’re not going to like it. If I have images, I would have shared them, but luckily I don’t have it.
But I was – my goal was that I have three months, I had enough money to cover the interest for three months. It will be, either it’s going to succeed or if it fails, I didn’t spend a lot of money. I’ll just find myself another job and then that’s about it.
And it started growing. I mean, our first services were market research. So we were actually working with entrepreneurs and we tried to see the market, the competition, the gap in the market, and the opportunity, and entrepreneurs were really excited and they tell, we want more.
And then I was doing business plans with the financials, with the organizational structure, with everything. And many of them, two entrepreneurs I’ve worked with actually started their companies and they actually need help in the supply side. To find manufacturers in China, for products and on the sell-side to start doing the lead generation prospect.
And honestly, the first four interns, what I told them is like, “look, you’re going to be interns until you no longer need me the moment you don’t need me you’re hired.” And it really helped me because they started having the mindset. Okay. What should I learn so I won’t disturb Dancho or touch Dancho. And even now six years since Bisbee is existing, I still have the same culture in the company.
I’m building teams that are self independent, and they can operate in a self-sustainable way. So I can easily just take a step back, go on a month on a holiday and, and enjoy life a bit at the end of the day. Fast story forward, six years, we have more than 400 and something clients so far in the six years, we have done projects in absolutely every country from around the world, from Asia, from Europe, from Canada, from Australia, from the US. And during that period, we’ve noticed that you know, as an entrepreneur, you start growing and you’re realizing that, well, wait a minute, the business plans in the market research, you do it as a one-time service – you get paid good.
But that’s it, you cannot really do another business plan while with the lead generation. It’s an endless story. It’s like, I want more leads. I want more leads, but then you give them a lot of leads and they’re like, well, now we hire three more people and want even more leads. And that’s the continuity I saw in the lead generation.
So when Corona hit last year in 2020, we said, you know what, we’re cutting down the market research, the business planning. We’re specializing – we’re no longer the generalist, we specialize purely on B2B lead generation. And we want to focus on a particular segment, which is the high ticket service providers because we knew that we can really give them good results.
And I mean, by high ticket service providers, I’m thinking consultants and coaches that have real expensive daily fees, a marketing and sales agencies. They could have big projects on six or 12 months and software companies, especially the enterprise software companies that are charging 50K or a 100K.
Well, they really needed help in lead generation. And in this particular case Sean, the problem was that you cannot really say well I have a 50 K service. I’m just going to put Facebook ad and, you know, with flashy led by now and people will be like, oh, 50K, let me just click it. Swipe my credit card on that 50K.
And it doesn’t work like that. I mean, I would love to work like that, but in the expensive services, the relationship is king. Positioning yourself as an authority in the field and connecting with people. Because when people need a new website or something expensive, they never tried to just find a complete stranger, they first tried to see their network. Who do I know that could actually do that for me?
And our goal is to actually put ours. Into the circles of their ideal clients. So when the need arises, if it’s not present yet, they have to be the go-to guy for either website or for consulting or for coaching.
So it was a long ride, but it was worth it because as I told you, I had four interns and they started working without being, having the need of me. So then I said, okay, I don’t no longer need to do the execution. I can now focus on management, marketing, and sales, but as we grow further, I said, okay, now I actually need the project manager.
And the project manager has started managing the people; so I said, okay, now I no longer need to take care of the execution. Let me focus on marketing and sales. At some point I hired salespeople. So I said, okay, now you’re going to do the sales, I’m going to manage you and I’m going to do everything else. At some point, I even took a sales manager and saying, now you take care of the complete sales process.
I will focus on marketing and the overall growth of the company, and fast forward now I have a team of marketing people, with a marketing manager that is generating traffic and leads that are going through the sales and sales are actually being able to qualify them, give proposals, close. And then it goes to the project manager with her team directly being able to execute on the project and do the fulfillment.
So it is a really nice circle where even if I disappear for six months, I know that the company will keep generating revenue, but not just revenue. It’s going to keep growing because at the end of the day, that was my first thought six years ago. How to actually create a business that, I mean, my wife got pregnant after one year, so I could just take a step back and just try to be with the family.
Or now I can actually take long holidays. I don’t think – I tried to take frequent holidays, but not long, but at the end of the day, the whole goal is to have the freedom to work on the business rather than in the business. And maybe Sean, this is what really resonated with me when you said, well Dancho, you know, what, how to see the forest and not the trees.
And you really need to find time to take yourself out of the equation. Start looking at the big picture. Where are you headed? Are you happy? What’s the future of your business and how to reshuffle the cards in order to make it more efficient? But also you really need to take yourself out of the equation because otherwise how you’re going to do the visioning process. How you’re going to start just sitting and thinking what’s the one thing that you can actually do in order to get the ripple effect on your business.
And this is really why I believe that even if we’re full-time people, even if we have two full times, like 18 hours per day working in our businesses, we really need to find time one or two hours and just reflect on where we are and where we want to be.
Sean: I want to, so I listed down so many questions in my head, as you write. Sharing your story about how you started up you know, as a, I could resonate with you so much because when I started SEO-hacker, some 11 years ago, I was doing everything and so were you as the CEO and founder. And one of the main goals is to, as you said, take yourself out and work on the business rather than in the business.
And you start quitting jobs. Like I start quitting being the janitor. When I finally had enough revenue to hire people. Now, I wonder what were some of the things that you started quitting as your business grew? And I want to know, like which ones did you quit first and which ones did you quit last?
Dancho: I quit everything, now I’m just focused on growth. But when I started, I started quitting the execution because fulfilment is the easiest part. If you have a client, if you manage to sell it, if you clear out the expectations and also on the execution, you have clear procedures and steps that need to be followed.
And this is actually what helped me because I have a saying Sean, that entrepreneurs are a bit lazy people. They try to automate or standardize everything because it’s a lot of effort to invent everything from scratch every time. So when you have clear procedures, you can just share the execution to someone else to help you.
The second thing that I quit as a job was project management because when you have 5, 6, 7 people that you need to manage, it’s a full-time job. How are you going to focus on growing your business when you’re focused on doing the execution again? Just from a management perspective. Then I should have thought about quitting the marketing, but we didn’t have marketing.
When I started Bizzbee was really centralized around Upwork and the freelance platforms. So I had zero marketing actually, you know, we just go on the geek economy on Upwork, try to find several job posts, apply, get few jobs, bring it to the project manager – there you go. So when I even started with the sales team, they were doing what I knew, how to apply on Upwork and get more gigs or projects, and then do the execution.
And here was the painful problem that after three years we said, you know, It’s really competitive on this freelance platforms. I mean, it’s more price-driven projects for everybody. We’re just undercutting with the lower price. And for every job opportunity, there are like hundreds of applications and we really need to get out of this and going the real life where we can actually be the only one to send the quote.
And then I’ve realized that we had zero marketing up to that point because we didn’t need it. I mean, if you ask me, I had zero calls because I just applied on few jobs, got the project, give it to the project manager, do the execution. So what I was able to do is actually, first is quit my sales job. So I actually had people to do the sales. And I focus myself full-time on marketing. And by full-time on marketing, building the website, the social content, the blogs, the newsletter, the SEO, a lot of stuff. Then I started bringing people for the funnels, for the e-books, for the email sequence, and everything.
And now I have a project manager who actually takes care of the marketing and that’s the last part. I actually quit. I mean, by quit, I did not really quit a hundred percent because I still want to be able to go on podcasts. I still want to be able to create a blog once in a while. I still want to go as a judge on a business plan competition, which is a kind of marketing activity at the end of the day.
Sean: Got it really good. Really good that you’re now able to do what you want to do basically. Each and every execution out there that he could think of – standardized it, processed it, mentored people I’d say to be able to do it at least 80% as well as you do, right? That’s how delegated well.
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.