Digital Nomad to Helping 350+ Entrepreneurs – Dancho Dimkov, Founder & CEO of BizzBee Solutions
21 Dec 2020
BizzBee Solutions is not Dancho’s first company. He actually had several more. As a serial entrepreneur, he began finding a pattern for what works and what doesn’t. And when he officially started BizzBee, he knew his previous mistakes and learnt from them.
So, everything he had to do is to implement all the knowledge and experience he had.
The best moment of Dancho’s life is becoming a father. In a span of several months, Dancho started BizzBee Solutions and became a father. But, managed it quite perfectly.
[00:00:07.780] – Rick – Hi everyone, this is Rick. And welcome back to The Seed – The Startup Journey. A podcast showing the urgent stories of amazing entrepreneurs and their companies. In short, less than 20-minute episodes. Today, I’ll be interviewing the founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, Dancho Dimkov. Dancho started as a freelancer and a business consultant. He’s now a serial entrepreneur running BizzBee Solutions. A company that is helping entrepreneurs become startups, startups become SMEs, and as SMEs to achieve exponential growth. Hey, Dancho, to start us off. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company BizzBee Solutions?
[00:00:45.740] – Dancho – Hello Rick. Nice to having me here on the podcast. Oof, that is a very long story, but I’ll try to make it as short as possible. BizzBee Solutions is not my first company. I actually had several before, but as a serial entrepreneur, I actually started finding a pattern on what works and what doesn’t. So when it comes to BizzBee Solutions starting, I’ve realized that I know the mistakes that I’ve done before and the only way for my next company to be successful is just to apply all the knowledge. So BizzBee is actually a bootstrapped company, so it doesn’t have any funding. And it started with four interns only. So it was me, my wife and four interns and just a few computers from my credit card. So we didn’t had some budget or funding. Everything was just starting with as minimum money as possible, the entrepreneurial way. We started targeting entrepreneurs at the beginning where our two primary services were market research and business planning. So the idea here was that if an entrepreneur or a company has a fantastic idea, or at least it thinks it’s fantastic and they need someone to check it for them, to do a feasibility study or a market research and to see how good is this idea and if it has the potential to actually create the complete business plan and see how they can commercialize or monetize that business idea. So, in short, that’s the short story, the long story, we’re going to need several beers and a long conversation, to cover all the aspects.
[00:02:16.960] – Rick – Can I also ask about your shirt? Like you have a Superman shirt on? Is that part of your role at BizzBee?
[00:02:22.930] – Dancho – Yeah, the Superman was an inside joke, but slowly it actually became a team joke. Because if you check in my Skype or Zoom, my camera photos is actually a Superman, because as we grow BizzBee, I had to be involved in too many departments solving too many problems. And first, internally, we were joking like, okay, we need a Superman. And then I come in and inquire a bit and solve a problem. Now I have several Superman shirts. It’s not just one. And I’m walking around with my Superman shirt and actually trying to help people around in the office.
[00:02:55.810] – Rick – I love that. And so I wanted to also dive a little bit deeper into your startup journey. So you started as a freelancer back in 2011 and I believe in 2015 you were doing a full time while traveling around the world with your wife. So to me, that sounds like a super cool lifestyle. So I was wondering, like, what made you decide to stop doing that?
[00:03:19.120] – Dancho – When I started with the freelancing world, I was I was having a full time job within a software development company. In parallel, I actually started the freelance world where I was working on UpWork, on all the freelance platforms which are online. And at some point I realized that it’s not just I’m making more money after work, but it’s actually I enjoy the work that I do after work. So it was a switching point where I said, okay, I have to quit my job and focus on this freelancing world. And I made the right choice. I mean, at the beginning it was very interesting because when you start working freelance, you can actually work from anywhere. I mean, I had clients from the States, from Europe, from Asia, even from the Gulf countries. But all that is online. As long as you have a good mike or a camera, you can just work from anywhere. And I actually use that opportunity because I started my digital nomad period in my life, where me and my wife were actually travelling a lot. So we did like two months travel around Europe where we started with Macedonia, Serbia. We went to Germany, Austria, we went to The Netherlands, Belgium. We spent some time in France, which was also nice. And it’s quite interesting. I mean, you get up, you still need to work, but then you can do half of the day to do some sightseeing and then go back at night and do some extra work as well. Although it sounds very attractive, there are some downsides with the nomad life. I mean, there was a period that I actually got sick for a bit, nothing serious, but enough to put me in bed for a few days. And during that time, nor me nor my wife could actually keep on working. And that is a scary thing. So if one of you gets sick, then you cannot keep on bringing the money. And we were also starting to look at building a family because I was like 20 something and at that age recently married, we said that, okay, but if my wife is going to have a baby, then I need to also slow down. And that’s how we actually got the epiphany that we need a company and that’s how we actually BizzBee was born. And also my son was also in the plan.
[00:05:30.760] – Rick – Gotcha! So what has been the most challenging moment for you so far in running your own business?
[00:05:36.250] – Dancho – For me, the biggest challenge was actually trying to find clients outside from the freelance platforms. It was tough. I was really used that, okay, you just go on UpWork. You start looking at the job post or the gigs that are available and you just try to do some filter. This is available for me. However, as I actually grow to 30 people in-house, full-time employees, freelancing was not enough. I mean, freelancing is also quite a competitive market where the person that offers a lower bid actually wins. So we had to figure out a way how we can find clients outside of the freelancing world. And this is how we invented the Outreach campaign that we’re currently even offering as a service, because I’ve realized that if I’m having this problem, there should be a lot of companies that have the same problem. And that actually proved to be right. There are a lot of companies that really don’t know how to find clients. And my second biggest problem was that I had zero in marketing. I mean, again, we were doing freelancing gigs. I don’t need to advertise. And then when we said, okay, we need to find clients outside, then we realized everything that we should have done the last three years, but we didn’t do it. And now, like it or not, we need to start from scratch on the marketing, but we’re not catching up.
[00:06:52.150] – Rick – And kind of on the flip side of that, what would you say was the best or most satisfying moment for you?
[00:06:57.700] – Dancho – First, most important, becoming a father. I mean, when I started BizzBee within several months, my wife got pregnant, so I actually started in the right spot. So I had nine months to make the company stable. So actually, when I became a father, I could take a few months away from the company in order to make sure that the baby is fine. And my second business excitement is that, because we’re working with a lot of clients, I’m so excited when I can hear them, that they actually closed a new client. So we are helping them. We are reaching out to other potential clients on their behalf. And we don’t want to stop here. We want to set up the call. But we also want to hear that our clients are saying, okay, I eventually started closing new clients. Then I know that it’s not just me, but actually, the entire process and the entire company is doing their job.
[00:07:51.370] – Rick – And to go along with that, right now, you’ve helped over 350 clients, with business planning and market research. So what would you say is the number one problem that these businesses face?
[00:08:04.000] – Dancho – They face a lot of problems. It’s interesting when we’re talking with entrepreneurs, I have different type of entrepreneurs. There are people just like overnight got an idea, “wow I have an idea, I’ll actually become a millionaire in just a few months. And my vision is to conquer the world.” And I’m like, okay, good luck with that. And there are other entrepreneurs that are actually like “I have worked 20 to 30 years in the sector. And now I’ve decided to start a company.” And then I’ve realized that they have the expertize, they have the expectations, because they have the experience and those type of entrepreneurs are completely different. Maybe because the first one is that they believe that I have the idea, that’s it, I don’t need to do execution or anything. I will just make them and everybody will come in. While the other type of entrepreneurs, they are aware that it is a lot of headaches. I mean, it’s not one problem. They need to solve every business problem that they are facing in order to be successful as a company.
[00:09:07.090] – Rick – Are there any qualities or specific skills that you found present in the founders that you’ve helped, that you would say it was essential to the success of their companies?
[00:09:16.810] – Dancho – I could put it in one word, actually. It’s passion. Passion is the key for me, whether a company will be successful or not. As I told you, if you just had a new idea and you just want to conquer the world and that’s it, that excitement will disappear in a month or two or in six months. However, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then it’s not a month or two. You want to do this as a lifetime activity. And I think the passion is actually the thing that is sorting who will preserve, whether they will give up at the first sign of problem, because there will be a lot of problems. There isn’t a company that doesn’t have a problem. And I’ve seen that the people that are passionate are the ones that are continuing beyond the problem rather than, okay, I’ve tried. I got to a problem, it doesn’t work, I quit, that’s it. And the second thing that I also saw is that there is a type of people that are aware that they need help. And, you know, when you’re starting a business, you’re saying I’m not expert in everything. So I need external people to help me. I need probably some mentors. I need probably some guide. I even probably need an external agency to help me in particular areas, because at the end of the day, you cannot do everything on your own.
[00:10:35.800] – Rick – I want to follow up on the passion part. So like I’ve been hearing, there were a lot, especially in the other interviews that I’ve been doing. But how exactly should a person go about finding his or her passion?
[00:10:47.690] – Dancho – When it comes to passion, you need to step back and actually reflect on what you’re currently doing. Passion, if you ask me by definition, is what you do when you have free time. And from there you’re doing it because you enjoy it, you enjoy it means that you’re not looking it as work, but you’re actually going to keep on doing it. I’m really passionate about Outreach and sales support. I mean, if you ask me, I can work 18 hours straight and instead of feeling exhausted, I’m so excited of all the things that I’ve managed to accomplish. If you’re an artist, you’re not just painting, and then after three hours, like, I’m so exhausted, I need a break. But you love what you’re doing and you don’t even realize that the time is passing by. So if you really want to find your passion, yeah, you can try several different activities. But usually you should look back in your life in retrospective and just try to see what activities did you actually do when you had the free time. And those are the activities that you should just look at from a business perspective. Okay, if I really love what I’m doing, how can I actually grow it into a business? People love games and they love playing it. And there are people that are so passionate that they start making a living out of it, whether they’re competing on international events or now with the Lifestream, they’re just doing what they love. They’re playing games, they’re streaming. There are millions of people watching. They get sponsored, they get money. So at the end of the day is what you love doing in your free time – that’s the thing that you actually move it into a business.
[00:12:20.180] – Rick – And then what advice would you give to someone like me who is still a student? I am interested in entrepreneurship and want to start something of my own in the future.
[00:12:30.930] – Dancho – It’s a simple – good luck! No, but honestly, having the idea of figuring out the passion is important, but working on it is actually essential. I know to many people because, you know, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and it’s not just on a commercial basis, but even after work, when I get with my friends, they’re like, oh, but your entrepreneurship consultant, I have a fantastic idea. I’m going to do this, this and this. What do you think? I’m like, Okay, sounds good, but how much time are you willing to commit to this idea in order to make it a reality? And they’re like, I’ll just hire someone or a virtual assistant or someone to do it for me. And I’m usually – good luck then. If you’re really not committed in your business, there is no way that a business can grow on its own. And the second thing I actually wanted to share is that having a network is a key. I also made the mistake because when I started my business, I was too much insight focused, where building HR, building services, building people and everything. Well, then I realized that I’m too much in my own head. I need to start reaching out to other management consultants, which now I’m actually even within the Macedonian network of consultants to start exchanging ideas, start getting to different people, and then you’re open to new ideas on how to improve your services or even you’re open to new opportunities, because when you talk to people, they will tell the information. Someone else will give you another information. And when you combine, you actually are a better person.
[00:14:05.240] – Rick – For sure. And do you have any book or podcast recommendations?
[00:14:09.440] – Dancho – The biggest book in my area, because I’m into B2B Outreach and Prospecting is by Aaron Ross and his book is actually Predictable Revenue. He made a book ten years ago that is like a Bible for the Outreach, and for looking for clients. And I would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to proactively find clients, rather, just waiting at home for the phone to ring. And when it comes to the podcast, I’m not a big podcast listener, but I actually have one podcast that I cannot keep up to listen all of his podcasts. And so I’m a very big fan of Russell Brunson. I don’t know if you know him. He’s the founder of ClickFunnel. And I’ve heard about him two years ago. I loved what he preaches because he’s completely the other way from our Aaron Ross. Aaron Ross is proactively chasing them while Russell is build a funnel, create automated process, bring some traffic and then start converting. And two years ago, I loved it so much that I actually went back from his first podcast he ever created, which was probably 10 years ago. And I started listening one by one, by one by one by one, which I’m still trying to catch up. He has too much content producing on a daily basis that I really cannot catch up on the time.
[00:15:27.110] – Rick – That’s awesome. And before we end, I also prepared some rapid-fire questions.
[00:15:31.910] – Dancho – Sure.
[00:15:32.390] – Rick – So the first one is, if you could have a superpower, what would you choose?
[00:15:36.620] – Dancho – Superman. That was an easy one. His main purpose was to help people. And I think that my purpose was similar. It’s just that I believe that my purpose is to help companies, to help people. That’s the only difference.
[00:15:49.910] – Rick – And then what time do you usually wake up every morning?
[00:15:53.060] – Dancho – 5:00 a.m., unfortunately. But it is usually expected that the entrepreneurs have a lazy life. They’ll get up, they work for three hours and make millions. Well, I don’t believe in that. I wake up at five o’clock. I do some working. I do some exercising. I do some reading in order to grow personally. Then I have a three-year-old baby boy which needs taking care of. I need to take him to the kindergarten. All that before eight a.m., where we get to work. So instead of me as an owner, get up at nine and go to work at eleven, I actually need to be at least three steps ahead of everyone.
[00:16:32.920] – Rick – Awesome. And what’s the one thing you cannot live without?
[00:16:35.660] – Dancho – I think that would be a beer after work. That’s my switching from, “I’m no longer working. I’m now home and I want to enjoy with my family and I want to play with my kid.”
[00:16:47.930] – Rick – If you are to start another company, what industry would it be?
[00:16:51.950] – Dancho – Nice one. Well, I’ve tried agriculture. I’ve tried consulting. I’ve also tried software development. So if I actually start a new company, it would be either into the software as a service model, which is you build the software and then you provide monthly subscription or into the online content development. I see a lot of buzz going on about online coaching, online training, and I believe that utilizing all the expertize and insight can be tailored into an online program, which is really a company on its own.
[00:17:27.860] – Rick – And so there’s a last question, which is what is the best advice you’ve ever received?
[00:17:33.620] – Dancho – I think I have a quote that I live by. I think that I don’t know who said it. That’s a good thing. I should check it. But the quote was in terms of “If you want to do something, you’ll find а wаѕ. But if you don’t want to do it, you’ll find an excuse. And it’s really my mantra when I’m talking with a client, when I’m talking with employees, with everybody, because then I’ve realized whether they actually want it or doesn’t want it. And it’s interesting, when you talk with people, you need to do this and they’re like, but this will happen. Or what about this or what about that? Or what about that? Which is a lot of excuse. And in my head, I’m saying it’s not about the excuse, it’s something behind it that it’s not visible. So I need to actually address it before going forward. And it’s the same with the clients, because we are teaching entrepreneurs that if they want really want to do it, they’ll find a way. There will be a lot of obstacles, but they’ll figure it out and find a way. So it’s really a quote that is stuck in my head for actually five years already. And I tell it around and I really believe that’s the way.
[00:18:39.290] – Rick – I love that as well. So that’s it for today’s interview. Thank you Dancho for taking the time to do this. And I wish you the best of luck and stay safe.
[00:18:47.600] – Dancho – Yeah. Thank you very much Rick, for having me. I really am inspired by what you’re trying to do and how you’re actually trying to help entrepreneurs. So I really want to come here and give my bit of advice and hopefully, some of the entrepreneurs will listen to it and try to stay safe and try to avoid some of the mistakes that I’ve personally done it.
[00:19:11.390] – Rick – I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you want to see our takeaways from this interview and the previous previews and highlights, for our future episodes -make sure you follow us on Instagram. You can also find our episodes on Apple or Google podcast, so as Spotify. As always, if there is any question you would like to see asked during our interviews or if there’s a particular industry or a company you like to see, leave the comment below. Finally, make sure you subscribe. Share this podcast with your friends so that we can grow our seat of innovation and creativity together. With that, I’ll see you next time.