Dancho Dimkov is a growth enthusiast. He is inspired by growth. Growth in people, companies, relations, and businesses. By enabling and sharing his energy, knowledge, and curiosity in everything he puts himself into, he has had the opportunity to do just that throughout his career – make things grow. Helping organizations to grow with the right people and skills, entrepreneurs to build attractive places to work and employees to develop and improve their strengths. He always strives to see what’s around the next corner and believe it’s a sport to think and do things differently rather than a challenge.
As a certified management consultant and a serial entrepreneur, it’s not just his job to guide startups and businesses on the path to prosperity. It is his duty as the proud owner of BizzBee Solutions – a full-stack growth solution provider from concept to market. BizzBee combines multiple services into one robust solution, smoothing out the road to success.
Dancho is not all about work. He is also a family man – a proud father of soon to be 3-year-old. His picture-perfect day is travelling with his family while enjoying a delicious meal. It’s all about growth, finding balance and being present. In all life areas.
Where did the idea for BizzBee Solutions come from?
I think it was an idea that was nurtured for quite some time. I’ve started working as a freelancer in 2011 when I was 25 years old. I was employed as a Business Advisor at SNV (Netherlands Development Organization), so the freelance world was just an additional revenue. Soon after, the organisation closed the Macedonia offices, and I was forced to look for a job. Through freelancing, I found a UK software and hardware company that wanted to open its R&D offices in the Balkans, and I was helping them as a market research expert. They were satisfied with my performance, so they trusted me with the whole Macedonian office, and I ended up working for them full-time.
But I kept the freelancing world, as an additional source of income. I was providing market research reports, business plans, and other economic-related services. The turning point was when the freelance job started bringing more money than the actual full-time job. 2015 was the year when I decided to do this full-time – first as a digital nomad. My wife and I had a year of adventure – travelling around Europe, and working from anywhere. But then I got sick. Nothing life-threatening, but certainly eye-opening. I realised that this is not the right plan, especially since we wanted to start a family. Being a freelancer, you don’t know when the next paycheck will come in. And if it will at all. You have no right for parental leave. People often think of being a freelancer as being free. But it’s the contrary. You are entirely dependant on your next gig. I decided it’s real-time for taking more significant risks in my life. While I’m still young and have a bigger chance of bouncing back if they go horribly wrong. That’s when I founded BizzBee and decided to start a family. We went all-in.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have days that I am proud of, and days I’m ashamed of. Of course, I will tell you about the good ones :). I wake up at 5 am. I’m not an early bird. So, I found out that if I want to get up, I need to have some strong motivation. Gaming is one of them. So when I wake up, I give myself a small treat – play a bit on the computer. Something simple that does not require a lot of brain effort, but enough to get me up and about. Then I’ve realised that I can use that time, listening to my favourite podcast. There are plenty, but I can recommend “Marketing Secrets” by Russell Brunson. At 6 am, I have an alarm set up telling me that I need to stop with the podcast. From 6-7 am, I dive into work. But this 1h is entirely my own – I am doing things that I can’t catch up with otherwise. I either spend the hour on writing my book, look at KPIs or metrics, finances, strategic goals – stuff I can’t do in the office. At 7 am I have another alarm. I stop working and start exercising. I found the perfect 25 minutes workout programme – Focus T25 by Shaun T. This way, I have time to shower, grab some food, and be at work at 8 am. Now the fire extinguishing process can start. Meetings, clients, problems, excitement, more meetings… At 4 pm it all stops. Not always, but we are still talking about the good days, right? I take the little boss (my son) from kindergarten. He’s almost 3 years old already. We like to take long walks before heading home. At home, it’s usually playtime. I live for these moments spent with my family. They are the highlight of my day. Even when it’s bath and bedtime. Somedays when the little boss is tired, and off to bed a bit early I manage to squeeze in a bit more work. Before you know it, it’s our bedtime. Which means half an hour of Netflix before I collapse.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Being a founder and CEO comes with a couple of perks. One of them being able to use the agile approach. As I work with clients, employees, suppliers – I identify improvement opportunities. And I can change how things are done immediately. I do usually need to check with our management team – to ensure some unknown implications, or if I’ve disregarded something.
On the other hand, I am struggling as an Entrepreneur. I have too many ideas that I want to put out there, but too little time or resources to do so.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am super excited about digital prospecting and outreach. I used to believe that it is an art, that only salespeople knew how to do. Once I got dived into that world, I realised that it could be systematised. Now I have systems and processes in place that I’m proud of. And it feels effortless. Especially social selling, which is a hot topic nowadays, during the global crisis. Many companies were forced to figure out a way to move their prospecting and sales online – which is our field of expertise. Even after the crisis, people will keep to digital prospecting, as they are now aware of the value it brings.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Focus. I can have 50 things waiting on me, but I always deal with things one by one. I’ve realised at an early age that I’m terrible at multitasking. I can focus and get deep on any topic while ignoring my entire surroundings. If I have 50 new emails, I will go one-by-one and process them. And I won’t open the next one until I’m done with the previous one.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It mostly depends on how young. If I think 5 years ago, when I started my business, then the advice would be – think big. Not in money. Think big about the services you are offering and the vastness of the problems you are solving. Focus on the most challenging problems, and work towards them.
My second advice would be to start thought leadership as early as possible. It is the way to build followers and become the go-to guy for a specific service.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Prospecting does not work only for corporations with big SDR teams, but SMEs can also reap the benefits from prospecting.
Prospecting is usually associated with corporations as it is labour-intensive, requires large teams, and a long ROI, making it impossible for small businesses. However, I’m confident that in the 2020s, small companies are utilizing prospecting and getting fantastic ROI.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
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?” – a frequent question that I ask to justify processes or to close them. I’ve learned that things that I thought were right and suitable 6 months ago, are no longer. 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 grow exponentially.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
As an outreach company, outreach helped us – a lot. We were using freelance platforms, but they are way competitive. As potential clients can choose from 50-100 different proposals. On the other hand, when you approach a prospect and build a relationship, it is much easier to offer a solution to their problem, at a premium price.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wish it’s only one. The first 3-4 years, since I was working primarily on freelance platforms, life was easy. You see a relevant job post, you apply, you lose some, and you win some. But then we realized that outside of the freelance platforms world, the margins are far better. But in the first 4 years of my company’s existence, we’ve spent zero budget on marketing (not advertising, zero on marketing). And then when we realized the importance, we wanted to do it –fast. And marketing has some fast aspects (ads that cost a lot), but the majority are long term. Like SEO, crafting e-books, landing pages, digital assets, getting your voice heard. It takes time – and for an entrepreneur, that’s just starting with the business, it is understandable to be on the starting line when it comes to marketing. But we were a 4-years old company, starting marketing from scratch. It hurt, a lot.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve worked with more than 100 entrepreneurs and built business plans with them. Each has some common and some unique angle, and each entrepreneur was excited to get things rolling. I wouldn’t shortlist any of them here – but I can say that all their ideas were all attractive, at least on paper.
If I started another business, it would be a honey brand. Ultra-luxury honey, with luxury branding, packaging, marketing. I’ve realized that luxury products always have far better margin than the products that are trying to compete on price.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I did Russell Brunson’s One Funnel Away (OFA). It was a 5-week challenge that changed my perspective on marketing, sales, and funnels. The best 100$ ever spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The Google suite. If we are talking about productivity, it solved quite a lot of problems for me. First, the calendar is on my phone, so I can easily see my availability. Second, google drive changed the way we work. Migrating the entire company on google drive, enabled us to work from anywhere.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross. It was a starting point and also a game-changer for me. It opened the world on how you can approach cold prospects and warm them up. I had a meeting with Aaron Ross, and I can tell you, the guy knows his stuff.
What is your favorite quote?
I am deeply touched by this one by Jim Rohn: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
• Family can be your biggest inspiration, motivation, and relaxation.
• Reevaluate your company at least twice a year. Put yourself in the role of an external consultant.
• Prospecting, outreach and social selling can make your businesses grow, or survive during hard times.
• Investing in marketing is never a bad idea.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.