After working as a freelancer in 2011, Dancho Dimkov realized that he needed to settle down and become a full-time entrepreneur. In 2015, he founded BizzBee Solutions, which he also runs as CEO. The company, a “full-stack solution provider from concept to market,” which melds together “multiple services into one robust solution, smoothening out the road to success” for businesses looking to stake their claim in a competitive marketplace.
Through his work at BizzBee Solutions, Dancho Dimkov fulfills his passion for growth. He wants to see “people, companies, relations, and businesses” grow, which inspires him to share his “energy, knowledge, & curiosity” with clients who also want the same thing. During his career, he has spent much of his effort to “making things grow.” By “helping organizations to grow with people and skills, entrepreneurs to build attractive places to work and help employees to develop and improve their strengths,” he contributes to their respective success.
At BizzBee Solutions, Dancho Dimkov found success as well. In just 12 months, he “grew the company from zero to 20 employees, supporting more than 100 companies worldwide across different industries.” In 24 months, he “grew the company to 35 employees, and doubled the number of clients served to 200…as well as doubling the company turnover.”
Dancho Dimkov lives according to his passion for “helping small businesses and visionaries defy statistics of failure.” He brings to his work his “years of experience and expertise to the table.”
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Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Dancho Dimkov: I am sure every owner is proud of their company. I am proud of my team. Together we have managed to achieve fantastic results for our clients. And they are precisely the thing that makes my company stand out.
As I previously mentioned, we started BizzBee with interns. Back then, that was a necessity, but nowadays I see it as our thing, our key thing to success. Investing time and experience in young people. Everyone can work with professionals with years and years of experience. But it takes a true leader to craft the minds and skills of young people.
But it is well worth it. You get to shape their skillset for your specific needs, and you get a front-row seat on their transformation into professionals, into outreach experts. There is no bigger recognition than when the pupil surpasses the teacher.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Dancho Dimkov: You have to love your job. It is the only way to be excited when a prospect calls, a client ask a question, or an employee needs help with a particular task. If you are in it just for the money, regardless of what business you are in, burnout is imminent.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Dancho Dimkov: My wife. I don’t think anyone else would have handled better all the ups and downs we had with our business. There were times where I was ready to give up. But she was the one that encouraged me that we can do it. And even today, she is still involved in the business — always figuring out ways how to help me, or take some workload off my back.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?
Dancho Dimkov: I think there are several ways on how to look at a good and a great company. I would write about the material vs emotional company.
A good company is a company that has good financial results. Its main focus is on how to increase its profit margin — either by finding cheaper suppliers or increasing its prices. This culture is shared throughout the entire company. If an employee is not meeting his targets — he is simply replaced by someone else. New products/services are introduced based on the potential profit, rather than the market need. And in this scenario, the success of the company is expressed purely financially and materialistically.
A great company is still interested in profitability, but it’s not its core focus. Profitability is a result, a consequence of exceptional service to your market. The company culture is how to increase the value delivered to the client. New services are introduced based on the value it adds to the clients. Employees are valued based on how much they helped the client. And if the company successfully helps its market, profitability is just an end-result of a job well done.
Jerome Knyszewski: What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?
Dancho Dimkov: Most businesses grow within predictable stages. That usually means intense growth, followed by a standstill. And each standstill is actually a milestone that they need to overcome in order to reach the next growth stage.
And the standstills are the point where the leads are changing directions (new service, changing market, modifying the existing service), that unlocks a new potential for growth, until it reaches the standstill, and then the circle is repeated, all over again.
Jerome Knyszewski: Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
Dancho Dimkov: Like many other businesses, we were hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. But for us, it had a double impact on our business.
From a financial point of view, we were devastated. We’ve lost quite a lot of clients, as many of them were in the event industry, in the travel industry, and other industries that were directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic. In addition, we had several other projects waiting in line after March, which were all delayed. Companies are not interested in investments and growth during uncertain times.
And some of the upcoming projects were simply delayed until things get better.
From a business point of view, it helped us reflect on who we are and what we do. We didn’t want to be a general consulting company. And based on the market feedback, B2B companies were struggling to find new clients. And that was our calling. We focused on innovating in new services as well as specializing the company in B2B outreach and prospecting. This gave us focus — in our execution, marketing and sales. I believe that the first coronavirus wave made us stronger and more focused.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Dancho Dimkov: I’ve spent the last 10 years working with entrepreneurs and startups. And it is a pity how entrepreneurs think that running a business is a piece of cake. I mean, the general belief is that all you need is a good idea. Having an idea, you can simply start a company, put some small effort in marketing — and clients will come knocking. And you will get rich quickly. And they are so wrong, on so many levels.
The idea is just the starting point for the business. How you are going to execute the idea, and then how you are going to manage to monetize it, is something that is really underestimated.
Jerome Knyszewski: Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?
Dancho Dimkov: I made a big mistake when it comes to this that I want to share. I had a sales team and an execution team, both managed by their managers. So when we got a new client — our salespeople tell the sales manager. The sales manager works with the project manager, who then works with the employee who does the execution. And if the employee has a question, it follows the same route back and forward. I thought that having a clear hierarchical structure, will help — but I was so wrong.
Our next stage was adding some focus. The sales team just to focus on closing clients, and then the project manager to take over the customer management and experience. This has quadrupled the results, as the project manager had far more project knowledge and relevant questions than the sales team.
The last stage was to take out the management completely. Now when the sales team get a new client, I as a CEO am responsible for the project kick-off, in order to make sure all the expectations are set. Afterwards, the ones that are working the project have direct communication with the clients throughout the whole process. This saved a lot of time and miscommunication. On the one hand, employees have direct communication, so they can ask questions and provide project recommendations. But on the other hand, they are far more engaged and feet that they own the project.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.
Dancho Dimkov: The reputation is not at risk because of social media. The social media just expedites the market feedback — regardless if positive or negative.
If a company has bad working practices, or angry clients — of course, they will express their feelings on social media. But also, on the other hand, a company can have clients that are so happy that they become brand ambassadors — talking about the positive experience through social media.
So, social media is just a medium, not the reason for a positive or negative reputation.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Dancho Dimkov: I have seen a lot of mistakes. But I really believe that expectations for a first-time founder are sky-high. They have never run a business before and think that it is quite easy to run it — to handle people, clients, marketing, sales, etc.
Ideally, there should be a way entrepreneurs can have a trial. Starting a figurative business, that if it fails, they won’t suffer the consequences. And if it succeeds, they’ve just got market validation, and can just go ahead and register the company. And this trial, will open their eyes, and show all their flaws — before they actually start the business and go all in.
Alternatively, business incubators are a great place to start a business. You are surrounded with other entrepreneurs and startups, where you can share ideas, experiences and solutions to obstacles. Business incubators usually also offer mentorship, which can help in avoiding some of the most common errors and increase the chance for success.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Dancho Dimkov: I have a thing that I plan on doing in the foreseeable future. Hoping that it would become a movement. Or at least contribute and give a bit back to the environment.
Our whole branding is bee-related, and I even have some experience with bees. I’m really fascinated by those small buzzers and their importance. How something that small, a mere insect, can have such a huge impact on the whole planet and on so many different species.
My idea is that each long term client of ours receives a dedicated beehive. This way, we are not only helping our clients, but we are encouraging altruism and contributing to the wellbeing of the bees, hence the whole planet.
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!
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