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Interview with a Successful Startup Founder

Growing a B2B Lead Generation Agency to $18k/Mo

Dancho Dimkov
Dancho Dimkov
August 3, 2021
Category of startup
Marketing
Country of startup
Macedonia
Revenue of startups
$10k-$25k/mo
Interview with a Failed Startup Founder

Growing a B2B Lead Generation Agency to $18k/Mo

Dancho Dimkov
Dancho Dimkov
August 3, 2021
Category of startup
Marketing
Country of startup
Macedonia
Cause of failure of the startup

Dancho founded BizzBee Solutions, a B2B outreach agency for SMEs. In 2 years, the company grew to 35 employees, and the number of clients doubled to 200, achieving a monthly revenue of $18k.

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Hi Dancho! Who are you and what are you currently working on?

Hi, I am Dancho Dimkov, a young entrepreneur, a father, husband, and the proud owner of BizzBee Solutions. For the last 5 years, I and my team are working on building and growing an impeccable LinkedIn outreach growth strategy for B2B SMEs via LinkedIn messages and emails. 

We are the ever-going full powertrain behind many successful business relationships that had a growth potential from the very beginning, but all they needed was just a little push. So, we try to be that little subtle push that SMEs need. So far, we are doing a great job. 

Also, for the whole last year, I’ve worked on my first book, which is at its final editing stage, so we are expecting it to be published any day now. 

But, it doesn’t stop here, of course. I have many projects under my belt, one of which is offering content creation as a new service. 

My already existing services as consulting are about to be upgraded and improved, so I also have big plans for this part of my business too, so stay tuned!

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

My entrepreneurial days didn’t start with BizzBee Solutions. I always had a hunch for business. So, it all started back in college when me and my friends founded AdvertSMS.

These were my beginnings, the place where I learned how to do market research. This was my first project, my stepping stone to more serious projects of my own. 

The next thing I did was to enroll at Sheffield University, where I acquired an MBA, which was of tremendous help in my business journey. Having the theory and the practice, I knew I could aim for big things. 

Afterward, I started working for Retell Ltd, a Dutch software development company, as head of their R&D department. Though this job was bringing much-needed income, it was way too corporate for me. 

Meanwhile, I was doing some freelancing, which I came to realize, was bringing me much more. And I don’t mean just money. I mean much more satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment. I was doing something that I liked.

So once again, I was at a crossroads. 

Should I keep my steady, high-income job, or should I pursue my high-risk dream? The answer came to me in the most unusual way. It was delivered in the sweetest of ways, by a bee. I come from a long line of beekeepers, so I consider bees to be sacred, holy even. 

So one day, as I was dragging my feet to my fancy corporate office, I saw a bee, joyfully enjoying the nectar of a fragrant flower in front of the building where I worked. It had no worries in the world because it did what it wanted and did best.    

That was the sign from the Universe that I needed. I quit my job and started doing my freelancing full-time.

Though fruitful, freelancing wasn’t an option for the long run. I needed stability. So, 2015 was the year when I gathered a small team of 5 interns, rented an office and a couple of desks and computers. It was how ‘BizzBee Solutions’ was born.

At BizzBee, I had the responsibility to teach interns how to do market research the right way. It was the first thing that we offered as a service, along with many others that came later before we specialized in outreach.

Dancho at BizzBee

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How did you go from idea to product?

So as I mentioned, my business days started really early in my life. 

It's just like they say: When it's right, you know it.

And I knew that I was somehow destined to become an entrepreneur. 

From a very young age, I started buying, selling, and reselling candies, CDs, and whatnot. 

My first more serious project was AdvertSMS. It was a college dream of mine and a couple of my friends, and even though it didn't last long, it served me as a lesson on what to do next. 

Launching a business is never easy. It comes along with high levels of stress and anxiety. And not to mention loans. That's why it is important to find the right strategy. 

Though it may sound dreamy at the beginning, having your own company, reality quickly comes barging in. 

In the beginning, I depended entirely on freelancing platforms. That was okay when I had only 4 interns working for me. But then a big project came out of nowhere, so I had to hire a few more people. 

Having 10 employees only meant that I couldn't rely solely on the freelancing platforms anymore. 

That was my awakening moment. If I wanted to have my company up and running, I had to start looking for some serious work. But knowing that nothing great comes without risk, I put my ego and fears aside and started to reach out to people. 

At first, I was doing it the wrong way. I was desperate to sell my services, to show the world what is BizzBee all about, and, of course, I failed. 

That's how I learned not to make decisions out of despair. Being salesy and pushy got me nowhere. So when I changed my approach, when I started reaching out to people with the sole intention of starting a conversation and building a relationship, the numbers changed, too. 

Within 12 months, I and the bees grew the company from zero to 20 employees, supporting more than 100 companies worldwide across different industries.

And within 24 months, the company grew to 35 employees, and the number of clients we served doubled to 200 (see our Portfolio), as well as doubling the company turnover.


Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?

Well, don’t let me get started on how many strategies, tactics, and methods I have changed over the years. 

But, I do not dwell on my mistakes. They are just reminders of the many milestones I had to pass to get to where I am now. And I’m well aware that where I am now is not my final destination. There are many goals I have yet to reach and realize. 

At first, when I founded BizzBee, I made the mistake of relying solely on freelance platforms. Using freelancing platforms as a source of work did last spring, but it couldn’t serve me for the long run since my business was expanding, and I had more and more employees to get busy working. 

That’s how I started using LinkedIn and email outreach as my primary business strategies. 

It did take me a while to learn how to do outreach the right way, and I am still learning, but I realized that it was what I did best and what I wanted to continue doing. 

Mastering the art of doing outreach, whether via LinkedIn or Email, goes hand in hand with mastering the art of creating mind-blowing content. 

That’s why I have carefully gathered a small team of first-class copywriters that create awe-inspiring content as they breathe. And my next business steps are related exactly to content creation, so do put your seatbelts on and prepare for some seriously adventurous ride!

How are you doing today and what are your goals for the future?

One thing I am working on right now is offering content creation as one of our primary services. 

I am also working on enhancing and improving my consulting services.

BizzBee Landing Page

You know, I am the kind of man who never stops working, and I truly believe that there’s nothing perfect in this world and that everything could be done better, every comfort zone could be expanded, and every end-destination is just a passing stop. 

Also, I mentioned that I am eagerly expecting my first book to be published, but guess what? That’s not going to be my last one, of course. 

Writing has awakened some new sides of me that I didn’t know existed. So, ‘Sweet Leads’ is not my last writing station. 

And did I mention the academies? No, right? Well, it would be a shame not to tell you a few words about those plans of mine, too. I am planning to launch an Academy for the practices and the mastery of doing outreach where I and some of the best-known outreach experts shall share our knowledge on this abundant topic.

My end goal is to help as many SMEs as possible, so they can help other people, too.

Since starting BizzBee, what have been your main lessons?

In the B2B world, it is of high importance to learn not to rely solely on paid ads. 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that paid-ads don’t serve their purpose, but don’t forget who are we dealing with here. 

Serving and working with high-ticket service providers require some serious preparation, a well-thought detailed business plan, and short and long-term strategies, not just paid ads. 

They work splendidly in the B2C arena when you are addressing a different type of audience and offering not-so-pricey services. 

So, what I am saying is first, know your target. 

In my case, what has worked best was reaching out to people. I used, and I still am using, LinkedIn as my main work platform. 

Going out cold is scary for sure, but it’s the only way to get yourself some of the valuable connections you desperately want. 

But, please, don’t get me wrong. Approaching the cold way does not equal bothering or spamming people. Nothing gives us the right to attack and invade someone’s personal space without being asked to do so. 

What I’ve learned when doing outreach over these many years is instead of focusing on selling our services, we should focus more on establishing and building a valuable connection with our potential prospects. 

Mastering skills like listening, and I mean listen to what the other person is saying without offering them a relatable story of yours, is one of the first steps of this long-term outreach strategy of mine. Because people can sense when you really listen and when you genuinely care. 

And that’s how you slide them down your sales funnel. 

When you have established a grounded, caring relationship with someone, the sales meeting is just the next logical step in your relationship.

What were the biggest obstacles you overcame? What were your worst mistakes?

When I founded BizzBee, I made the mistake of relying solely on freelancing platforms as my primary source of work. 

It was a good short-term strategy, but I clung to it for much too long.

I was afraid of rejection, and I didn’t reach out to people. 

That was something that could have killed my dream right from the start.

Luckily, I decided that even though I am terrified, I am going to do my best. I will dive into the wild waters and swim with the big sharks. 

Either they will eat me, or I will learn how to swim with them.

At first, I did everything wrong, of course. 

I was that needy, pushy salesperson that I now teach people not to be.  You can now see where that comes from and why I tell people not to do it. The chances are, making your first move a sales pitch will only get you the rejection you are so afraid of. 

If you approach people with the sole intention of selling them something, they will give you the leg. Instead of selling, you should be building. 

Yes, you read that right. Building rapport, connection, relationships with your prospects. 

Instead of just talking, try listening to people. Instead of assuming, try asking. 

That’s the right and the only way of doing outreach.


What tools & resources do you recommend?

My all-time favorite is the Marketing Secrets podcast by Russel Brunson. This show is just perfect for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to learn how to market in a way that lets us get our message, our products, and our services out to the world and yet remain profitable. Russell Brunson is a world-famous internet marketer and the co-founder of the largest funnel creation software ClickFunnels. Inside each episode, Russell shares his biggest "a-ha moments" and marketing secrets with complete transparency. From tough lessons learned, to mindset, to pure marketing strategy, Russell pulls you into his world and shares his journey and secrets to growing a business.

And, my favorite book. That would have to be Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross.  In recent times, this is one of the most influential books on the topic, which provides a step-by-step process to achieve repeatable and scalable lead generation through outbound – without the traditional cold calling. It is called "The Sales Bible of Silicon Valley" because it will help you discover the sales specialization system and outbound sales process.

And, last but not least, I must mention How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie's advice has remained constant and applicable across the years for a reason. It's simple, and his techniques make perfect sense. If you're anything like me, you'll be kicking yourself when you see how you could have handled situations differently. This book has helped many socially awkward, timid, and defensive people become someone who seems collected and confident. The book advises on how to manage human relationships without applying friction or force. We all know that business is built on people, not just internally in terms of employees and directors but also externally in terms of customers and suppliers. Therefore, being able to manage those relationships positively is paramount for your success. Although this book is very valuable for entrepreneurs, we all have relationships to manage, such as a spouse, family, colleagues, a boss, or even some random person at a customer service checkout. Therefore, this book is useful to anyone.

Where can we go to learn more?

You can learn more about BizzBee at our website, or at our LinkedIn page, or at our Facebook page

Also feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or add me on Facebook.

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