Dallas Dance is the President and CEO of DDance Group and a managing partner at Infinite Solutions Enterprises, both professional consulting practices that work with organizations to help identify and resolve complex problems. Dallas believes in a business model built on transparency and the ability of an organization’s people to implement proper strategies for success.
Through twenty years serving in the public sector, Dallas has become an expert on proper strategies and has found a niche in the business world as a firm believer that any problem can be solved. His dedication to providing his clients not just the right ideas, but also the assistance in monitoring the solution has helped build his client base.
Dallas’ belief that bringing your passion and purpose together to gain peace is the foundation for his business and his personal life. In his free time, Dallas enjoys working out and playing golf. He also spends as much quality time as he can with his young son.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I have always been a believer in entrepreneurship and the idea of building your own legacy. I feel that people should bring their own passion and their purpose together as a way to find peace. I was in public service for twenty years, and while I enjoyed the work, I wanted something for myself as well. I am most passionate about solving problems for people and building capacity in people. I am a certified strategic planner, I am a certified leadership developer and executive coach. People would approach me with their problems and I would be able to give them a road map to the solution. I helped build their confidence, which built their capacity. This ability was something I learned could be helpful as a business for myself.
How do you make money?
I have some clients that pay for a certain amount of time monthly, as well as clients that pay for our services per project. It is not about money for me, though. I turn down projects all the time because I focus on my current workload and making sure that any problems have been solved before taking on more. We want to resolve an issue altogether so that we’re not coming back to the table for the same thing down the line. The goal is to build that capacity, that confidence and strategy, for the problems presented to us so that long-term, that issue becomes a non-issue. I am proud that we have not had any issues that we have not been able to resolve.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It was probably about six months to become profitable. The reality was that when a strategy is not developed where action items are in place that allows you to adjust accordingly, that’s where your initial issues will happen. There are so many times we say, this is the goal and this is how we will get there, but if you’re not open to make those needed adjustments, it can be more difficult to reach those goals. I feel that quality is more important than quantity.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
There was definitely doubt in the beginning, but I think that is the norm for any entrepreneur. There is always that concern that the path you’re taking won’t work. That’s something, I think, that may deter some from even trying. The reality is, what kept me going was my faith. I believe our biggest goal in life is to have peace and I believe you can’t have that peace if you don’t put your passion and purpose together. Because I was able to my passion and purpose together, I knew that I would be successful. Even when things did get tough, I knew I had a well-developed plan I was following and it would eventually work out. Consulting is a tough arena and when I was starting, I knew I had to gain the trust of my clients. You have to create your own value by making yourself stand out from others offering the same thing.
How did you get your first customer?
My first customer came through word of mouth. A friend of mine called me right as I was getting started and told me he had given my number to someone he knew. Two days later, I was sitting with this person having lunch and discussing their goals. We put a plan together and began working on it. They have been with us for over two years now. Our strategy is not to just create the solution, we also help them implement and monitor the solution. Because we have shown our quality to our existing clients, they share our name with others and that brings in more clients for us. Again, it’s about the quality of what you offer.
What is one marketing strategy, other than referrals, that you use that works really well to generate new business?
Networking is our best marketing. For example, right now, we are working on a project with a large software company. I alone cannot take care of this project, but through our networking, I have been able to connect them with other companies and we are all benefiting from this relationship. When potential clients see our work and speak with us, they see the value that we offer. When I am speaking with someone, I am transparent, authentic, and humble. We also do attend conferences to build our client base.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
In the last few months, I had to turn down a potential project because it wasn’t a viable option for us in the present moment. Business owners always have to calculate and evaluate the risk that they bring to their business, thinking forward facing as opposed to current thinking. You have to think in terms of how will you sustain this in the future. I had to make the decision that we were not going to move forward and I did not question that choice. In the end, I’m glad I made the choice that I did.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The most satisfying moment for me is anytime a client says thank you. We have a very genuine relationship with every one of our clients. We treat them well and give them quality. Building those relationships is the backbone of our success, it’s not about getting a lot of clients. We want to help our clients be the best organization they can be. Hearing the thank you for a job well done really is the most satisfying for me.
What does the future hold for your business and what are you most excited about?
The future for us is being the premier partner that will help an organization reach their biggest goals and solves their biggest challenges. I am very unapologetic and very reasonably impatient about making sure that people recognize that every problem can be solved. A lot of people don’t see that, they feel that not every problem has a solution. I just don’t believe in that. It’s just a matter of do we have the right strategy and do we have the right people with the capacity and willingness to solve a problem. I’m excited because when people get to know us, they see the value in our solutions and how much we care.
What business books have inspired you?
The Art of Being Unreasonable by Eli Broad has inspired me. I am also a certified John Maxwell leadership coach, so Laws of Leadership is a big one for me. Right now, I am reading The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. One of the best publications I recommend is through the Harvard Business Review. They put out a series every year on managing yourself, emotional awareness, and other business-related topics. These can be extraordinarily helpful in building your soft skills that help you grow business. I follow their monthly magazines, as well.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think the fact that I recognize that we are all writing a book about our lives. The book of life is not just one chapter and every chapter is not going to be a good chapter. I focus more on the journey than the sprint. I think success is being well-rounded with every aspect in life. I want to be a well-rounded businessman, friend, and father. I never believe I am successful because I am constantly striving to be a better person every day. I may fall, but I get back up. There is a level of resilience that builds within us as we face our challenges in life.
What is a recent purchase you have made that has helped with your business?
I just sent three employees to a strategic planning conference. Employers are more successful when they realize that 80% of your budget will always be your people. We have automated customer response management systems and a lot of what we do now is automated, but the people that work with me are what I want to invest my money in. Their growth is my growth.