24th November 2021

Employee or Entrepreneur: Why not both ?

After living in Sweden and Holland, Francesca Pogliani, of Italian origin, has settled in Luxembourg. Employed full time in a Big Four company, she spends the rest of her time running her office rental business as an entrepreneur. How does she manage to juggle the two and how did her business idea become a reality? In this article, she explains her journey. Enjoy reading!

Meet Francesca

Italian of origins, I moved to Luxembourg after living in Sweden and in the Netherlands. With a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, I run my business while working as a Sustainability consultant in PwC. My biggest passion will always be volleyball, which is why my dream was to become a professional player. Being only 160 cm tall, I had to bet on school instead, which I must say, it paid off.

The idea of creating a business

The idea was born after realizing that there was an unfulfilled need for people in Luxembourg that could result in a business. Starting to develop the idea was difficult, because I had and still have a full-time job. But it was even more difficult to decide to implement it, which meant investing not only my time but also money. I finally took the risk, as I could only learn out of it.

The stages of business creation

1. From the Idea to the Business

Spend time on learning the theory but pass to concrete action as soon as possible.

Now let’s say you have an idea, and you want to transform it into a business. Well, feeling lost is totally normal. “How can I be sure the service will sell?” “What are the bureaucratical steps I have to follow?”. These and many more questions will pop up in your head.

That is what happened to me in the beginning, when the idea was just an idea and it still had to be transformed into a real service. I had the chance to be mentored by Nyuko, where, thanks to a special “à la carte” coaching service, I was able to take the project to the next level, by meeting the mentor on evenings after my full-time job.

When we finally felt ready for it, we went through the bureaucratical journey, not necessarily an easy one, of obtaining the business permit and finally open the company: Deskover Sàrl.

2. Difficulties

It's difficult to find the right people to expand your business in the right direction.

Throughout this process, the difficult moments were probably as many as the good ones. Or, if I want to be 100% honest, maybe more.

Starting from the difficulty of finding the right business partner: in the beginning everything looks fun, but when it’s about business, not everything is necessarily fun. And working with the right person is just fundamental.

Another struggle I had (and still have) is linked to the fact that I am not only an entrepreneur, but also an employee.

I work 9 to 6 from Monday to Friday, and therefore, I ended up feeling excluded and a little discriminated. 

Even more difficult is to find the right people to expand your business in the right direction: the famous power of network, which is crucial. Sometimes this comes from luck, not always from merit, and it is hard to keep going while you see you are by yourself.

The path is full of ups and downs, but the commitment is always too strong to give up.

3. What we do

Our key word is flexibility. We want to give the chance to people in Luxembourg to book a desk to work or study, whenever they need it, without having to buy expensive coworking subscriptions. You can work flexibly, with no subscription and no additional costs!

Deskover is an online marketplace that connects spaces that want to monetize their capacity with people who are looking for desks to study or work, at any time. During and after business hours, including evenings and weekends. Imagine it as an Airbnb for coworking spaces.

We provide a single platform to book your ideal coworking space in Luxembourg. Whether you need a quiet desk, a shared workspace, or a meeting room, you can compare and choose your perfect spot and book it for the time and duration that suits your needs. From there, you can book online, pay online, and not worry about anything else.

Deskover receives commissions on transactions. The company does not own nor rent any of the coworking spaces listings, which is the power of our business model.

4. Expanding

Our biggest achievement so far has been to expand from one listed coworking space on our platform to seven in less than one year, surpassing our initial forecast. Moreover, our community expanded from 0 to more than 250 people in less than one year.

We also welcomed a new team member, our social media manager.

This makes us three, and despite the very limited number of people we’re in the company, we managed to build the platform as it is today, which allowed many of our users to book a desk or a meeting room in coworking spaces near them, at any time, and for how long they wanted it.

We want to expand to other types of space as well! The idea is that the more types of space, the more flexibility we give our users. And that’s why we do what we do.

Francesca’s advice to future entrepreneurs

Spend time on learning the theory but pass to concrete action as soon as possible. Learning by doing is the best that you could do. Be ready to work a lot, it is fun. But not always! Remember that having a company means also administrative tasks.

Nyuko has signed a partnership with Spuerkeess, in order to foster entrepreneurial spirit and strengthening the bank's position with company founders from the start of their businesses. More info in our article: https://www.spuerkeess.lu/en/blog/experts-corner/nyuko-fostering-entrepreneurial-spirit/.

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