A new entry into the Coworking Sphere has shifted the interest from Athens’s center to Piraeus port area. Laura Savva has created a friendly coworking space in Piraeus: Workspot.gr
Coworking spaces have become a global movement. Therefore entrepreneurs & digital nomads are looking for a coworking environment with high standards of privacy, safety, technology and design. Laura Savva has a 360 approach to all aspects of a new business. She wanted to provide all the solutions that most new startups, freelancers, and companies have to deal with in Greece.
Workspot is something more than just a coworking space, it’s a community of doers building complex online concepts for their clients. Workspot offers a range of services to help new businesses or freelancers get started, like business mentoring, 24/7 assistance, online branding & public relations, or even assistance with finding a company name and logo.
We had the privilege of an exclusive interview with the pioneer mind behind Workspot, the one and only, Laura Savva.
Interview Laura Savva
Would you like to share a bit about your background and your current job?
For most of my career, I worked as a business administrator. In this position, in order to be able to do your job, you need to gain experience from all the departments of a company. My natural curiosity came in very handy during this period. About 10 years ago, I entered the world of e-commerce. That was it… I became excited by online entrepreneurship, web design, graphics, and content creation!
In 2020, I decided to resign to pursue my dreams and created KIT Agency. A complete solution for small business owners who need to build an online presence. The next step came naturally. Most of the business owners I know need a professional and affordable place to work.
The current economic situation in Greece made that pretty difficult. So, in 2021 I decided to create a solution for that need as well. WorkSpot CoWorking Space came to life in Piraeus, which is a region that I love and have a great belief in its dynamic. I am currently working on two new projects, and when I’ll be ready, we will discuss about them for sure.
How would you describe yourself to another person?
Hmmm, that’s a tricky one… I would describe myself as a person you can count on in difficult times. I’m a good listener, a go-getter, a person who always tries to be fair, and who is not afraid to apologize when wrong. I’m also a bit introverted, impatient, and with small OCDs, but I’m working on them.
Being a female entrepreneur has in any way influenced the way you set & developed your business projects? If so, how?
As a woman, in the business field, I felt that I always had to prove myself and my worth. Unfortunately, I have been the recipient of unacceptable behavior as well. None of those ever made me take my eyes off the ball. Instead, I became even more motivated and determined to develop my skills. I aim to expand my knowledge with consistency and lead by example in everything I do.
Keeping so many balls in the air would you prefer to drop one? Hypothetically speaking, which one and why?
In general, I put a lot of myself into everything I do and get very involved. It would be really difficult for me to let go of any of my interests and projects. I would rather bring more people aboard, with similar drive and business ethic to mine. And eventually, get better at delegating (which is one of my flaws as well).
In your opinion what is the most important trait for a project to become a success story?
Consistency! Consistency in every aspect of a business is crucial. You need to be consistent in your brand identity, your effort, your motivation, your customers support, your compliance with your set policies, and even in the need to change and adapt.
What makes you furious?
A lot of things, but we don’t have enough time to discuss them all. 🙂 I will try to focus on the most fundamental. In no particular order, I get furious when I witness a lack of: honesty, ethics, manners, empathy, common sense, loyalty, and gratitude.
Having been in both roles, as an employee and an employer, what are the challenges you had to cope with that totally changed the way you define these roles, today?
As a matter of fact, the way that I define those two roles has never changed during my career. It was very clear to me as an employee that I had to provide solutions that contribute to the goals and success of the company I was working for, as I considered it a success of mine too.
As an employer, I always keep the communication channel open with the people I work with and try to provide them with everything I can in order to make their professional life easier and/or more pleasant. I prefer to consider them as partners and not employers. I am always more interested in the mentality of the people I choose to work with. Learning the skills is the easy part. One of my motos is “Be the person you would want to work with!”.
Which digital assets would you name as the most crucial for making a new business stand on its feet?
The most valuable digital assets for me are the ones that contribute to a company’s reputation, such as photos and videos of testimonials/proof of concept, plus collected data for analysis and optimization.
In what ways have social media affected your business growth?
Social media are a necessity to connect with your target audience and create the much-needed channels for more direct communication and approach. I wouldn’t say that I rely solely on them. I pay equal attention to customers’ experience (so when the time comes they will recommend me), and to SEO.
What’s your favorite social media network, and why?
Facebook and TikTok fight inside me for the throne! Facebook gives me the ability to consume many different forms of content while I keep in contact with my friends and I enjoy that very much. On the other hand, there it came, Tiktok, to take me by the hand and show me endless inspired and inspiring content creators that I just can’t seem to get enough of.
What kind of content makes you stop in awe?
It can be literally anything! From an inspiring quote, long-form content about a subject that I am interested in, a good photo or a graphic design, the design of a website, or a very sophisticated video produced by a so-called amateur.
Is SEO the new form of intelligent content?
When I first came to understand what is SEO and what it can do for a business, I fell in love with it! As a consumer, I was always (and still am) annoyed by the ads. They may even have a negative effect on me, as I was thinking that the advertised company has enough money to spend on commercials and felt the need to support the ones who didn’t. SEO, on the other hand, eliminates this possibility by bringing us in front of our potential clients’ eyes, in the most natural way, at, exactly, the time they need and search for us. So, there it is… The perfect timing for us to “meet”.
Which people do you believe are the most influential on social media?
It’s in the eye of the beholder. For each and every one of us, depending on our interests, there are a lot of different content creators that influence us. Any particular reference would be unjust for the rest of the creators that target other audiences.
When was the last time you learned something new while using social media?
I invest some of my time in that daily! And trust me, it works.
What do you do during your free time? What makes you forget to check your mobile?
I enjoy the company of my friends and family, I enjoy a good conversation over a glass of wine (with a platter of cheese even better), I enjoy playful moments with my cat Sourloulou and I constantly listen to music and sing a lot, especially when driving.
Can you name 3 books that you absolutely adore?
Let’s see… My number one would be “As they have been told and heard – Secrets and truths from the psychoanalyst’s couch” by Nikos Sideris. The second would be “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” a book by the Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein. I also adore a good Detective/Mystery story. My favorite author is Jo Nesbo but please don’t make me choose only one of his books, because I can’t.
When was the last you stayed offline? Do you practice digital detox?
O-F-F-L-I-N-E? Did I spell it correctly? Because I don’t know what it means! Jokes aside, I don’t practice digital detox. At least, not yet. I know it’s not my brightest moment, but this is the truth.
What is the tip of advice you would like to share with the people taking their first steps in your business field?
a) Fasten your seatbelt ’cause it’s gonna be a hell of a ride!
b) Stay focused, resilient, and play it “all in”!
c) Always have a contingency plan, because everything that can go wrong, will.
d) You will lose some people throughout that journey, only to make space for the right ones to come in.
e) Find a good accountant, follow their advice and help them help you.
Is there room for powerful women in your business field?
A powerful woman creates her own room in any field.
The Bonus Question
It’s your turn. You can ask me anything you want. You have the benefit of one question.
Laura: When you have a new member on your team, which are the steps you take to make them really become and feel like a valuable asset to the team?
That is really a clever question. Usually, on the first day, I welcome the new member and introduce him/her to the team. On the second day, I prefer to give them one of our rejected projects and ask them to evaluate the client & project, without knowing that is already rejected. They have 15 days to show me their point of view.
Depending on their reaction and their strategic thinking, I give them the benefit of choosing on their own which departments could help them complete their assignment. If they know what they need and feel comfortable asking it, for me, it’s a sign that they feel welcome. On the contrary, if they keep asking permission for every single step it means that we have a completely different business culture.
People feel welcome when they recognize the behavioral patterns close to their core personality traits. In other words, no matter what an employer does or offers as a welcoming gesture if the receiver feels incompatible, nothing would ever make them feel comfortable.
The way they reach out to the rest of the team will eventually form their final positioning. Also, watching how they focus on the project is a signal that they are ready to become part of our team. Focusing is a rare quality that only genuine creative minds have, under any given circumstances. I have seen people, providing brilliant solutions for their assignments and finally even turning the rejected project into a profitable client.
Giving a new member a specific assignment is much better than an abstract book of guidelines next to a box full of presents. It is a gesture of trust because the file usually contains all the necessary information to get into the fundamental company’s principles. It’s something solid, based on data, informative, risk-free and works as a bridge of communication. The assignment declares that: we see you as equal, and we are waiting to hear your point of view.
To wrap it up, by providing the freedom to let them find their position it’s easier to establish their voice without me micromanaging them and the rest of the team. As it seems, this has been significant (so far) to make people feel valued from day one. I stress the word “feel” because nobody forgets the way you make them feel.
People never follow instructions, they follow your lead.