It's a little after one in the afternoon, the sun is rising over Copenhagen. On the first floor, in one of the back rooms, sits Ramon, owner of the restaurant Tapas Huset Casa Lola, and we interrupt him in the middle of a conversation about further planning and development.
"In adversity, you can sit down and cry or you can think development"
He has had the restaurant in Jernbanegade since 2001. A restaurant with attention to detail, with smaller nooks and crannies to create coziness and that close feeling that you also get around family. All around are old wine barrels used as bar tables, high panels on the walls, and otherwise kept in a calm brown color that matches all the different wooden details. Despite the dark and calm colors, the restaurant seems bright and open with the large window facade facing the quiet street.
He admits it's been hard work at times, but every day he enjoys going to work. Being an entrepreneur is not only hard on the job market, it's also hard in your personal life. You have to realize that starting and running a business takes time. He finds motivation in working towards his own vision. Coolly, with a smile on his face, he says: "Why work hard to make another man's dream come true when you can live for your own"
Ramon has brought his Spanish heritage into the restaurant, which serves typical Spanish tapas.
"Never open a business to make more money"
Ramon says that as a self-employed person, he is always working, if not in the restaurant, he is working on further development. He has made it a habit to walk the 5 minutes to and from work to get time to reflect. He uses this time as a change of scene between work and leisure, and in the morning it's these 5 minutes he spends tuning his brain and mind to the business. Part of his drive comes from feeling the freedom of only working within his own rules. With Ramon, it's clear that his work is a passion, so he reminds me that you shouldn't open a business just to make more money. Because if you divide the time he spends at the restaurant by the income he gets, the salary is nothing to shout about. It's the dream of being your own boss that is the reward.
"Every failure started with a good idea"
His track record suggests that he has some experience in running a business. But his education is not necessarily aligned with the restaurant industry. Growing up in Spain, he studied marketing. But at the age of 16, he embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure, starting a company with doctors and nurses in Spain to analyze blood. Since then, he has worked independently in the export and import of food to and from Spain and with real estate in Denmark. Since his first business start-up at the age of 16, his number of years as an employee can be counted on two hands.
Qred business loans
Qred Business Loans was introduced to Ramon by an old CEO he had previously crossed paths with. At the time, liquidity needed a boost after a previous adventure into the real estate market had ended. So back then, the loan was needed for the restaurant to survive. He states that borrowing money is always expensive. Therefore, he doesn't want to borrow money to cover a gap, but when he does borrow money, he wants it to be used for some kind of development. And that development should earn more than it costs to borrow in interest and costs.
Tapas Huset was outside a market he had previously tried to work with, and he found it exciting. Ramon says that the love for being an entrepreneur must be great. That it's important to dare to dream big, believe in it and go 100% into it. Most importantly, he goes on to say that it's about having it as a hobby and that you fall in love with the work and not the company
"Think big or your idea won't be big"
When decisions need to be made, it's again about believing in it and having the courage to go all the way. It's about making decisions and acting wisely.
By working from your hobby, it's easier to find the time to learn and work the time it takes.
Challenges of growth
Even today, Ramon is still thinking about further development and where he can strengthen his business. The pandemic that hit Denmark also helped push him to think about constant development. He also points out that he has had to be more careful with people and collaborations as his companies have grown. As a small business, it's easy to look through all the invoices and costs, but as the company grows, there are more invoices and costs. Ramon has learned that if you don't keep an eye on your invoices, you can quickly risk receiving an invoice for more than you are entitled to.
If you are in the area and want a Spanish-inspired dinner in charming surroundings, drop by Tapas Huset Casa Lola