Getting Yourself and Your Home Ready for Winter

Every part of the year has its advantages, but we can’t all be in love with every single season. Me, I’m a guy who likes winter – scratch that: I love winter!

And I especially love winters in Dublin, because the streets look amazing, the air is crisp and you can get warm and cozy with a pint of Guinness basically at any corner.

However, winter also requires some preparation and I like being on top of my game, which is why I’m getting myself and my home ready for the winter a month or two in advance.

If you’re just like me and don’t like being surprised by the first snow, here’s what you need to do in order to welcome winter adequately.

Check the Insulation

House cover in snow

Winters in Ireland are tough – to be honest, the weather here can be tough all year long, with all the wind and rain – which is why you need to be 100% sure your home is ready for it. Checking the insulation is first on my order of business and I know how important being protected against the harsh winter conditions is.

I actually realized a couple of years ago that my home isn’t as cozy and warm as it should be and started looking for a reason. After some time, I understood that my insulation isn’t effective at all, so, a couple of days later, the problem was fixed.

Using foam board insulation, I managed to elevate the temperature in my rooms quite significantly, and this is something you too can do on your own, so there’s no reason to avoid this project.

Check the Fireplace and Chimney

Brown Beside Fireplace Near Brown Wicker Basket

My fireplace is one of the most interesting and visually attractive features in my home, and something I love a lot, particularly in the winter. It’s located in the middle of the living room and I just love sitting in front of it and catching up on the latest John Grisham (a very guilty pleasure).

ut, if you want your fireplace to keep you warm from November to March, you have to give it some love first.
I know that cleaning the fireplace is tiring and boring, but it’s just one of those things you have to do, whether you like it or not.

n the end, if you want to use it all winter long, you have to make sure it’s spotless. The same goes for the chimney too – hire a chimney sweeper to check if everything’s all right before the winter comes. Remember to do that every year and you’ll be able to enjoy the fireplace in the years to come as well.

Start Moisturizing

Man face wet

Look, I know this isn’t something every guy likes doing, but it just needs to be done. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of teasing from my friends at the pub, but when the winter comes, guess whose skin is perfect – mine, not theirs! Moisturizing is an important part of skincare and something you need to do all year long, but it’s especially important in the winter.

No matter where you live and how old you are, the wind, snow and cold are going to attack your face, dry your skin and mess it all up – unless you do something about it first, of course.

I thought this was a bit funny several years ago, but I got quite used to using a moisturizer and now can’t imagine welcoming winter without it. It makes my skin smooth, fresh and younger, but it also protects me against the low temperatures, and that’s something I love more than anything else.

f I am really looking for a splurge, I will sometimes look into a treatment at Auralia. Long since have gone the times when men were be ashamed of taking care of themselves!

Fix Your Beard

Well dressed man with a beard

Once you reach a certain age, you simply stop paying that much attention to the way you look: you have other things on your mind and you just want to feel comfortable in your own skin. Nevertheless, you can’t look scruffy if you’re a professional running his own business, so you have to take care of your facial hair even in the middle of winter.

Since Dublin winters are quite cold, I prefer trimming my beard instead of shaving it completely. This way, I still look elegant, manly and professional, but I’m not as cold as I’d be if I shaved my face morning after morning.

Also, frequent shaving can irritate your skin and cause acnes in certain cases, and that’s definitely something you need to avoid in the winter.

As you can see, preparing yourself and your home for the winter isn’t as hard as it sounds. If you take care of your health and maintain your living space all year long, you won’t have a problem adapting to the cold weather.

Consistency is the key, both in housekeeping and personal hygiene, so don’t neglect your skincare, even if you don’t think that’s the manliest thing in the world.

The Perks of Setting up a Business in Dublin

Starting a business, any kind of business, can be daunting or outright scary. I know this from personal experience. That is exactly why I wasted far too many years working for and with others, despite the fact I carried most of the load and could have spent that time building my own company.

At one point, my dislike for working for others overcame my fears and I realized that the time was right for me to finally start my marketing agency. I have always read that Dublin is one of the best places in the world to start a business and I decided to put this to the test.

Unfortunately, despite my sudden burst of enthusiasm, I had no idea how to actually do it. I had never been much of an entrepreneur and I tended to tune out when people spoke about the business side of running a company.

I know there are plenty of people out there like me and that is exactly why I wanted to write this – A quick guide to starting a business in Dublin if you’re not really sure how to start a business in Dublin.

Am I a Company? Am I a Trader?

Man standing

Before we go any further, I should confess to something – my best friend is an accountant and she made my life so much easier from the get go. And I do mean get go. You HAVE TO find a reliable accountant before you even start thinking about starting a business.

They’ll help you make the first major decision for your business – should you start off as a sole trader or a limited company straight away? Because my friend, how you register your company will become very important as soon as the first invoices start rolling in.

Basically, when you’re a sole trader, your business is tied to you as a person and it entails less red tape and fewer expenses. When you start a limited company, you become a shareholder in a corporate entity and it’s a whole different beast.
I myself wanted to go company straight away, but my friend advised me to get things going as a sole trader. You can read more on this here, by the way.

Once you decide, you have to register your business name with the CRO and find out about the taxes you’ll need to take care of in the future. You can find pretty much everything on this here.

Finding the Money

Regardless of how small you start off, you will be needing some money to get things going. I myself had the foresight to put something aside over the years and I didn’t have to take out loans or look for alternative funding.

For those of you whose situation is different, don’t despair. Dublin and Ireland, in general, are among the very best places in the world to start a business and a lot of it has to do with the availability of funds for new entrepreneurs.

The Local Enterprise Office is the perfect place to start, if nothing else then for the enormous amount of advice and tips you will get from the lovely people who work there. Despite the fact I wasn’t looking for any additional funding for my company, I got in touch with them and they helped me immensely. The good people at LEO really know their stuff.

I could write a 3,000 word article on all the other programmes and grants that are available for entrepreneurs in Ireland, but that is a story for another occasion. Instead, I’ll point you in the direction of this extensive list of funding options for Irish businesses.

Finding Office Space

Office Space

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you will have more or less choice when it comes to finding the best office space. For instance, I was perfectly capable to work from my parents’ house for the first few months and later from my apartment.

Of course, once you start meeting with clients and getting a bit of traction, you might need more and this is where coworking spaces come in. Dublin is great when it comes to coworking spaces – I worked from CoCreate for a while and also from The Brickhouse (really cool, although a bit more expensive).

The important thing is not to rush it and go renting out office space from the very start. Until you bring on more people, you don’t really need an office.

Of course, this doesn’t hold water if you are starting with a couple of people already. If you do need to get office space, make sure to do your research. You don’t have to be located at the IFSC or the Docklands.

Take Advantage of Software

Settings button on the screen

Okay, this one’s not really Dublin-specific, but I feel it is so important I would be remiss not to mention it. Namely, one of the best things about starting a business these days is the abundance of software that is available for pretty much every aspect of your business (especially if you are in the digital arena).

You name it, you’ve got it – lead generation software, business analytics software, HR software, project management software, CRM software, etc.

For a new company with a limited number of customers and accounts, much of the software can be free or really, really cheap. This often helps you keep your overhead low until you grow a bit and start bringing in more revenue.

Another tip – shop around, there are often small players who are doing stuff as well as the big, expensive companies, but at a fraction of the price as they are trying to carve a space for their company in the marketplace.

Closing Word

In this article, I covered the very basics that should leave you with a company that is registered and can operate legally. I intentionally left out hiring people and finding your first customers, because these require special attention.