retiree explains how he increases his retirement income | Personal Finances | Finance
At 64, Mr. Weeks has proven that when it comes to inventing, age is just a number, as he discovered a big flaw in boiler making after he tried to fix his own. . Now seeking to derive considerable income from his entrepreneurial venture despite almost a decade of his official retirement, Mr. Weeks shared his journey in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
After a career in finance speaking to a variety of business owners and entrepreneurs, he commented: âI’m one of those unusual people, I started working at Barclays at 16 and retired to 55 years old, still working in the same place.
Mr. Weeks also explained that his retirement made him want more: âAfter doing the things that needed to be done in the house and fixing everything that needed to be fixed, I thought there was something other than I wanted to do.
âI thought starting my own business might be something to consider.
âIt’s fair to say that during my career at Barclays and working with business owners, I was pretty confident that I could run my own business as well.
âThe thing is, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. But it turned out that we needed a boiler for our house and I started looking for them. Some people were selling boilers on eBay, but what struck me was that it was almost like it was. âIt might work, maybe not. These are for aftermarket parts and need repairs.
âI spoke to a guest engineer so that if I bought one and he tested to confirm that everything worked, I would sell it on eBay but saying everything worked. People were interested because the boilers are enough. expensive and people were happy to buy them if they knew they worked, âhe added.
Finding this gap in the used boiler market was not the latest change to the business by Mr. Weeks, as he quickly noticed an even bigger problem facing the heating industry: that although they are very reliable, a common flaw was this bypass valve.
He came up with the idea of ââchanging the way boilers are repaired, saving consumers and engineers time and money. Now, with his patented product, he has sold over 2,000 units.
Adjust once is the world’s first sustainable diverter valve. As Mr. Weeks explained: âIf you have a combination boiler, which heats both hot water and central heating, but there is only one heat source, so this valve bypasses the heat. heat depending on your use.
âThe problem that all manufacturers have with these valves is that the leak is constant and the current design was that these valves could not be repaired.
âI think manufacturers generally think of making the design as easy as possible to manufacture, they don’t think of ease of maintenance. Thus, they will ensure the proper functioning of the boiler in the sense that you are replacing the broken part but the parts themselves are not repairable.
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This is not a unique or rare problem, the majority of boilers in the UK and Europe use similar types of valves and Mr Weeks noted that it was not just a problem of weather and money, but also pollution.
âThere are around 25 million of these valves in Europe and around four or five million of them are thrown away every year. It’s a lot of plastic, so I think there will be a time when manufacturers think more about it, which will be sooner rather than later.
âI was very surprised that they weren’t designed to be repaired. I thought I could find a better design.
Determined to solve this problem, Mr. Weeks has also proven that it is never too late to learn new tricks by learning himself to design and 3D print prototypes of his invention.
Mr Weeks has since taken advantage of the freedoms, as well as the activity of entrepreneurship, saying, âFor me personally, it has been very rewarding in terms of being successful and learning new skills along the way and l Another thing about being your own business is that you can set the pace, so if you want a vacation you can.
âFinancially, it has also been rewarding; we have sold a few thousand of these units now and we are expanding in Europe although it is now quite a challenge with Brexit.
âIt’s a seasonal business, so last winter was our first year of operation, we were able to recoup our costs and they were quite significant. This year we are looking to make a profit and I have no doubts that we will, âhe commented.
He added that while starting a business near retirement may seem daunting, unbeknownst to them, they actually have the experience of a career supporting them: âYou don’t realize what you pick up. By the time you hit 60, whether through your work life, hobbies, or just household activities, you are learning skills along the way. They are very valuable when you are starting to think about what you could do for your own business and it will point you in the right direction. I have been fortunate at Barclays to help many companies on their journey.
âThe other thing you don’t realize when you’ve been on the planet for 60 years is that there is so much free information now. For example, we used Fusion360 to produce 3D drawings, it’s not a cheap business but for start-ups they will leave it to you for nothing.
Mr. Weeks shared some of his own advice, uncovered through first-hand experience, on how other retirees can get started as entrepreneurs:
âIt took us six years to get there. It doesn’t happen overnight and you need to be resilient.
âMy advice would be to do whatever you can on your own. Take the time to learn because once you are there the sky is the limit. There are a lot of things you can do to cut costs and learn things while you are going.
Mr. Weeks noted that when an entrepreneur has an idea, he should seek to find out what is unique about his idea and why a consumer should buy from him rather than a competitor.
âIf you have something that is really unique you should consider patenting, but make sure no one else is doing the same thing that you are planning to do. It’s one of the biggest challenges of finding that light bulb moment.
âFor me eBay was very helpful because we started in the boiler market and we were successful there. We had 100% feedback on what we were doing which gave us the confidence to think we could be successful as well.
Mr. Weeks continued, âOne of the other things we found very useful was YouTube. It’s great for our world where you watch practical things; how to do something. We posted our little story on our valve and a lot of people looking at it, it gave us the confidence that people cared about what we had and that it was a common problem.
âYouTube is the way to market yourself, because practical people will definitely search YouTube. It just means that there are opportunities and it’s a good way to see if people are interested, âhe concluded.