Business Name and what it does
ORKA Products manufactures a talking alarm clock, designed to help seniors remain independent. The Talking Madi clock is also a tool to help caretakers and family members manage all their loved one’s medications and activities throughout a busy week. This helps provide peace of mind, especially when you can’t always be around.
By recording your own message, you can deliver timed reminders in your own voice! Leave a loving message or a medication or activity reminder, and you’ll never forget again!
We designed our clock to specifically cater to persons with:
● Memory loss. Features:
● Record your own messages. Customize every reminder.
● Press the “Time?” button to retrieve the day, date, and time as needed.
● Press the “Play Messages” button to retrieve your recorded schedule of customized alarms.
● Determine the time of day by looking for the sun or moon icon.
● Diminished vision. Features:
● The “Time?” button announces the day, date, and time, a helpful feature for seniors who often ask about the time during the day.
● Thanks to large digits (1.93 inches high), the display can be seen clearly from anywhere in the room.
● The large buttons and controls are easy to see and easy to use.
● A flashing display will alert you or your loved one of an alarm.
● Diminished hearing. Features:
● Up to 90 decibels helps when hearing aids are off or your hearing is diminished. Volume control switch easily adjusts the volume to the level you prefer.
● Talking Madi comes with an external speaker jack that can connect to external speakers. (Speakers not included).
● A mute function can turn voice or alarms off.
Click here: Talking Madi compared to other clocks for seniors
Here’s a video on how the product works:
Available exclusively on Amazon. We welcome bulk orders! Please contact us at [email protected]. For more information on our product, please visit www.orkaproducts.com.
Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business
Here is a photo of my mom and dad, the inspiration behind Talking Madi.
As children, we depend on our parents to be our caretakers, the ones who guide and protect us, helping us survive the journey known as childhood. This is what is expected of parents and children. What we do not expect as children is having to watch one parent become the caretaker for the other or for our roles to be reversed as our parents age.
I can personally relate since I watched as my mother became a full-time caregiver for my father after his valiant battle with leukemia. Whether it was the chemotherapy and cancer or a result of aging, my father began suffering from short-term memory loss, which left him often questioning what day or time it was. He also kept forgetting to take important medication. I watched with emotion as my mother added tackling my father’s care to her daily schedule… answering the same questions repeatedly and ensuring his medications were taken on time.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sit idly by while my mother struggled, like so many caregivers, to juggle the tasks of daily life, and so Talking Madi was born. Coming from the luxury design market, my team and I sought to design a beautiful, yet all-inclusive, talking alarm clock with multiple functionalities to help those with memory loss, vision impairment, and hearing impairment. There were several types of these items on the market already, but none that did it all… until Madi.
Providing caregivers and those who are struggling with impairments with a tool to ease frustration and restore independence was my driving passion, because helping people and taking care of those we love is the most important job in the world. With this end goal in mind, we created Talking Madi with extensive and customizable features encased in a beautifully constructed design.
With Talking Madi in my parents’ lives, my dad no longer has to repeatedly ask what day or time it is, because he can easily look from across the room. He never has to wonder if he took his medications because he gets audible reminders, and my mother is far less stressed, no longer having to try and juggle his needs along with her own. They are living happily ever after together, and I know I sleep better at night knowing that they have their Talking Madi to assist them. From my home to yours, I sincerely hope that our product can help you and your family navigate this journey we call aging.
The challenges the business/market is facing
We are a small online business that launched during the COVID-19 pandemic. That experience taught me that the business/market environment is always changing, always throwing challenges at you and your team. I hope that the mistakes I have made have better prepared me for the future.
Some of the challenges have been:
Even though I am proud and confident that our product is superior in functionality, quality, and style (as evidenced by our amazing Amazon reviews), the market is flooded with similar products, and it has been a challenge to set ourselves apart. Quickly scrolling through Amazon’s pages, a customer won’t immediately see our main, lifesaving features, such as voice recording and 30-minute loop-through photographs.
With diesel prices on the up and up, shipping and transport prices have also increased. Shipping times were delayed due to worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns, a lack of containers, and vessels being stuck at various ports for weeks and weeks. This backlog has resulted in delays and unforeseen costs.
Managing stock levels
Trying to find the sweet spot between holding too much stock and incurring storage fees and running out of stock and, consequently, losing sales during key sales periods (particularly during the holiday season) has been challenging.
Advertising, especially selecting which key words to allocate funds to as well as which platforms work best for our target market, has been a challenge as well. Advertising can also be a money pit – figuring out how much to allocate and where to allocate it. However, advertising is very important because, without it, you can’t make sales and offset those fixed business costs. It can also be difficult to know whether the advertising you’ve paid for is only creating product awareness or actually generating product sales. It’s all a balancing act.
Inflationary pressures have led to increased business costs. At the same time, these very pressures have caused consumers, in general, to be more price sensitive, reducing a business’s ability to raise prices to compensate for the increased business costs.
The opportunities the business/market is pursuing
We would love to connect with senior communities! And we are willing to offer their members discount coupons for purchase on Amazon or discounts on bulk orders. Please contact us at [email protected].
Several grant holders have bought our products in bulk to distribute to “senior citizens with low income who receive care in their home.” We would love to connect with other grant holders to be able to help more seniors live independently in their homes.
We are excited to be in the research and development phase for a couple of new products for the senior market. We hope to be able to launch them in the next two years.
Business advice for others
Know your WHY
Having a WHY is essential. What is this all for? Why are you starting your own business? If your reason is “just for fun” or “it’s a hobby,” then, when the going gets tough, there’s a good chance you’ll stop. Your WHY should be infused in your company’s mission and provide you and your team with a cause.
Keep your mind strong
Challenges will arise, and you will often be riddled with self-doubt and feelings of wanting to give up. Well-meaning loved ones and friends may tell you to give up. In order to pull through this, you will need to keep referring to your WHY to find a reason to keep going.
Assess your abilities and weaknesses from a business point of view. Find employees/freelancers to help you strengthen areas in which your skills might be weak, whether that be marketing, accounting, design etc., and then delegate! Two excellent resources are upwork.com and fiverr.com. Here you can find amazing talent to help you either fill the gap in your abilities or free up your time so that you can spend it doing what you are good at.
Know your numbers
Know your costs, your revenue, and all other relevant data so that you can make data-driven business decisions. Don’t be so “in love” with your product that you can’t make intelligent decisions.
Keep reading, keep learning, and keep growing. It is important to keep up to date with changes in the market and update your knowledge, especially with changes in technology and market preferences.
Everyone has a different way of releasing tension. Some like to hit the gym, others like to have a drink with friends. For me, I love yoga and meditation. Find your way and make sure you add self-care to your routine. This will help keep you sane and grounded when you need it.
I know I’ve made mistakes that have filled me with dread, shame, and/or fear. I have often been too hard on myself, and I’m learning to let go and try to grow from these mistakes. I’m a work in progress, and I hope that I can keep moving forward and keep growing personally as well as growing my business. I wish you all the very best in your journey.
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