Oftentimes advances in technology will spawn new franchise concepts. In the case of Stork Vision, a high-tech, ultrasound, prenatal imaging center, the franchisors added a new twist to an old technology. Instead of simple one-dimensional images, Stork Vision provides multi-dimensional, real-time visual images of unborn babies.
â€śThe 3D is a technology where you can actually see the features of the baby a lot clearer than with the old grayscale black and white images,â€ť explains Sylvia Scott-Morales, owner of a Stork Vision franchise in Port St. Lucie, Florida since January 2008. The videos can be converted into DVDs, CDs, and scrapbook pictures. Some women even have ultrasound viewing parties at the facility.
In an interview with BlackEnterprise.com, Scott-Morales walks through her entrepreneurial experience, from finding the franchise to getting a loan and adjusting her schedule.
How did you learn about Stork Vision?
I received a postcard that was sent to medical technologists who were registered with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. After looking them up on the Internet, I called and set up an appointment to speak with them.
At the time, I worked full time as a sonographer in a hospital and had never heard of the franchise, but I found the opportunity of owning a business exciting. There is a limit to what you can do financially as a sonographer. Once you reach your limit, thatâ€™s it.
Currently, I make about $65,000 per year. So opening a business could improve my familyâ€™s financial standings in the long run.
Why did you decide to apply for a Stork Vision franchise?
I always wanted to be a business owner, and I thought [it was] a great opportunity to own a business doing something Iâ€™m already skilled at. After investigating Stork Vision and its competitors, I was impressed with how personable the Stork Vision founders were. It is a limited diagnostic ultrasound prenatal imaging center, but it is mainly about bonding and a fun experience for the whole family. When I first walked into their facility, I thought if I was pregnant I would want to have my ultrasound done at this facility.
Was it difficult to make such a huge financial commitment?
It takes about $85,000 to open a Stork Vision franchise. I didnâ€™t have the funds already, so I asked the young ladies at Stork Vision how I should go about doing this. They told me that the Small Business Administration (SBA) works through some banks. There was a bank in my area that worked with the SBA. It was a very long loan process. I had to take them a business plan, which Stork Vision helped me with. That was a big help for me. They showed me the best place to find an office. They checked the population to make sure it is an area where I would be able to support my business.
At first, the SBA was concerned because Stork Vision was a new franchise (founded in 2003). I felt safe to join