With assistance from the LSBDC Business Continuity Center at Nicholls State University Holly Ledger was able to start and expand the only 4D Ultrasound business in the Bayou Region. Peek-A-Boo Ultrasound is the first of its kind in the Bayou Region to offer expectant mothers the new 4D ultrasound imaging option. The downtown Thibodaux location opened in July 2011, offering a full range of services in both ultrasound imaging and gender determination. Previously, the 4D imaging service had not been available in Assumption, Lafourche, or Terrebonne parish. “New Mothers had to drive over 80 miles to either Lafayette or Baton Rouge to receive this service,” says owner Holly Ledger. Ledger, an ultrasound technician, saw an opportunity to service this demand. A fairly new mother herself, Leger recognized the demand in a challenging market and took a risk in opening up the business. “When an expectant mother has the opportunity to see what their newborn looks like,” Leger explains, “money is no object.” 3D/4D ultrasound imaging is an optional service not covered by insurance policies. Ledger’s forecast that new moms would pay out of pocket was on-target, even with the economic downturn.
On the first day of opening, Leger had three customer walk-ins before she’d even installed a sign out front. Appointments filled up Leger’s schedule quickly, and by the end of the first month, a mere 24 days, Peek-A-Boo Ultrasound had already generated its first profit, a success which most new businesses take a year or more to achieve. To get Peek-a-Boo Ultrasound off the ground, LSBDC Business Continuity Center at Nicholls State University helped Ledger develop a business plan and offered guidance and support throughout the startup of her business. After the business opened, Leger later applied to a local bank for funding to acquire a newer ultrasound machine for $20,000. After the local bank denied her because the business was “too new”, Leger visited with LSBDC again and received financial guidance, loan packaging assistance, and ultimately $20,000 for the new equipment.
“I am thankful for the LSBDC,” Leger says. “Not only did they package a successful loan, but they found me one of the lowest rates I’ve ever heard of. And all for absolutely free.” Leger adds, “Their assistance has been integral in the starting and growing of my business.”