Years In Business: 14 years
Number of Employees: 2
Elevator Pitch: “Love at first sight”
As part of our follow-up to the progress the Daughters of Zion CNPP grantee is making within Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond- we are highlighting their weekly Entrepreneur of the Week award. When asked why Marquetta Moore was selected as the entrepreneur of the week, Dr. Gerald Kiner, PhD declared, “ “ A goal of ours in awarding entrepreneurs of the week is to make sure awardees are the best in their field and Marquetta Moore is most definitely the best of the best and she isn’t afraid to let you know. I am so proud of this woman. The sky’s the limit for her. She not only knows how to get a customer but more importantly she knows how to keep a customer. She is everything we look for in a business owner. Working with her is a dream come true. “
Marquetta Moore answered several questions for the entrepreneur of the week.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Marquette Moore, I’m a certified ultrasound tech of 14 years, I’ve worked with several of the doctors in the Memphis area. I’ve traveled the United States as a Traveling Ultrasound Tech. I have three beautiful sons and a beautiful daughter. I am the grandmother of seven, and my fiance is named Tony. We’ve been together of course for 11 years, just got engaged two years ago. As far as my business, my specialty is 3-D, 4-D, 5-D Ultrasounds, focusing on images of the baby’s face, allowing the parents to see their babies for the first time in color. And also for those who know that this may be the last time that they’re going to see their baby.
Q: How did you start your business?
A: Well, I used to travel as an ultrasound tech and a few years ago prior to me starting, I had an incident where I had a mass on my left ovary, and eventually lost a job due to going through treatment and everything.
So, the day I got fired from my job I went to Oklahoma, I made a few phone calls, I went to Oklahoma. I bought my first grandfather’s ultrasound machine, which was $1,000, and I’m at a point now where I have a $60,000 machine and that was 14 years ago.
And there were people who did not know me, credit wasn’t good at that time like it is now, who gave me the opportunity to lease, rent, or either buy a machine with no money down. And that led me to where I am now. I worked from home for about five years, got my machine paid for, and it was time to go back into an office, and that’s where I am now. I have my first ultrasound tech, who works part-time on Saturdays.
Q: How did you come up with the name of your business?
A: Signet Ultrasound, it’s more like a signature, it’s my own thing. It’s me doing my own thing not having to answer to anybody, not having to question anybody. And it’s just my own signature, that’s basically what it means.
Q: What is a life-changing moment that you’re most proud of for your business?
A: Life-changing moment, where I could actually pay cash for my own ultrasound machine. And at that point I knew building my clientele, having my clients have my back, and having that rapport with the doctors to say, “You know, let’s send her to Marquetta,” because this person may not have insurance. And so, they’ll send them to me to do an ultrasound, so that I can do what is called a confirmation of pregnancy in order to help them with their insurance or to get Medicaid.
Q: How did you hear about the Daughters of Zion CNPP Navigator Pilot Program?
A: My best friend/cousin Darcey Simms, said, “Girl, you have to go to this program, and I think it’s going to be beneficial to you.” And so, I’ve been here now for about five weeks now. And it’s been awesome, you know, I’ve listened to the grants, I’ve looked at some of the grants, and just trying to figure out which one is best suitable for me and my company?
Q. How do you feel the Daughters of Zion CNPP Navigator Pilot Program has impacted you as an entrepreneur?
A: Well, it has really taken me out of my comfort zone, my comfort box. You know, you’re looking at babies all these years and doing other little things, but just listening to people coming up to you and saying, “Hey, look, this is what’s going on with me, can you help me out?” You know, so it’s really taken me out of my comfort zone. I’ve networked, I’ve listened to the different grants that have been offered. And I’m listening for the one that’s more beneficial to me, and I think I have found it today. So, I did speak with Monique and we’re going to sit down and talk about it and apply for it.
Q: What do you feel is the greatest testimony you have heard from someone utilizing your services?
A: The greatest testimony that I’ve heard so far is “Ms. Marquetta you’ve saved my baby’s life. If it wasn’t for you, the doctor would not have listened.” Ms. Marquetta, “If it was not for you finding a mass on my baby’s neck, then my baby would not have been here.” “If it was not for you Ms. Marquetta, and you doing what you do at an affordable price, I would never known that my baby had an issue. You basically saved my baby’s life.”
Q: How did you help Dr. Kiner, tell me about you coming to him, and telling him about the “Pound for Pound” phrase, because you heard him talk about that, so tell us your version of it.
A: My version of it, after my first visit here, and I actually had on my t-shirt that a step-son had made for me with all of my services on it. And I came to Dr. Kiner and we were talking about his hernia, and I suggested that he make an appointment to come see me. And, he was like, “Well, the only problem is with that, is that, you know, I have a top notch doctor, and he said that you can’t see a hernia on ultrasound. And I said, “Well, I’m “Pound for Pound,” which is, you know, my motto now. So, he came over and we did the ultrasound, and sure enough there was a small opening around the naval, that you could actually see on ultrasound. Which of course, if you don’t have an eye for ultrasound and not necessarily know what you’re looking for, hernias usually look like a horseshoe.
Q: Where do you get that powerful statement from, “I’m pound for pound?”
A: From attending Daughters of Zion grant writing classes.
Q: How did you come up with your pricing plans?
A. Well, I started out like all the other studios, $200, $150. I was leasing a machine at that time and I was paying about $1200 a month for the machine, $500 for the insurance. I called the company and said, “Hey, look, y’all can come get this machine, I’m really not making any money.” And they would say to me, “No, just keep it, get your name out there, it’s going to work out.” And so, about the time I got ready to take the machine, or send the machine back it was about 11 ‘o’clock at night, and I said, “Lord, you got me into this, you got to get me out, because I’m going in the red with this. He says, “well, bring your prices down.” I said, bring my prices down?” Well, if I bring my prices down, I’m already not making any money? He said, “well, being obedient is better than sacrifice.” So, I took my prices down and I was working from home at that time, and so, I took my prices all the way down to $45. And I wanted to pay my tithes and my offerings, so once I took my prices down, this is at 11 o’clock at night. I was up until six o’clock in the morning scheduling patients and my first patient started at seven o’clock. So, I had no sleep, I worked all day that Saturday ’till about ten o’clock, missed church the next day seeing patients. And this went on for, ooh, maybe a good two or three weeks, you know, and everybody was coming and they were telling other people. There would be people who would say, “well, I don’t feel comfortable coming to a house, you know.” So, that’s how it happened, you know? It was God’s fault it wasn’t mine, it was Him.
Q: Why should someone come to your company instead of going to your competition?
A: As far as being one of my clients, you know, the saying says, “let your light shine.” So, I don’t really have to say much, I just tell them what I do, and it’s really up to them. Or I’ll ask you, have you had your ultrasound? Have you had your 5-D ultrasound? And they’ll say, “Oh, I just had that,” you know? And I’ll say, “Oh, okay,” And they’ll show me pictures and then I’ll show them my pictures. And they’ll say, “Well, how much are you charging?” And I’ll tell them, you know, the price for it, and then they’ll say, “Okay, we’ll give you a call.” And I’m thinking, they’re not going to call me, and they end up going online scheduling saying, “oh, I saw you at Kroger or I saw you at Walmart.” And I say, “Okay, well, for that I’m going to give you a discount, you know. And then the word is just out there, you know, there is nothing that you can say bad about Ms. Marquetta, because if you do, my clientele will cut you, for real. And I’ve realized that, you know, seeing what, 10,000 people a year, you can’t please everybody, but as the pastor was saying today, you know, just be at peace. Because I’m not going to be able to please everybody, but it’s going to be the ones that I do please are going to go out and tell 10 other people. And, that’s how I have built my clientele, you know?
But the reason you should come to my establishment is because, sometimes if you don’t have insurance and you’re trying to get insurance, most of the time you’re not going to be able to get insurance… the doctors are not going to do these tests unless you’re symptomatic, okay, that’s number one.
Number two, you don’t want to go to the hospital or to your doctor’s office, and you go through these testing sites, and they say, “Oh, we don’t see anything.” That has happened so many times that I’ve, you know, used to work for a doctor. I would find stuff, and then he would send them on over to the Diagnostic Center, and they’d say, “Oh, we don’t see it.” But then, he would say, “Well, let me send you over to this facility,” and the same thing that I found previously, that other facility would find it.