Maryland Small Business Development Center

Southern Region Success Stories

Serving Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's Counties in Maryland

When Fran's Nu Image Mastectomy Salon sought a new owner in 2008, SBDC, a trusted advisor of 6 years, was consulted

When Fran's Nu Image Mastectomy Salon sought a new owner in 2008, SBDC, a trusted advisor of 6 years, was consulted

When it came time to find a new owner to care for their Clients - Fran's Nu Image owners confided in their SBDC Business Consultant.

They had been relying on SBDC for advice and education to grow Fran's Nu Image since 2001.

It was a natural progression and a great fit for another SBDC Client, Mimi Quade. With full disclosure, SBDC Consultant, Bill Hitte, was able to help bring both parties together.

For Over 33 years, Fran's Nu Image has been providing quality products and top notch customer service related to post-mastectomy technology. The fully accredited facility offers private fitting rooms and personalized service. All fitters are certified. Fran's stocks a wide array of external breast prostheses, bras, wigs, top of the line hair, scarves, sleep caps, hats, swimwear, compression garments, and other specialty items. Custom ordering is also a key service.


Photo Caption: Fran's Nu Image Owner, Mimi Quade, shows a few of the store's specialized items. Fran's stocks a wide array of external breast prostheses, bras, wigs, top of the line hair, scarves, sleep caps, hats, swimwear, compression garments, and other specialty items. Custom ordering is also a key service.

Fran's Nu Image is accredited by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics, Inc. The accreditation includes a "customer satisfaction" requirement. In 2009, the SBDC assisted in creating a 10-question, anonymous "Client Satisfaction Survey" which also included a "How did you find out about us?" question with answer options. The SBDC also agreed to handle the compilation and analysis as an independent 3rd party. Monthly surveys are provided to the SBDC, reviewed, data compiled into quarterly summaries and "key" Client feedback provided to Mimi Quade. Business Consultant Bill Hitte has been handling the analysis as part of ongoing SBDC Client consulting assistance. In 2016 a total of 339 surveys were reviewed (up from 219 in 2015).

"Bill continues to support the success of my acquisition by updating the survey, tallying and analyzing survey data at least quarterly via a spread sheet, working with me on annual budgets. He makes observations and suggestions as we formulate future goals" Mimi Quade. "As you can tell, I have successfully taken advantage of the local SBDC and utilized its multitude of no-fee consultant services, from initiation to ongoing planning to the essentials of marketing, technology and promotion. I completed the 12 week CEO Accelerator Program. Don’t assume it is an easy process. You do have to commit to homework! The SBDC staff doesn’t take care of everything for you; these experts work with you so that you can effectively operate your business on your own. I know I have a unique talent; a special calling and I didn’t waste it. I encourage you to make your ideas and spirit and drive work for you as well!"

 

The overall Client satisfaction feedback for Fran's has been superb. The business and the staff have consistently been rated 3.97-4.00 (on a 4 point scale) in all categories. Mimi Quade has also used selected comments from Fran's Client's as testimonials on the Fran's website. Consultant Bill Hitte and Mim Quade have also used feedback as basis for business planning and marketing.

Examples of Fran's Client comments:

"Make me very comfortable in what could be a very vulnerable situation."

"The customer service was excellent and I will refer other patients here."

"Thanks for the peace of mind and my new, more complete look!"

"My doctor was raving about how wonderful Fran's is and what great care they give his patients.  I now know why - Mimi was awesome - very professional and paid attention to details."

"Mimi and Cynthia and Donna are FANTASTIC. Best care - personal treatment. Professional, thorough, kind."

Fran's is to be commended for the superb customer service and the long term relationships both with Clients and with referral sources.

The Maryland SBDC Program is funded in part through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, with funding also coming from the state, the College of Southern Maryland and Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s county governments, which allows for regional provision of these services.

For information on Fran's Nu Image, visit www.fransnuimage.com or call 301-843-9282.

For information on the SBDC non-credit CSM courses designed for small business needs, visit www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/workforce-training/sbdc/.

For information on the Southern Region SBDC and its services, visit www.sbdchelp.com.

Posted: November 07, 2018

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