At Navy Federal Business Services, the most important piece of advice we give our start-up members is to find a niche in the marketplace, and then fill it. Once a strong niche business is developed, don’t wander. Companies are always more profitable when they stay within their specialty rather than taking business wherever they can get it.

Case in point is business member Maria Healy, President of Kreative Marketing in Atlantic Beach, FL. Prior to Kreative Marketing, Maria worked for several years in sales for a Fortune 500 company. Factors like stressful work travel hours and limited earning potential lead her to the decision to start her own business. After approaching Navy Federal, Maria’s next step was to create a niche to standout in the marketplace – and she chose credit unions. Since starting her company in 1999, Kreative Marketing has supported several credit unions in the state of Florida and all over the U.S., including their business partners.

I had the opportunity to chat with Maria recently when Kreative Marketing set up a pop-up shop at Navy Federal’s headquarters.

Jim: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start Kreative Marketing.

Maria: After working a number of years as a National Sales Director for a Fortune 500 company, I felt I needed to reduce the amount of travel the job required to better serve my family.  Starting my business allowed that to happen and gave me the opportunity to use my sales and relationship-building skills along with allowing unlimited earning potential.

Jim:  What’s the biggest challenge in owning your own business?

Maria: In national sales, you concentrate solely on the customer.  Owning your own business, you not only concentrate on the customer but you must also focus on your employees and their training, operations, production and delivery as well finance and accounting.  It’s 24/7 – but I love it!

Jim:  Why did you choose Navy Federal as your business’ primary financial institution?

Maria:  Navy Federal was the perfect fit.  I chose it because it offers the customer service and attention of a small bank, along with the resources and backing of a large financial institution.

Jim:  What’s the first thing you did when deciding to start your own marketing company?

Maria:  To create a niche to stand out in the marketplace.  My niche was working with credit unions.  Since starting my company, I have worked with numerous credit unions throughout Florida and the U.S. along with their business partners.

Jim:  What makes your business unique?

Maria:  My talented, highly experienced, loyal and dependable staff who excel at customer service on every order, every day, in part due to their extensive knowledge of the thousands of products. And always meeting the deadline – no matter what.

Jim:  What are your business goals for the next five years?

Maria:  To continue to grow our sales through our relationships and reputation locally and globally.  We’d also like to open a satellite office in Pensacola, FL.