Starting and running a supplement company can be complicated sometimes, but the good news is that it can be done. In any case, turning a good business idea into a real business isn’t a walk in the park, more so in a highly regulated sector such as the Dietary and Supplements industry.
Many variables have to be considered and done right – distribution, financial planning, marketing, legal affairs, and customer service, to name but a few. For this reason, we have created this comprehensive step by step guide that will guide you on building a supplements company from scratch.
Step 1: Decide on the products to sell
Knowing what supplements you can sell can be extremely profitable. Do some due diligence to identify the best-selling supplements online. You don’t settle on a product that is not fast-moving. Private label skin care supplements and sports supplements are some of the best-selling supplements.
Step 2: Identify your target market
This is a crucial step that many entrepreneurs tend to overlook. Who are you selling your product to? The right target customer niche should be precise. Avoid general customer targets.
What are the pain areas that you should focus on? You should be able to specify the specific problem that your products address.
What options are my target customers using? Identifying the current products that your customers use will save you a big-time when it comes to marketing. You will know where the customers source their products, hence where to advertise them, and you can use the shortcomings of the current products as your selling points.
Step 3: Decide on your customer acquisition model.
There are dozens of ways to attract customers, but the golden rule is to always pick one that works the best. Here are your options;
- Media buying
- Direct sales
- Starting your website
- Selling your supplements on e-commerce platforms like
- Setting up your brick and mortar store
- Trade shows
Selecting a viable option takes time. A zen-like approach is advisable, where you compare the required efforts against the cost and profitability. Where possible, it is prudent to experiment with various options, pick what works for you, and discard whatever doesn’t.
Step 4: Comprehensive competitor analysis
The rule of thumb is always to replicate your competitors’ success while avoiding their mistakes. Remember, you have to stand out of the pack, and to do that, you must carry out comprehensive research into what your next-door neighbor is doing.
Here are a few pointers to look out for:
- Prices: The largest volumes always go to the lowest bidder, and small price margins can be the difference between your current position and the top of your class.
- Flaws: Look for weaknesses in your competitors and delete them in your strategy.
- New opportunities: If you are thorough with your research, you might find a neglected customer segment, take note of that, and build on it.
Step 5: Developing your supplements
After you have your data rightly analyzed, you can now develop your products. Here are some quick steps on how to go about it.
- Producing supplements: This is a complex process that has to be done right. The dosages, tests, and pilot trials must be put into consideration.
- Cost of production: Different forms, e.g., Tablets and powder, have different production costs.
- Licensing: Since you are dealing with supplements, you must provide two main licenses. A legal permit from the FDA and DEA (if you are in the US) approving that your product is safe for humans as well as a dietary license will affirm that your nutraceuticals are legal.
Step 6: Identify the right supplement manufacturer
Choosing a manufacturer is another tricky step that has to be done right. There are many manufactures out there, but what makes a great manufacturer?
Here are some key things to consider; check whether they supply the ingredients, whether they have any certifications, and how efficient their quality control and assurances are. Only NSF and NPA are authorized to offer manufacturers accreditation in the US, and anything else is a big no.
Additionally, you should check if the manufacturer is based within the country where you intend on setting up a business. They should also be able to offer expert opinions and sometimes turn down your products.
Step 7: Creating your supplement label
A label represents your brand in the market and should therefore speak your brand. It should feature few but precise and conspicuous symbols that grab attention and communicate with prospective consumers. Research indicates that 40 -70% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale, and at this point, your label is your only representative.
An ideal label should feature your brand’s logo, should be regulatory compliant and eye-catching.
Step 8: Naming your supplement brand
At this point, you must have a name in mind already, but does it meet these requirements?
- It should be short, sweet, and relevant.
- It should have a defined color palette. Colors are vital in jogging people’s memory, and some shades are just too good at it; choose wisely.
- It should be consistent with your brand and products.
Names can be for specific supplements, or you can stick with a brand’s reputation in all your products as long as it meets the above criteria.
Step 9: Wind up your supplement marketing plans.
Now that you have your product, how will you get people to buy it? With such a competitive industry, products’ packaging and marketing strategies determine a product’s survival in the market.
You should ensure that your marketing strategies are customer-centric, focusing on the target audience. Utilize online platforms and online influencers to get to their followers. If an influencer recommends your product to their fan base, there is no way some would not try it.
Your marketing should be objective and targeted.
Step 10: Sell!
Congratulations! You have endured the cumbersome process and invested your time and money to have a live product. Below are some key things to keep in mind while approaching the market.
Price is a game-changer. You should develop a price structure that works; we mentioned this already.
Create an online store, a physical store if possible, social media accounts, and aggressive marketing strategies. You can also team up with gyms and local retailers to get your product to the people.