A Simple 5-Step Guide for Starting a Supplement Company

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With health-conscious diet trends on the rise, nutritional supplements may be more marketable now than they’ve ever been.

Even so, starting a company that mainly sells vitamin supplements is not a simple task. Indeed, it’s actually rather rare for a startup company to succeed (and that’s true in any industry). If you are up for the challenge, though, there are a few things to consider when starting your company.

Identify your customer

The first thing you should do is make sure you know who you are selling to. Once you can identify the potential marketability of your product, you’ll have a better set of expectations to work with when running your business. Doing some market research will pay off here, perhaps with well-made surveys or focus groups.

It would also be prudent to identify businesses in the area that you may be competing with, if they exist. It may require less research to successfully enter a market where there is substantial competition, but existing companies will have the advantages of brand recognition and experience on their side when you open your business.

Learn the laws

Once you have decided that your supplement business is worth trying, it would be advisable to do some research into the appropriate laws that govern vitamin supplement creation and distribution. The United States, for example, has the “Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994” that defines what a dietary supplement is and what specific legal ramifications they entail.

This is less of a concern when working with manufacturers that sell private label supplements, since they’ve often already met the licencing and labeling requirements for supplement distribution. If you plan to manufacture your own supplements, however, make sure you go through the proper channels to make sure your product is compliant with all of the correct laws. w

Don’t forget the paperwork

Though the business side of the company tends to be less interesting to most people, make absolutely sure you do not neglect basic tax paperwork. Making a mistake on your tax paperwork is not the end of the world, but budgeting for an accountant may be wise once your business is successful enough.

When this option is not available, tax forms are found and filled out easily enough. In either case, sorting through paperwork detailing your business’ net worth can be daunting but you should make a point to keep it organized all the same.

Create a marketing plan

You should also have a diverse marketing plan for your supplements. One effective way to make your brand well known to your customers is to use brand endorsements. In fact, it is not unheard of for nutritional supplement businesses to sponsor a brand ambassador, many times with free and discounted products, to help market their company.

Similarly, social media is a useful marketing tool as well. Investing time into social media may be tricky, especially since different social media platforms are more likely to be used in different parts of the world. So you should do a little bit of research before fully committing any time to such marketing.

Make sales

Once you have all of these other details worked out, the single most important part of running a vitamin supplement business is making enough sales happen. If a physical “brick-and-mortar” location is out of the question, online distribution is a viable option. Websites like Amazon make it relatively easy to arrange for the sale of products of all sorts.

Additionally, it may be even more beneficial to maintain your own website. It may take more effort, but you can take advantage of several benefits that owning a single store page cannot offer, which include providing generally more information on every aspect of the business, a more unique identity for customers to recognize, and a shopping experience that is better tailored to your product.

Many plans change over time, but as long as you have one to start out with, you’ll have a good idea of what you should try next. Small businesses can be a challenge to manage, but with time, effort, and experience, they have the potential to be rewarding as well.