Whether you are just getting started with your supplement company or are looking for ways to make it run better, these 22 tips will get you where you need to be.
#1. Identify Your Product Early
You must decide on the supplement you wish to produce before you can create a company in this industry. There are several options available to you, but not every product is potentially lucrative from a financial standpoint. You will need to select an item that provides immediate value to your customers without having a hefty level of competition already in the market. When you can get in on a ground floor opportunity, that tends to be your best option. It’s a lot different trying to sell CBD today than it was one the items first became available.
#2. Find Your Market Segment
You must identify the characteristics of your target consumer if you want to start or grow a supplement company. A failure to identify your market early can lead to the eventual failure of this entrepreneurial opportunity. You must ask yourself several questions to find the people who are most likely to purchase your products. What characteristics do they share? What kind of households need to have the supplement?
The answers that you discover from these questions will become your value proposition. Then it is up to you to create circumstances for your customers where your supplements deliver consistent results
#3. Scope Out the Competition
The supplement industry is heavily saturated with local, national, and global brands. Trying to make your product stand out in all of that white noise is virtually impossible without some knowledge of what the competition is doing. Having a great product is not enough in today’s industry.
You will need to price your products competitively to create any hope of making a positive impact on the market. Your value claims must also be authentic if you want someone to take notice of your item.
#4. Watch Your Price Point
Most industries allow you to set a lower price point than what your competition offers as a way to enter the market successfully. That isn’t the case with the supplement industry. If you price your item too low, then it may be seen by your potential customers as being an inferior product. Once that happens, it is challenging for any marketing campaign to reverse that perspective. The best approach is to create a distinctive product with a competitive price point so that you can balance value with cost appropriately.
#5. Build an Acquisition Plan
You need customers to come to your business. There is almost no wrong way to bring clients toward your supplements. You’ll quickly discover that some efforts are more effective than others, so it is imperative to minimize your overhead and maximize profitability by focusing on what works well. There isn’t a right or wrong answer about how to proceed from a general perspective. You don’t have to choose one tool and then stick with it. Every company faces a different set of challenges, so you must have some flexibility available in your approach.
#6. Formulate a Winning Product
It is not unusual for entrepreneurs who want to begin a supplement company to start with their product and then build their business from there. The best way to formulate a winning product is to understand your competition and know what your target market wants from your organization. Think about the features that you will want to accentuate in your future marketing, and then look at how that approach can build interest in what you offer. Let a unique product be your guide instead of trying to fit a narrative around everything else after the fact.
#7. Get to Know Your Manufacturer
Most supplement companies are not manufacturing the products that they take to the marketplace. You will need to speak with vitamin manufacturing professionals to determine how your ideas can fit in with the current industry. It can be a challenge to secure a facility when you first get going on an idea in this field, but your persistence will pay off eventually. Don’t settle for the first group that gives you an affirmative answer. Compare and contrast different providers.
You will want to look in the areas of reputation, quality, compliance, and affordability. Selecting a manufacturer with NSF compliance is essential to your success. Make sure that you take the time to verify any certifications or documents before signing a contract.
#8. Link Branding and Marketing with Products
When you know for certain that your supplement will go through the manufacturing process, then it is time to begin building your labels and branding. Launching the website and having creative consistency will unlock the full potential of your idea. Make sure that any graphics you use are consistent for customers so that their online and offline experiences are similar. What people see from your company should feel unique and appealing. It may be helpful to hire or consult with a professional designer to accomplish these goals.
#9. Form a Legal business Structure
You must establish a legal business before you can start to sell supplements. The requirements to incorporate vary in each state and around the world. It is up to you to check with your local government overseers in this industry to determine what you will need to do to obtain the correct licensing. That means you’ll need to form an LLC or Corporation, have incorporation documents, and pay whatever fees are necessary to obtain licenses that allow you to start selling.
#10. Sell Your Product Strategically
It can be tempting to sell your supplement online initially because there is a lot of potential for immediate customer interest. The only problem with that approach is that so many competitors are doing the same thing that a new product gets lost in the shuffle. You may want to consider selling the item locally at first to see how well people respond to it. There will be fewer potential regulatory issues to navigate since you won’t be shipping to different countries, states, or provinces either.
If you have a successful experience at local stores, then you can keep building the scope of your business upward until you reach the vision outlined in your business plan.
#11. Know the Science of Your Product
It is imperative for you to know and understand the science behind how your supplement works. If this knowledge isn’t available to you from your personal experience, then you must hire someone with an appropriate educational level who can represent your organization. That means you must have a degree in biochemistry, biology, or physiology and manager restrictions.
The companies that have the most success in this industry are the ones that are continuously reviewing the latest scientific studies and creating their own product tests.
#12. Understand What the FDA Wants
If you want to sell supplements in the United States, then you must check with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before beginning. This branch of the government controls and monitors all dietary supplements. Make sure that you have a complete understanding of CFR 111 so that you’re not out-of-compliance with the manufacturing, labeling, packaging, and holding practices for this industry.
Even though you might obtain your supplements from a contract manufacturer, the burden for compliance always falls on your business.
#13. Consider Information Marketing
Expecting retailers to know who you are or what your product offers is an unreasonable approach. You must provide information to them to help them consider the benefits of selling your supplements. Brochures, flyers, and online articles are a simple way to enhance your overall presentation.
It helps to target your advertising in this industry. If you have a product that helps with weight loss, then market the item toward businesses that help people achieve those results. When you can leverage influence offline and on the Internet, then you can increase the reach of your efforts.
#14. Be Different
Don’t try to copy what everyone else is doing. If you are starting a new line of supplements, then find a way to be unique. Too many products in this industry are using generic whey protein, glutamine, and multivitamins as a way to “pretend” that they offer something better. Some are even offering the same copycat amino acids to produce the latest hot brand that everyone should take.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t carry product lines like this since they tend to be good sellers. You just need to be more than that. Having a few cutting-edge products will help you to stand out from the competition.
#15. Focus on the Label
The best product ever created in the supplement industry will fail if it does not have an attractive label that speaks to what the customer wants. In a perfect world, consumers wouldn’t judge supplements based on the container that holds them, but the reality of our situation is that they do. The items that sell the best tend to have the flashiest colors, coolest taglines, and attention-seeking designs.
Never accept anything but the best when designing your labels, whether you hire someone to do it for you or you’re doing the work yourself. Make sure that you have the correct disclaimers on them before sending the item to the market.
#16. Secure an Insurance Policy
Speak with your insurance agent to determine what kind of policy is appropriate for this business. It isn’t the most fun you’ll ever have as an entrepreneur, but you must protect yourself. If your product causes harm to someone that falls outside of the information your tests produced, then you could be at risk to pay for that person’s recovery. Litigation is a reality that you must protect yourself against when operating in this industry.
#17. Have a Strong Supply
One of the most incredible aspects of operating in the supplement industry is how frequent the competition tends to run out of products. If someone can’t purchase what they like from you, then their brand loyalty will shift to someone else. Items that aren’t in stock mean you don’t make money even though customers are ready to purchase something. It can be challenging to have enough product in stock to meet your demands, but the effort is worth making. You’ll make your business and your retail partners look good because of it.
#18. Network with the Distributors
Most major retail chains do not form independent relationships with individual supplement companies. They work with distributors and vendors who carry multiple lines at once to simplify their supply chain. You’ll want to work hard to get your business carried by one of these agencies so that you can receive an extra level of exposure. Selling direct is typically more profitable, but it sometimes pays to have your items in a noticeable position at grocery stores, malls, or supplement-specific retailers.
#19. Have Barcodes on Your Labels
Make sure that you have a valid UPC code on the label for your supplement. Many of your competitors are not going to follow through with this tip because it does add another expense to your design. Adding a manual barcode is a hassle for any retailer since scanners ring up the purchases for customers at the store. You’ll make your business look more professional in the eyes of your retail partners, and it creates a more comfortable checkout experience for your customers. Both outcomes provide the potential to build higher loyalty levels.
#20. Test Your Products Repetitively
Make sure that your products receive independent testing after you get them back from the manufacturer. Always demand a certificate of analysis for each batch that gets run on your behalf. If the contractor refuses to do so, then you shouldn’t be trusting them to do the work that they say they’re doing even if their prices are good. If your products don’t offer what it says on the label, then you can find yourself in some significant trouble.
This tip also lets you see if your items are actually working. If customers aren’t getting results, then there is no way for you to be successful. It only takes one failure to burn a bridge with a paying consumer.
#21. Offer Free Products
The easiest way to get your supplement onto store shelves is to offer stores a handful of products for free. When you let them place it on their website or shelves without any other obligation than to ring up a customer at the register, then “no” is rarely an answer you hear. If it doesn’t sell well, then they didn’t risk much. When it does make a positive impact, then the retailer will need to request stock to keep its customers happy. It creates a win/win situation for you.
#22. Respond to Negative Criticism
If someone doesn’t have a positive experience with your product, then respond to their concerns immediately. No product will ever earn a perfect 5-star rating over thousands of repetitive buys, but you do need to comment on reviews or concerns about the outcomes the item provided. A responsive customer service department that takes negative commentaries seriously can be your best asset.
Although millions of people visit Brandon's blog each month, his path to success was not easy. Go here to read his incredible story, "From Disabled and $500k in Debt to a Pro Blogger with 5 Million Monthly Visitors." If you want to send Brandon a quick message, then visit his contact page here.