It isn’t hard to see why so many aspiring business owners today are thinking about starting a supplement company. Dietary supplements are incredibly popular in the United States, with vitamins sitting at the top of the list. You can even ship supplements online, so you don’t have to worry about building or renting out a physical storefront. Considering how popular online shopping is, and the fact that it’s only increased since the Covid-19 pandemic, this is probably the best way to go.
There are plenty of free online templates you can use to set up the skeleton of your supplement site, but the main thing you really need to think about in the beginning is what kind of audience you’re trying to reach. Vitamins and nutritional supplements are the most popular, and as such, these markets tend to be crowded. There are other niches out there, such as muscle mass supplements, weight loss supplements, hormone boosters, and many more. Choosing a niche and a specific audience, instead of trying to sell everything at the start, is your best bet to secure a place in an already crowded market. Here are a few other major things you’ll need to consider for your supplement brand.
Performing a thorough competitor analysis is part of developing any good business plan. This is basically the process of determining your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and comparing them to your own. You’ll want to start by identifying your direct competitors (other supplement brands in your niche) and researching them online. See what they offer, and think about if you could do something better. You can also narrow down their customer base and think of ways to reach them as well.
For example, if your competitors aren’t posting to relevant blog sites or making video content to show off the benefits of their brand, this is something you can do to draw more attention to your business. Content marketing like this only costs you time, and it can make a huge difference.
Dietary Supplement Manufacturers
While it’s certainly possible to formulate and mix your own dietary supplements, this can be a difficult road. It requires you to obtain all the proper licenses and to deal with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines yourself. Instead of risking problems when making and distributing your own supplements, it’s typically smarter to partner with supplement manufacturers.
A reliable contract manufacturer will formulate and mix your dietary supplements in an FDA-approved facility before shipping them either to your business. They can create dietary supplement products in many forms including capsules, gummies, tablets, powders, softgels, and more. No matter how high your demand grows, you can scale manufacturing to your business needs, Supplement distributors can deliver 24lb boxes of dietary supplements and packages weighing much more. The best manufacturers can produce hundreds of pounds of bottles in a day.
Every company needs a striking brand image, and the way you package and ship your supplements has a lot to do with that. A high percentage of sales are actually made at the point of sale (when looking at your supplements and labels in the shop), so your products need to be as eye-catching as possible. If you’re lucky, your manufacturer may double as a private label supplement manufacturer, meaning that they can help you create your labels and package your products. If not, you’ll have to design things yourself.
Most importantly, keep in mind that your labels have to follow Food and Drug Administration standards. This means that you’ll need to clearly list all dietary ingredients and ensure that any health claims are verifiable. Dietary supplements should never be marketed like medicine, meaning that you can’t claim to “cure” anything.
Aside from these considerations, you may want to hire a graphics design expert to handle your logo design and choose a color palette. This can be a great help, even if you’re working with a private label supplement team. Your label and template colors matter, and they need to look both familiar as a supplement brand and different enough from the competition to draw attention.
Before you can actually being selling, you’ll need to finalize all the required paperwork. This includes any legal paperwork you’ll need to start your business and any contract you have with manufacturers. It’s also important, however, to go ahead and get any forms you’ll need throughout your first year prepared. This includes 1099 envelopes and forms for any employees you have, as well as transaction and tax forms.
Customized folders, envelopes, tax forms, and even fax layouts can help reinforce your brand to anyone who receives them, not to mention that it just gives your new business a professional look, something that any small business needs. Make sure that you’re careful about securing any sensitive information about employees or customers. In fact, you may want to have a lawyer check out your forms and practices. It doesn’t hurt to take a look at some tax strategies either to ensure that you’re ready for tax season and won’t owe the IRS.
These are just the basics for starting a supplement brand. As your business continues, you’ll no doubt find more ways to build on it.