Learning how to start your own supplement company can be rewarding, but it is also a lot of work.
Many people interested in starting a supplement company have good ideas, but it takes more than just a good idea to build a profitable business.
In order to be truly successful, you must also be able to market your product, distribute it, provide customer service, deal with legal issues and handle all of your financial affairs while still earning a healthy profit.
Bringing all of these different aspects of business together isn't simple, but you can accomplish your goals with some hard work.
To get started in your private label supplements business, follow the steps below.
Step 1 - Identify a valuable, in-demand product
Before you can begin a supplement business, you must decide what type of supplement you wish to produce.
A variety of options are available, but not all of these supplements will be lucrative. To be successful, select a product that provides value to consumers and has an obvious market.
Examples of obvious markets include individuals who are trying to lose weight, gain muscle mass, improve their memory or deal with a specific nutritional deficiency.
Step 2 - Identify and define your market
After you have decided what you plan to sell, you need to determine the characteristics of your target customer. Failing to identify your target customer accurately and specifically may cause your endeavor to fail.
In order to properly define your segment of the market, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are my target customers? What characteristics do they share? Try to be as specific as possible.
- Why do my target customers need this product? What needs will this product meet for the members of my target market?
- Can my product meet the needs of these specific customers? Will there be obstacles and, if so, can I overcome them?
- Where do the consumers in my target market typically shop? Will I be able to sell my products through these channels?
How do my target consumers obtain information about products?
Do they search for information online, in magazines or through other outlets?
Will I be able to use these outlets to distribute information about my products?
Once you have answers to all of these questions, you will be able to move forward with your plans.
If you aren't sure how to define your target market or gain the answers to all of the questions above, consider conducting customer surveys or focus groups to get the information you need.Step 3 - Check out the competition
Your business won't be successful unless you can find a way to set yourself apart from the competition.
Just having a good product won't be enough if your competitors' products are similar. Instead, you must be able to convince your target consumers that you have something the other brands don't.
In order to begin this process, you must first understand how your competitors operate. Analyze each of the following characteristics.
- Price. - What do your competitors charge for their products? Make note of overall prices, as well as price per pill/ounce.
- Target consumer. - What types of customers do your competitors target?
- Marketing. - What tools do your competitors use to reach their target consumers?
- Value claims. - What do your competitors say their product can do? What disclaimers do they include on the label?
Once you have analyzed each of the issues above, it's time to find ways to distinguish yourself from other brands.
When it comes to price, for example, you may be able to set yourself apart by selling your products at a lower price than the competition.
However, make sure that the price point you choose will allow you to make the profit you need to be successful.
When it comes to target consumers, you may be able to set yourself apart by finding a group of consumers that are often overlooked by competitors and redefining your own target market to include them.
With regard to marketing, you can distinguish your brand by marketing to consumers in a new and different way that captures their attention.
Finally, with regard to value claims, you can boost the appeal of your products by making claims on your label that cannot be found on the labels of similar products.
For example, you may be able to get a certification the competitors don't have.
In some cases, you may even be able to remove a disclaimer or an unwanted ingredient most of your competitors include on their labels.
Keep in mind that this is one of the hardest ways to set yourself apart from competitors, as making significant changes to the product development process is often expensive or difficult.
However, if you are able to find a way to create a distinctive product that provides superior value, you can surpass your competition quickly.
Step 4 - Develop a customer acquisition plan
There is no wrong way to bring customers to your business.
However, some methods of customer acquisition will be more effective than others. By focusing your efforts on those efforts that are most effective, you can minimize overhead costs and maximize profitability.
Some of the most popular strategies supplement manufacturers may use to bring in customers include direct sales, media buying, blogging, pay-per-click advertising and in-person marketing efforts.
When you create your customer acquisition plan, you don't have to choose just one marketing tool. Don't be afraid to try out multiple tools and compare the results until you find the ones that are most appropriate for your needs.
Step 5 - Create Your Supplement
Many entrepreneurs begin this process believing that they should create their product before they complete any of the steps above. However, this is not the best process to follow.
After you have information about your target market and your competition, you will be able to formulate your product more effectively.
As you begin to formulate the product, think about the feature you will accentuate in marketing.
Consider the processes used by your competitors, but don't follow them to the letter. Instead, try to create a unique product that meets the needs of the target market you have identified.
Step 6 - Build a relationship with a supplement manufacturer
Once you have an idea of what you want to create, speak with a vitamin manufacturing professional about the next steps.
In many cases, your manufacturer will be able to help you define the process further.
Some entrepreneurs who are new to the supplement industry find the process of securing a manufacturer to be difficult.
jHowever, if you have a clear business model and a good idea for a product, you will be able to find a reputable manufacturer who is able and willing to help you move forward with your business.
As you compare different manufacturers, remember to consider:
- Reputation and Quality. - Consider manufacturers' reputation carefully. Have other clients filed complaints about the manufacturer? Is the manufacturer quick to respond when you ask a question? Can the manufacturer provide you with evidence of its ability to produce a quality product?
- Compliance. - Choosing a manufacturer who is NSF compliant is essential. Verify compliance before you sign a contract.
- Affordability. - Resist the temptation to choose a manufacturer based on price alone. However, make sure that the manufacturer you choose provides the services you need at a price that works well with your business model.
Step 7 - Supplement Marketing Keys
Once you have selected your manufacturer, you can begin the process of creating product labels, building your brand's website and launching a presence on social media.
Make sure that your label and any graphics used on your website are appealing and unique. For the best results, consult professional designers during this step.
Step 8 - Establish your business legally
Before you begin selling your products, you must establish your business legally for your own protection.
Consult an experienced business attorney to make sure that all of your bases are covered.
Step 9 - Create a fulfillment plan
After your product has been manufactured, you must have a way to distribute it to customers. In many cases, your manufacturer will be able to help you with fulfillment.
However, other options are also available. Be sure to consider all of these options carefully so that you can provide your customers with the best service possible.
Step 10 - Begin sales
You've established a legal business, designed marketing materials, manufactured a product and made a clear fulfillment plan.
You are now ready to begin selling your product to the public.
At this time, you can go public with your website and social media profiles. You can also begin engaging in any other marketing strategies you have decided to use.
Customers will become aware of your product, and you will make your first sales.
Getting started in the supplement manufacturing business is challenging, but once your business is established, you will enjoy a rewarding career.
Follow the steps above carefully, and you will build a supplement business that has a good chance of success.