Starting a supplement company no longer requires vast amounts of money and million dollar marketing budget in order to get started.
Many people in the health and fitness space, personal trainers, fitness models and even regular gym goers could be well placed to start their own line of supplements.
While there are plenty of successful health and nutrition companies who are making some serious income ($60 million +) per annum, to get to that sort of level requires serious investment.
You want to know how to get started on a shoestring budget right?
The key to starting a successful supplement line, is not about making an instant profit.
Truth is, until you can order serious quantities of product (which takes serious money), you will not be able to get the product cheap enough to make any decent profits.
First, you need to know whether there is a market for your product.
Start talking to as many nutritional supplement companies as possible, particularly those that specialise in white label products.
You want to find a company who has a white label product which suits your needs. Protein Powders, Multi Vitamins, Omega 3’s, whatever you want.
Order a small batch 10-15 bottles at first. Ask to see third party certification which shows that the batch of supplements contains what is stated on the label, it is an FDA requirement that you, as the re-seller can verify this information.
Pro-Tip: Avoid custom formulations at this point. They cost thousands and its too much risk at this early stage.
Pro-Tip: Only use a white label manufacturer who will add you to their insurance policy to retail the product you purchase. You don’t want a lawsuit on your hands, however unlikely.
You need a label designed at this point. It needs to be eye catching. Head over to Amazon and browse the health sections and select 5 products that catch your eye.
If your manufacturer offers a free label design service, ask them to design something based on your specification.
Make sure that you get them to ensure the label is FDA Compliant.
If they don’t offer that service, someone on Fiverr will be OK but make sure you see a portfolio of their work to make sure they have the expertise.
Pro Tip: If you hire someone, you are responsible for ensuring the label is legally compliant.
Forget SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) for the time being.
These cost money and unless you really know what you are doing, you will struggle to make a return on your money.
You need to place your supplements where the customers are ready to purchase. Amazon and Ebay are the biggest 3rd party marketplaces.
Amazon is stricter than Ebay and you need approval to sell in their health category. Start on Ebay.
Check out the competition and see who is ranking highest for your type of product and take the best parts of their sales copy and come up with a better marketing page.
Ensure your marketing images are attractive and that you offer Free Delivery if that’s what the competition are doing.
Pro Tip – Normally you don’t want to compete on price, but when you are getting established you may have to. Price your supplements to sell, so after all costs you break even.
The object is not to make a profit on your first batch, it is to gain market intelligence and prove that you have a product which is in demand.
Follow up. Treat your first 10 customers like royalty. Follow up 5 days after they have received their goods to see if you can answer any questions or concerns.
Tell them you are a start up and you want their help. Most are happy to oblige.
Ask, why they bought from you? Did they look at other brands? What stood out etc?
If you can break even after you have sold your final bottle. Start the process again and double the investment. This time aim for a 10% profit after costs.
Take what you have learnt, rinse and repeat the process, this time expanding into other online sales channels and offline avenues.