In 2016, the dietary supplement industry generated $122 billion in revenue across the United States. Increasing demand for supplements has been fueled, in part, by the aging population. As people age, it is harder for their bodies to absorb nutrients from food. But, regardless of age, most people do not receive the daily recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from their diet. Supplements can compensate for these nutritional deficiencies.

The high demand may be one of the reasons you’re considering entering the supplement industry, but success in any field requires research. Here are some things you should know if you’re planning to start your own supplement business.

Learn how the industry works.

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Understanding the supplement business is critical. First, identify existing companies of all sizes and their market focus, and learn about the existing demand for supplements, taking note of gaps in services that exist. Plus, determine the advantages of using different types of nutritional supplements, such as capsules, softgels, and powders. Review praise and complaints about your potential competitors to see what consumers look for from their vitamins and supplements provider. Once you have a clear and wide ranged understanding of the industry, you can identify where demand is not being met, helping you establish a focus for your business.

Determine what resources you need and who supplies them.

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Your industry research should help you determine what resources you need to start your business. Investigate potential supplement manufacturers to ensure that you invest in high quality equipment and supplies, that will enable your business to operate efficiently and meet customer expectations.

Establish an account with a Superior Supplement Manufacturing company that can provide supplements in all of the forms you plan to have in your dietary supplement product line. Ensure your supplier can fulfill your packaging and labeling needs. Prepackaged and labeled products can be distributed quickly and reduce the amount of resources and time you need to process orders.

Decide which business structure suits your needs.

Determine if you want to create a corporation, or a limited liability company (LLC). Research your options to identify the advantages of both. Once you determine which company structure suits your needs, you can register your company as such.

Calculate how much money you need to operate.

From a research, you should have a list of the resources required, as well as their costs, to begin operations. Create an operating budget for your first year, to determine how much money you will need to launch your company and every step of the way thereafter.

Use resources, such as configure price quote (CPQ) software from ConfigureOne, to streamline the process of creating quotes for your clients. CPQ software allows consumers to compare costs based on the combination of products ordered. It also produces professional sales documents quickly and efficiently. Investing in smart resources, such as CPQ software, will help your business establish an excellent reputation and prevent quote errors.

Identify legal and logistical steps you need to take.

Check with the city, county, and state in which you will be operating, to determine what permits are required for your company to operate and then make applications for them. You may also need to rent a warehouse or retail outlet to begin operations.

Register a web domain name for your business and hire a web developer to create your website. If you plan to sell products online, have your developer create a secure web store on your site to enable a safe digital sales process.

Secure financing for your company.

You will need a business plan to secure financing from lenders or investors. Your plan should establish clear goals for your company and identify how you will meet those goals. Business plans should include your budget and marketing plan. The budget will verify your financial needs. Your marketing plan can be used to demonstrate how you intend to generate a profit. Marketing plans should identify consumers you intend to target and promotional strategies you plan to use. A sound business plan ensures you receive the financing you need.