Do you want to start a vitamin store? If YES, here is a 17-step guide on how to start a vitamin & supplements store business with no money or experience. Before launching this type of business, it will do you well to carry out your due diligence as it relates to market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies.
You can start your vitamin and supplements manufacturing company or store from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes an internationally recognized brand.
17 Steps on How to Start a Vitamin Store Company
Table of Content
- 1. Understand the Industry
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
- 7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
- 8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
- 9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
Businesses in the vitamin and supplement manufacturing industry primarily develop and manufacture products that are consumed by mouth and contain an ingredient intended to supplement the diet. Key groups within this industry consist of standard vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as sports nutrition products and herbal supplements. Companies that are involved in manufacturing energy drinks, infant formula and prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications used to prevent or treat illnesses are not part of this industry manufacturers.
If you are a close observer of the Vitamin and Supplement manufacturing industry, you will quite agree that the industry has grown rapidly over the last half decade by profiting from increased demand from a larger mainstream, health-conscious consumer base and of course an increasingly aging population.
Going forward, the industry is expected to benefit from the same trends that have supported its growth in the past, including increasing health expenditure and growing interest in wellness and nutrition among mainstream consumers. So also, as discretionary income continues to strengthen, more consumers will trade up to premium, all-natural and organic products, helping lift the revenue generated by establishments in the industry.
Interesting Statistics About the Vitamin & Supplement Industry
The Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing industry is indeed a major sector of the economy of most countries in the world (united states of America, Italy, France, United Kingdom, China, India et al). Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, the Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing industry generates a whooping sum of $18 billion annually from more than 1,041 registered and licensed Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States of America.
The industry is responsible for the employment of well over 27,015 people. Experts project the Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing industry to grow at a 5.2 percent annual rate. The establishments in this industry that have dominant market share in the United States of America are; NBTY and Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals.
Research conducted by IBISWORLD shows that the Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing industry has a low market share concentration, where the four largest companies are expected to account for a 26.3 percent share of the market in 2016.
Research has pointed out that due to the wide range of products offered, the market for dietary supplements remains highly fragmented, with only two companies expected to account for greater than a 5.0% share of the market. The research further stated that, although larger operators such as NBTY and Pharmavite (Otsuka Pharmaceutical) manufacture a variety of dietary supplements across all product groups, most operators choose to specialize in a particular product segment.
For example, a major player Glanbia plc has quickly become a leading manufacturer in recent years due to the popularity of its flagship Optimum Nutrition brand line of whey protein powder. The Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing industry will continue to blossom because taking vitamins and other supplements has become a way of life for the ever growing health conscious and aging population of the society.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company could be that the business is a thriving business and the products can be sold not just in your country but all across the globe.
Over and above, the Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing industry is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business. You can chose to start on a small scale by opening a store or you can chose to start on a large scale with standard vitamin and supplement manufacturing factories both in the United States of America and in countries in Asia where you can get cheaper labor and raw materials.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who take vitamins and supplements cut across all genders and age groups. Male and female, adults and children all take vitamins and supplements hence the demographic composition for a vitamin and supplement manufacturing company or store is all encompassing.
So, if you are thinking of starting your own vitamin and supplements manufacturing company or store, then you should look beyond producing and marketing your products to just people in your city, but also people across the United States of America and other parts of the world.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
Most vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies tend to operate a general vitamin and supplement manufacturing business that involves every product that a standard vitamin and supplement manufacturing company is expected to manufacture. That is why it seems that there are no niche areas in the industry.
But on the other hand, some vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies may decide to major in some key areas or niche area such as;
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Specialty dietary supplements
- Herbs and botanicals
- Protein powder
- Meal replacements and weight loss products
- Specialty and elite sports nutritionals
The Level of Competition in the Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing Industry
The competitions that exist in the vitamin and supplement manufacturing industry goes beyond competitions in your city or country; it is both national and international. This is so because, major vitamin and supplement manufacturing brands in China, Germany, France, India, Italy, united kingdom and in any part of the world can be found in vitamin and supplement shops all across the United States of America. So, it will be right to say the competition in the vitamin and supplement manufacturing business is tough.
The truth is that, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to churn out quality products (vitamins and supplements) and you know how to reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company in the United States, you will definitely meet stiffer competition amongst vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies in the United States. Besides, there are larger vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies/brand that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands who perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and so are known for that, while others are best known for how they treat their customers.
These are some of the leading vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies and stores/brands in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Calcium: Life Extension
- CoQ10: Puritan’s Pride
- Digestive Enzymes: Puritan’s Pride
- Fish Oil: Carlson Labs
- Glucosamine & Chondroitin: Swanson
- Multivitamin: Life Extension
- Probiotic: Puritan’s Pride
- Resveratrol: Puritan’s Pride
- Catalog/Internet Brand: Swanson
- Direct Selling (MLM) Brand: USANA
- Discount/Warehouse Brand: Kirkland (Costco)
- Food/Drug/Mass — Broad Product Line: Nature Made
- Food/Drug/Mass — Narrow Product Line: Qunol
- Grocery Store Brand: Trader Darwin (Trader Joe’s)
- Healthcare Practitioner Brand: Thorne Research
- Health Food Store Brand: Carlson Labs
- Pharmacy Brand: CVS
- Vitamin Store Brand: Vitamin Shoppe
- Canadian Brand: AOR (Advanced Orthomolecular Research)
If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profit, then you need to ensure that you get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Vitamin and supplement manufacturing business is not a Green business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several brand names in your local vitamins and supplements stores when you go shopping. So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required raw materials, branding and other equipment needed to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of setting up the business and churning out quality vitamins and supplement products, but also on branding and on how to build a robust distribution network. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust distribution network, you are sure going to maximize profit in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to buy the franchise of a successful vitamin and supplement manufacturing company/brand as against starting from the scratch if you know you want quick returns on your investment. Even though it is expensive buying the franchise of a vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, but it will definitely pay you in the long run.
But if you truly want to build your own brand, after you must have proved your worth in the vitamin and supplement manufacturing industry, then you might just want to start your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company from the scratch.
The truth is that it will pay you in the long run to start your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.
Please note that most of the big and successful vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company to become a successful brand with corporate and individual customers from all across the length and breadth of the United States of America and other countries of the world.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company today, one of the major challenge you are likely going to face is the presence of well established vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies whose products can be found all across the United States and the global market. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
So also, just like any other business, one of the major threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing power. Another threat that you may likely face also is the arrival of a new vitamin and supplement manufacturing company or even pharmaceutical manufacturing company that also manufacture vitamins and supplements in the same location where yours is located.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
- Best legal entity to use for a Vitamin & Supplements Business
When considering starting a vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies design their business and products for regional market, some for national market, while others for international market.
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for a business such as vitamin and supplement manufacturing company.
Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale vitamin and supplement manufacturing company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate start-up capital. But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons.
As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and have your vitamins and supplements distributed across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
For example, Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation, and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
When it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Green Life Vitamins & Supplements, Inc.
- Span Herbs Vitamins & Supplements, Inc.
- Taffy Grey Pharmaceutical and Supplements, Inc.
- Tiny Gap Vitamin & Supplement Manufacturing Company
- Jeff Vitelli Vitamin & Supplements, Inc.
- Tree of Life Vitamins & Supplements, Inc.
- Healthy Living Vitamins & Supplements Production Company
- George Mann Pharmaceuticals, LLC
- Luke Fritz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Nick Brighton Vitamins & Supplements, Inc.
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company.
Here are some of the basic insurance cover that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If at all there are any businesses that require intellectual property protection (copyright ©), then vitamin and supplement manufacturing company should be one of them. The truth is that your products need to be protected or else anybody can successfully fake or create similar products and go scot free while making money off your brand name.
You can as well secure your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, by filing for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subject to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from the results you produce in terms of reliable products, professional certification is one of the main reasons why most vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in vitamin and supplement manufacturing industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
You are strongly encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company;
- Certified (GMP, NPA, NSF, QAI) Nutritional Dietary Supplement
- GMP Certified Private Label Supplements Manufacturer
- Certified (GMP, NPA, NSF, QAI) Nutritional Dietary Supplement
Please note that the higher your qualifications and experience (expertise), the easier it is for people to trust your vitamins and supplements.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long arm of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Health Clearance Certificate
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Consulting contract documents
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
- Company Bylaws
- Insurance Policy
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a vitamin and supplement manufacturing company can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale by running a supplement store. Securing a standard and well equipped production facility is part of what will consume a large chunk of your start-up capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard and large scale vitamin and supplement manufacturing company.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start-up capital for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank/banks
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, the rule of thumb is that, you should be guided by the demand for such products and easy access to labor and raw materials in the location you so desire to start the business.
Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, it will enable you cut the cost of transporting your raw materials and finished products to and from your production facility and warehouse.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out. Which is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set up your own vitamin and supplement manufacturing company.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your vitamin and supplement manufacturing company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for vitamins and supplements in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of vitamin and supplement manufacturing companies in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you are considering setting up a vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, it means that you should be prepared to purchase equipment and machines such as blending, mixing and compounding machine, molding machine (into tablets and capsules), and packaging, labeling and sealing machines.
These are the basic machines needed to launch the business. If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used equipment/machines but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a longer life span.
As regard leasing or outright purchase of a production facility or warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you can go on a long term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard vitamins and supplements manufacturing company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Chemist, Quality Control Officer, Machine Operators, Accountant, Distribution/Delivery Van Drivers and Client Services Executive.
These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 10 to 15 key staff members to run a small scale but standard vitamin and supplements manufacturing business.
The Production Process Involved in the Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturing
When it comes to the manufacturing of vitamins and supplements, the first step to take is to come up with a chemical cum herbal formula approved by the board. After that, the next step is to determine the quantity of vitamins and supplements to be produced. Other steps involved in the entire process are blending, mixing, compounding, molding (into tablets and capsules), packaging, labeling and sealing.
It is important to state that a vitamins and supplements manufacturing company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated vitamins and supplements manufacturing company process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
- Marketing ideas and strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a vitamins and supplements manufacturing company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well known brands determining the market direction for vitamins and supplements manufacturing.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your vitamins and supplements manufacturing company;
- Introduce your products by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to corporate organizations, households, sporting organizations, businesses in the vitamins and supplements retail industries, pharmaceutical stores and other key stakeholders throughout the United States and Canada.
- Advertise on the internet, on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across, so that those on the social media or those who read blogs can know where to go when they need to purchase your vitamins and supplements.
- Creating a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence.
- Directly market your products.
- Engage in road shows in targeted communities from time to time to sell your products.
- Join local vitamins and supplements associations for industry trends and tips.
- Provide discount days for your customers.
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations.
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories).
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals).
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.
If your intentions of starting a vitamins and supplements manufacturing company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Your corporate identity has a lot to do when it comes to building a business that is profitable and lasts long.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your vitamins and supplements manufacturing company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and health magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your products
- Install your Billboards on strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to retail your vitamins and supplements
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact corporate organizations, households, sporting organizations, businesses in the vitamins and supplements retailer industries, pharmaceutical stores and other key stakeholders throughout the United States and Canada informing them about your vitamins and supplements
- List your vitamins and supplements manufacturing company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your vitamins and supplements manufacturing company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.
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