Starting any new venture can feel overwhelming, no matter the industry. The supplement industry is especially confusing for beginners- and when you search terms like 'how to start a supplement brand' you'll find plenty about how to market your supplement, and not much about the actual supplement manufacturing process or how it works. In this post we're talking about how starting a supplement brand really works, and what steps you'll go through when starting your brand. For an example of what starting a supplement brand might look like in real life, read our blog post about BowlingBeerLLC.
Step 1: Your Needs
“The beginning is the most important part of the work” - Plato
Start by thinking through why you want to start a supplement brand and how your brand will fit into your life. Are you working full time & looking to sell supplements on the side? Are you headed out into unknown entrepreneurship? Are you an established company or brand looking to expand?
You’ll need to figure about how much research you want to put into your brand and product. Take the time to think through where you see your brand headed and how much time and money you want to invest in it. The best way to waste money is not having a gameplan before you begin.
Questions to get you thinking:
- Do I want my supplement brand to become my full-time job?
- How much money am I willing to invest in my supplement brand?
- How much time do I want to take researching ingredients and types of supplements?
- Is there an innovative product or idea I’m specifically interested in?
- Who is my target audience to sell product to?
Step 2: Your Options
Now you’ve got a better idea of the how and why of your supplement brand, so let’s look at your options. There are two primary routes you can take to create your supplements: A Custom Project or Private Label.
A Custom Project is also called Custom Formulation, Product Development, Custom Work, or Custom. We’ll refer to it as Custom Projects/A Custom Project. A Custom Project is best suited for those with a specific or unique product idea. We talk in-depth about Custom Projects here.
Private Label is also called White Label, Stock Formulas, or Stock Products. We’ll refer to it as Private Label. Private Label is best matched to those who don’t have a unique product or specific idea, and are looking to sell pre-formulated products, or who want to test out a new market area.
You can also choose to use both methods. You could have three unique Custom Projects, and three Private Label products. It all depends on your specific needs.
Once you’ve decided how you want to create your product, it’s time to start the process of product creation.
If you’ve decided to go with a Custom Project, you will:
- Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement to protect your ideas and formulas (a formula is like a recipe- it's the special mix of ingredients that makes your formula unique. Just like how your grandma won't share her super secret pie crust recipe with the other grandmas, you don't want your supplement formula shared with other companies)
- Meet with us in-person or over-the-phone to discuss your ideas and needs, and confirm whether a Custom Project is the best fit for you
- Enter into the Research and Development Phase
- Approve your final formula and product packaging
- Put in a Purchase Order for the product
- Start selling your product!
If you’ve decide to purchase Private Label products, you will:
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org & request information about our Private Label products
- Receive the requested information with pricing and supplement facts
- Pick which products and quantities you want from the list
- Use the product information and label dimensions to create your own label (we can connect you with graphic designers and label printers)
- Put in your order
- Start selling your product!
Step 3: Your Turn
Now you know what you want, why you want it, and how you’re going to get it. What’s left? Selling it and getting it to your customers. We’ll connect you with graphic designers, marketers, label printers, banks, fulfillment centers; all of the professionals you’ll need to make your experience “smooth-selling” (we do love a good pun!).
Our go-to fulfillment center is NutraConnection, who specializes in fulfillment and shipping solutions for small businesses. When you’re ready to send your customer’s their orders, NutraConnection has got your back. If you choose to work with NutraConnection, we can send your product directly to them so you don’t have to worry about shipping your product to a storage or fulfillment facility.
At this point, you’re ready to share your product with the world. We’ll stand behind you, ensuring you have the information and connections you need to succeed.
Good luck as you build your Nutra empire!