Starting and Operating a Supplement Company

Companies like the Supplement Manufacturing Partner (SMP) know that getting started in the field is no easy task. There are a lot of factors that go into not only planning goals, but also long-term operation. It’s a lot more work than it seems at first glance. 

Where Do You Start?

Identifying Your Target Audience

This will be your first step, and it’s the one that’s commonly overlooked by new entrepreneurs. 

  • Who are your target customers? 
    • Your target customers should fit a wide but specific niche. Are they professional athletes? Hobbyists? Do they suffer from certain health issues like deficiencies? 
  • What needs need to be fulfilled, and what can you focus on?
    • A growing number of potential customers face certain restrictions in their diet and exercise, so working from your target to pinpoint common constraints is a great place to figure out what you need to offer in order to get those customers interested in your product.
  • Where do they buy their products, and where do they obtain their information?
    • Most customers go to health specialty stores for particularly specific needs; others will go to their doctors, and others beside that will only shop from websites that offer what they’re looking for. 
    • Find out where your customers are most likely to shop from, and that’s where you should focus your advertisements primarily, with maybe one or two back-up devices or platforms in mind: magazines, websites, social media, and television are some examples.
  • Can Your Product Solve the Problem?
    • Not every problem your customers have can be solved by your product, and that’s okay! Don’t get hung up on the things you can’t fix, and don’t try to force your product to be that “miracle cure.” If it isn’t reasonable or affordable for you to solve these specific problems, look for a different problem that you can solve.

How Will You Get Customers?

There isn’t a right or wrong way to find customers – you can find them anywhere after all. But what you can do is make sure that you pick the option that works best with your product, and one that you can comfortably do. 

Always remember to do the appropriate research before committing to a strategy, whether it be starting a website, creating pay-per-click ads, or directly offering your product to customers. Keep in mind that experimentation is also okay – almost nobody gets it right straight off the bat. 

Remember to be customer centric. Their feedback is important to your brand and products. You can also utilize stars and influencers that have a dedicated following, the loyalty of their fanbase will often translate well for your sales, both short-term and in the long run. 

Competition Analysis

If you lived in a world where every good idea got its time to shine and sell well just for being a good idea, this wouldn’t be something important to consider. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. 

Watch your predecessors and competitors: successful business models are definitely what you want to watch the most, but even looking at those who were less successful can be helpful to show you what you should and should not practice in your business model. Always keep the following in mind:

  • Price: Don’t expect to get rich quick and expect thin margins from the get-go.
  • Finding a new customer segment: Some customers will overlook products that aren’t specifically marketed to them, so try to keep them in mind. 
  • Sourcing your ingredients: Some ingredients are unpopular, so you may have to source alternatives that still fulfill your needs. 

There are details within the development process that other competitors will avoid or cut out intentionally, so you’ll have to research what and why. 

With the Analytics Done, Move on to Manufacturing 

Once you have your customer and competitor analysis figured out, you should have a plan for what you want your supplement to be, and more importantly, finding the right manufacturer. 

The right manufacturer will not only have certified facilities you will want to leverage for your supplement’s production but will also have the required experience and expertise in making them. This will prove to be an invaluable resource and will take a lot of the workload off of your shoulders in the process of creating, producing, and ultimately moving your product. 

Turnkey manufacturers will also include testing, packaging, and other secondary services. Also keep in mind that choosing a manufacturer within your target country will know the regulatory health standards involving supplements and are less likely to tack on extra surprises about the process, which could cost you more. 

Make sure that with both your manufacturer and supplier, you look for quality, innovation, punctuality and turn-around, and costs. A good manufacturer and supplier could make or break your company, so always keep that in mind. 

Name Your Brand

Your brand name needs to be short, relevant, and memorable. A defined color palette will increase memorability, so make sure that you pick colors that will stand out wherever you intend to sell your product. 

Remember to double-check your potential name by running them through multiple search engines. Make sure that they aren’t similar to your competitors’ names, as well, and that there are no possible negative connotations to the name you’ve chosen. 

Start Selling!  

Part of sustaining a supplement company long-term is the pricing of the product from the beginning. 

You don’t want the price tag to be too high for your target customers to afford – even if they genuinely want your product, if they can’t afford it, they will not buy it. Alternatively, setting the price too low will not work out for your brand in the long run, if it’s too low, it will cut into your profits and will not encourage stability. 

Don’t be afraid to link up with gyms, doctors, clinics, and blogs or other websites to engage with your audience. An engaged customer base is one that keeps your brand alive through purchases and additional generated revenue via word of mouth. 


Following these guidelines will have your company up and running in no time, but it’s still wise to exercise patience. Nothing is instantaneous after all, and if you want your company to be sustainable for years to come, you are going to want to take the proper precautions, do the right research, and make the right moves. All of that will take time, but it will pay off! 

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