1994 marks the year that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act made it possible for dietary supplements to be sold in stores. A few years later, the internet rose up and overnight, hundreds of new dietary supplement companies blossomed online.
To put into perspective the success rate of these companies, today, there are over 430 sports nutrition brands selling supplements online. Most of them will fail… but they don’t have to if they properly prepare for what we see as the most common causes of downfalls.
Thanks to Bobby Hewitt of Creative Thirst, we are able to share with you some helpful tips to avoid mistakes and secure success for your brand.
1. Never Underestimate the FDA
There’s a huge misconception that supplements are not regulated by the FDA. While your products may have the disclaimer of “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food ad Drug Administration…”, the FDA does have a regulatory set of rules called cGMP (current good manufacturing practices). GMP requirements were founded to be flexible to allow each manufacturer to decide individually how to best instate the necessary controls of safely using scientifically sound design, processing methods, and testing procedures. The FDA regularly inspects pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities around the world, including facilities that manufacture active ingredients and the finished product.
What does this have to do with your brand?
While the FDA does enforce the manufacturing side of supplements, the agency also enforces the marketers and distributors of dietary supplements. So, it is a wise idea to remain aware of all regulations and requirements to ensure your products don’t get taken off the shelves for negligent reasons.
2. Don't Blow Off Business Insurance
Insurance sure is confusing with all of its errors, omissions, inventory, directors and officers, etc. etc. However, product liability insurance covers your company and its assets if your dietary supplements harm a consumer. Without this protection, it’d be pretty difficult to cover medical expenses if your brand gets sued.
3. Pay Attention to Product Formulations
Be smart about which dietary supplement service provider you choose. When getting your product made, you might unknowingly be in business with a manufacturer that uses subpar equipment to process subpar ingredients. Don’t just take their word for it that their stock formulas are excellent. Make sure the manufacturer’s ingredients are lab-tested and qualified. If they don’t have credibility, then neither will your brand. If you have a custom formula being made, then still get those ingredients scientifically tested if the manufacturer does not offer that service. Don’t worry too much, though. Some companies do guarantee their ingredients are reputable and safe, like Makers Nutrition, whose products are tested at several key points along the way in each production run, from raw material testing upon receipt through finished product testing.
4. Know Your Numbers
Any dietary supplement company that has been around for over five years knows, or should know, that under the label lives a technology business that is grounded in numbers. Not completely understanding those numbers is a quick and easy way to spend too much too fast. With the rising cost of online traffic, it’s simple to spend as much money as you can afford. That’s the name of the game IF you have a self-liquidating offer funnel. But in order to get to that point, you must know what your funnel economics need to be and have a concrete plan.
5. Believing is Achieving
People do NOT purchase dietary supplements the way they purchase other products online. Two crucial key factors to your success in sales are belief and trust. You need to have grit for what you are selling and the impact your brand can have on customers. If you don’t believe your collagen protein is the product that will truly help people maintain strong joints and repair body tissue, then why should your customers?
Look, we get it. Building an empire of a company takes time, patience, and money. Knowing what you know now, we are here to say:
"Build slowly with a strong foundation"
The dietary supplement industry is not going anywhere, so don’t rush and compromise one step of the process for a pitfall you may never climb out of. Remember, you are making a difference in the world by providing a need. Never lose sight of what your brand is doing for not only your bank account, but for the health of real people. They’re counting on you.