Have recent events caused you to reevaluate your employment? Maybe you’ve had a pay cut or a job loss, or maybe you’d like to develop another stream of income? How would you like to earn money helping people to be healthy and fit? Selling nutritional supplements online is a surprisingly easy business to start. Here’s how you can begin earning an income in this fast-growing industry.
The cost of opening your online vitamin store is quite low compared to most businesses. Expect to spend at least $2000 (and up to $10,000) before revenue begins coming in. At a minimum, you’ll need a website, an online store, and a way to communicate with your customers via e-mail. Your business will also be much more efficient and effective if you invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software to keep track of customer relations and spend some money on advertising so that more potential customers will see your store in search results or their social media.
Next, you will need something to sell. Thankfully, much of the legwork of sourcing materials, developing and testing formulations, and building a lab that meets FDA standards has already been done for you. Private label supplements are developed and manufactured by a third party and “white-labeled,” meaning you sell these products through your own store with your own business name and logo. Generally, there is a minimum quantity you must be willing to purchase. However, you can avoid needing to store and ship inventory yourself by “dropshipping,” which means arranging for a third-party company to fulfill all your customer’s orders and ship directly to them.
In business, they say you can do things quickly or cheaply, but not both. If you need to keep your start-up costs low, expect to make up for it by putting in the time to do things yourself. For example, you can make a spreadsheet and schedule for yourself to stay on top of customer communications instead of buying a CRM. This will save you money but cost you time. As your business becomes successful, you may reevaluate where it falls on the time-money continuum.
Regulations and Quality Control
Does starting an online supplement store sound daunting? Certainly, there are other side hustles often promoted as a way to earn money on your own terms. Some, like selling an information product, have even lower start-up costs (in terms of money) and almost no regulations to worry about. If you have something you can teach the world, there is definitely a market for it. Though before beginning, it is wise to ask yourself why so many information products are products that tell you how to make money selling information products.
If you contract with a third party for custom supplement manufacturing, that company can help you to ensure you comply with all regulations that apply to your store. Many of the most stringent regulations relate to the quality of the product and its source materials, and so the manufacturer bears a large part of the responsibility. Your responsibility is to choose a quality manufacturer.
There are also regulations related to running an online store and operating a business in your county and your state. Though it is possible to open an online store without creating a business entity like an LLC, consulting with a business lawyer and registering your business as a separate entity from you is a good way to protect your personal assets from any liability your business may have.
There are very few downsides to starting an online supplements business. Within a month, you could have a functioning online store, earning a healthy side income, or even begin a whole new career.