I started a message board. I love message boards! They're the highest form of internet communication. Forget Facebook. Move over Twitter. Message boards allow for the purest form of knowledge transmission, and there's something about their stripped down aesthetic that makes it easier to talk about issues with a depth that doesn't happen elsewhere. So I'd like to invite you to join. More details inside.
Finding a manufacturer is a very common hurdle for new supplement companies to get over. They exist in a fragmented landscape that provides no consolidated information or easy methods of comparison. This is actually a good way to get a comparative advantage because it means you can take advantage of asymmetrical information, but that doesn't make it any less of a pain when you're trying to get off the ground. To make matters worse most of the people who are looking for one don't know what they're talking about and make things more difficult for themselves. So here's a quick and dirty guide on how to vet them with some specific names at the end to help you on your way.
Supply Side West 2014 just wrapped up. It's the big trade show in the nutraceutical industry where companies meet to do a dog and pony show and try and get deals done. The show is a behemoth, with more than you can possibly see on a trade floor in the two days that it's there. You can easily work up sweat by lunch hustling from booth to booth, only to find out you're halfway through the 2nd of 30 rows. But it's great place to find new vendors, make face-to-face contacts, and turn over rocks that wouldn't be visible from the confines of your cell phone and laptop. Here are the show's highlights, and how it was used to help develop our upcoming product.
What types of ingredients go into a supplement is crucially important. Important enough to win over life long customers, and important enough to attract lawsuits like a metal pole in a thunderstorm if big mistakes are made. Despite this importance (or maybe because of?) there's usually a veil of secrecy about where ingredients come from for a lot of products. Here's a primer about how the process works from one of the biggest ingredient marketplaces in the country.
BeeAlive is a successful supplement company that's followed a blueprint that's very suitable for others: They started off slowly and self-funded, paid close attention to product quality and maintaining a customer experience, and have gradually grown to a 75 person operation that grosses 8-10 million a year. Here's an interview with the CEO of the company about the process. This is a very informative read for anyone curious about starting their own supplement company or someone looking to know more about how the products are made.
The health supplement industry is something many of us come in contact with everyday.......but know surprisingly little about. You don't really see recruiters for supplement companies at campus recruiting events, and you probably don't have an uncle or cousin who works for your neighborhood supplement manufacturer. It's an industry that mostly lurks in the shadows. So here's some advice on how to get started on learning what you need to know if you want to work in the industry or start your own company.
Choosing a manufacturer for your products is a tricky thing. It's extraordinarily important, but the industry is opaque and diffuse, so getting useful information can be difficult. Here's a simple but powerful way to ascertain what your manufacturer actually does and how legitimate they are. Because a lot of companies out there aren't what they seem.....
When designing a supplement it's easy to suffer from paralysis by analysis. There are about 5,000 different ingredients you can use, 1000 manufacturers to choose from, and probably over 500 different delivery options. It gets complicated very quickly. So given all that information, what's the easiest way to just get started? Inside are three useful resources to get you on your way.