People around the world are getting more health conscious every day. This has created an incredible volume of business for those who sell vitamins and food supplements. It has also fostered the development of the online vitamin store business, which has grown into a multibillion dollar industry. Many people consider this an ideal business opportunity because it is a relatively easy business to start and requires little cash investment.
- Skill level:
Raise the investment capital that is required to start an online vitamin business. The amount of money needed depends on how much money is budgeted to be spent on advertising. The primary method of raising capital for most small business owners is to use savings, obtain a personal loan or to borrow money from family members. Credit cards are also a popular option.
Obtain a business license so that you will have a legal company to operate your online vitamin business. Your company will be considered a mail order business, and no special licensing should be required outside of a standard business registration. Contact your local City Clerk's office to register your company.
Develop an online catalogue for your vitamin store. Register a domain and sign up for a basic hosting account with a reputable web host, such as GoDaddy or HostGator. Use a shopping trolley program to manage the inventory of your storefront. A popular shopping cart--os Commerce--is free (see links in Resources). Several third-party os Commerce templates are available that will give your vitamin store a professional look.
Develop a business relationship with suppliers who deal in vitamins and other health supplements. Drop shipping is the most popular option for home-based vitamin businesses because you can take the orders and let the drop shipper mail them. Vitabase has developed a strong drop-shipping program for those who want to operate their own vitamin store without investing in inventory (see link in References).
Advertise your online vitamin business. Determine how much money you can afford to spend on advertising, and then consider options available within that budget. Try to focus your advertising to health clubs, healthy living magazines and other places where you are more likely to encounter consumers who will use the products you sell.
Tips and warnings
- Visit local health food stores and pharmacies to ask what their best-selling vitamins are. Find a similar product that you carry and highlight it on the front page of your website as a special offer.
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