The most important part of a big building is it's foundation. If you plan on building a big company, your starting focus should also start at it's foundation. Your team should hold the same values and vision for the future of this company. If you build the right team from the beginning, you will have less bumps along your road to success.
To help you plan out your foundation, we have put together the key factors we have seen in our clients and what has set them towards success. The key factors to have covered in your business are Sales, Marketing, Operations, Customer Service, & Management. Now in the very beginning of a business, no one expects you to have an office building filled with departments of people handling the following categories. One person should be able to take care of a few different departments in the beginning, but as time goes on, your business will grow and your team will grow with it.
Sales are the lifeline of any business. For the supplement business there are two different options. There are Direct to Consumer methods (D2C), which could be through your own personal website or Amazon and there are Business to Business Sales (B2B), which would be sales to local supplement shops like Vitamin Shoppe.
Direct to consumer sales seems to be the easiest because as long as you have a great website, great marketing, and a great product, you can get the job done, BUT there is a lot more work that goes into this and it is help heavily on the marketing side of the business. This includes sales, email marketing, blog/news updates, and more. Having experience or a team member with experience in this world will only benefit you.
Direct to Consumer Sales seems to be the new wave across all industries, but I would not forget the perks of B2B sales. When selling to other businesses, you sell it at a discounted wholesale price. There are two reasons people do not use B2B sales and I am going to tell you why they are both not true for the supplement industry.
1.) "You don't make enough money with B2B sales."
True, BUT when you are selling these products to supplement shops like Vitamin Shoppe, you are selling them in large quantities. This could bring a lot of reoccurring revenue for your business. Once you sell your products to the shop, it is their job to sell it. If you have a quality product, it will make their job easy. Your product will fly off the shelves and your business can thrive off of B2B sales alone.
2.) "People aren't shopping in stores anymore."
FALSE. When it comes to the supplement industry, most people want to try a product before buying it. When you go into a supplement shop, you have a sales rep ready to help you depending on the customers goals. They will give the customers samples and sell more product because of it. Most people, (including myself) would rather buy a product in person because we like to know exactly what we are buying.
If you don't know how to sell wholesale to different stores, hire a broker! A broker has connections to buyers in a bunch of different supplement stores. A broker will structure your deal for you for a commission of 5-8%. From there the only thing you would be responsible is making sure you can deliver on the deal.
Marketing is the creativity that captures the eye of your audience. It is the marketing teams job to grab your markets attention and build their trust. In the world of marketing, there are a lot of things on the to-do list to keep up with other competing companies.
There is Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Rewards/Discount Marketing, Blogging/News Updates, and much more. Having someone on your team that has done this before is a huge perk. You need a marketer on your team. If you don't, you still have options.
One great option to take is working with an agency on a retainer to do your marketing for you. These agencies take care of all of a lot but it comes at a price. You will be paying for the team of experts to make your business look perfect. You will have open communication with them and they will always let you know what they need in order to succeed. It may cost some money, but the turn is absolutely worth it.
Operations is the manufacturing or your product, the fulfillment of your product, and your research and development team for creating new/innovative product. It is critical that sales, marketing, and management have open communication with the operations department.
When it comes to operations, open communication; these are values you can find with JustNutra. We take care of manufacturing your product, fulfilling each online order, while keeping an open line of communication to help support your company as best we can. We are your R&D team. We are your Manufacturer. We are your fulfillment center. We are your team.
You can't make everyone happy, but you have to try. Having someone or a team dedicated to customer service is key to a successful business. You have to remember that the customer is always correct. No matter the issue, you have to have someone that has patience to work with this customer to find a solution.
There are great companies that you can use to outsource your customer service to like Answerfirst.com. Answerfirst.com is a 100% US based 24/7 Customer Service business that works with any business. It is extremely affordable and worth it to make sure you always have happy customers.
A review from a client:
"We maintain a dynamic operation that requires us to be accessible to our clients 24/7/365. We could not do that without a reliable call center partner. We havve been with AnswerFirst for more than a decade and we are a very satisfied customer."
While having a service to take care of your customer service is great, no one cares more about this business than you do. I suggest taking control on your customer service from the start and building a team as time goes on.
Management makes sure the whole show is running smoothly, conquering any issues that may pop-up and working hand & hand with all of these different departments. Large majority of the time, this is the business owner. Management becomes easy when you have a team that you can count on to accomplish all the goals of the company.
So what does you team look like?