How to Start a Vitamin Shop

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Vitamins galore
Vitamins galore (Image: Lintilla, Flickr.com Creative Commons License)

A vitamin shop is an ideal business for many people. Rather than selling products that are unhealthy, vitamin-shop owners can have a clear conscience in knowing that their products improve people's general well-being. Vitamin shops are also profitable ventures, particularly for those who have health conscious people living in the community.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Financial backing
  • Vitamin suppliers
  • Retail location

Write a business plan to organize how your vitamin shop will be managed and how much money will be needed to operate it. Refer to the Resources section for a sample business plan template that will help you write a business plan for your vitamin store.

Raise the money you need to start a vitamin shop. You will need to raise $10,000 to $25,000, depending on how much inventory you will keep on hand. Savings, personal loans and using credit cards for expenses are the primary ways most people fund small businesses. Obtaining loans from family, friends or private investors is also an option. Most banks will only issue a personal loan for a new start up, but you can ask the loan officer if you qualify for a guarantee from the Small Business Association.

Incorporate your business. You can register your business with the office of the secretary of state, or you can go to the local courthouse and file the same papers with the city clerk. Officially incorporating your business allows you to buy vitamins and other supplies at wholesale rates and also gives you indemnity to keep your personal finances separate from those of the vitamin shop. The process of incorporating is simple and basically involves filling out a template for the "Articles of Incorporation," as well as filling out a form. There is also a one-page form to be completed if you need to obtain a federal employer tax ID number.

Find a retail location for your vitamin shop. You generally want to find a location that has a significant amount of auto or foot traffic. This will help people, who may otherwise miss your advertising campaigns, notice your business . It is important to keep your budget in mind as you look for a location because the more consumer foot traffic the location has access to, the higher the monthly rent will be.

Line up suppliers for the products that you will be selling. Many wholesale vendors specialize in health and beauty products, including a wide assortment of vitamins. Having accounts with as many wholesale suppliers as possible will help you find the lowest price for a particular item and will also allow you to carry a wider variety of vitamin products in your shop.

Develop and implement an advertising strategy that will let the public know about your vitamin shop. Think about who your target consumer groups are, and then consider ways that you can effectively get a message in front of those people. Local newspapers and radio are always good options, and forming advertising partnerships with local gyms and health-food stores will also give your vitamin shop a big push forward.

Tips & Warnings

  • Including a mail-order catalog in each customer's bag will help create more sales that may have otherwise been missed.

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