Great opportunity to own a dietary supplement brand that focuses on the 55+ market. Unique advantages include both a multitude of distribution channels and three unique websites that have been developed for strong marketing purposes.
Watch the video below to learn a bit more about the owner and his business.
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background? How did come to start this business?
This business is something that my husband and I took on in 2015, when we saw the potential that the dietary supplement industry had. We had both been laid off our corporate jobs and started looking for something that had the potential to replace our income and allow us to pursue other interests at the same time. We bought the domain antiagingcentral.com and created a brand based on our concept of wellness, and using the tree of life as our symbol. Our belief is that health should be approached from a wholistic view and that mindfulness and brain health are key to longevity. We were not knowledgeable about supplement ingredients but found the discovery of what they are and how they work to be fascinating. We were amazed to learn that there are so many effective alternatives to support brain health that are not being promoted or even discussed by the medical system in place in the US and that are backed by tremendous research and study. Although we had a number of products, it was always the brain health products that sold the best and we focused our energy on those. We created a brand name with font, colours and logo and an attractive label for our products. We then built out a blog article site to educate and promote the solutions to aging problems, and with the help of our team we were off to the races.
What sort of regulations are involved with selling and marketing this product that a new owner might want to be aware of before jumping on board?
The nootropics we sell are neither approved by the FDA nor disapproved which makes them legal but considered to be in a risky category of ecommerce products. As a result we are not able to sell with Paypal or a merchant consolidating service, and big bank merchant account providers such as BoA are also a challenge. We started out with a merchant provider, Chase, but when Chase Canada closed their operation (we are Canadian) and consolidated to the US, the US Chase denied us service. We never took the time or effort to replace merchant services. We instead relied on marketplace platforms like Ebay and Amazon and added e-transfer like Zelle to the website.
We decided to split nutraceutical products from natural products so that some of the product line could be developed and sold with a merchant account. We set up a domain called smartlifetree.com to market natural based products with a merchant account, however, because of COVID, as Canadians we are not able to cross the border and set this up and the US banks for reasons of money laundering prevention will not set up bank accounts nor business merchant accounts for foreigners without their physical presence. Understandable of course, but this has crimped our plans! The other aspect of this industry to be aware of is the requirement to not make any health claims for the products. This is an easy requirement to work around, and what we have done is create a blog article website that educates and informs about the conditions that the products treat and in that way we are able to build community, SEO, educate and promote our products. Over the years we have developed a portfolio of hundreds of unique professionally written blogs.
How have you marketed the product and where are your customers originating from?
We worked to SEO certain key articles in our blog site, and we used social media engagement to build community and email lists. Email marketing using our blogs was our most effective form of marketing and the sheer number of years we’ve been selling the products on the market places has given us good ranking and drove sales. Customers are mostly from the US, Florida and California are two of the more common state addresses that our customers have, but the customers are from everywhere, including some international.
How much time does it take to run the business, who else is needed on the team, and what is automated?
This business takes no time to run. We are working full time on other endeavours and spend less than an hour a week. Our virtual assistant spends about an hour a week. Really everything is either automated or part of a well run system. The business could use some investment in SEO for the articles.
Are you holding and shipping the inventory yourself or is this run through a 3PL?
Products are shipped through a 3PL.
Can you list a few opportunities for a potential new owner to continue growing the business?
Where do I start? There are so many opportunities!
Add one or two proprietary products. Mushrooms are trending well in the space and we had plans to add a Lions Mane blend to the product line up. Use a service like Junglescout to discover what is being searched and create new proprietary blends that include those “searched-for” names.
Some SEO dollars would improve traffic to the articles and grow the sign up list, and ultimately sales.
Start using the library of blog articles to sell other products as an affiliate.
Be active on social media – we have 44k followers on FB, and when we post, we get 2 to 3k views without spending anything. Use landing pages with FB posts or ads to promote articles about related conditions and problems to drive traffic to the article, and get more sign ups. Work with influencers to get more promotion, sign ups and sales. Create new sales funnels and regularly email the list.
Buy products in greater quantities to drive down price and increase GP.
Sell related products that are complimentary, some examples could be digital downloads of guided meditations, digital courses in memory improvement and focus improvement etc….
Create a more engaged community through the use of a youtube channel, interviews with experts and webinars. Post regularly on forums, answer questions, say interesting things and redirect attention to the brands and the sites.
The sky is the limit, the only limitation is your time – almost all of these ideas can be done by anyone with passion, and focus.