Home Articles How to make it as a start-up in the health industry

How to make it as a start-up in the health industry


Many Australians are looking to take greater control of their health by enhancing their diets with nutritional supplements.

According to Roy Morgan, more than 8.3 million Australians are purchasing vitamins, minerals and supplements every six months.

At ATP Science, we believe helping people achieve their health goals starts with great products, plus simple and relevant information they can use to implement a healthy lifestyle. 

To be successful in this market, start-up businesses need to think outside the square and use clever marketing techniques to promote and sell their products. So how do you start a company within the competitive health industry?

Define what is different about your product

It’s important to start by asking the questions;

  1. Are we providing a solution to a problem?
  2. Does this provide or create exceptional value?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there are currently 2.1 million small businesses operating in Australia. It’s crucial for start-ups to clearly define how their product is different from others, so they can stand out in the market.

For example, ATP Science has introduced the Noway bar, a unique protein snack. Unlike competitors, it’s high in protein, low in carbohydrates and fats with no added sugar, artificial flavours or colours, no dairy, lactose or gluten … and still tastes delicious!

The Noway Bar has a unique gelatine-like texture and although it was three-years in the making, we knew it would be worth the wait for our consumers.

Establish an online presence and sell using social media

Australian consumers are more digitally connected than ever before, with figures from Euromonitor International revealing 81 per cent of the population is accessing the internet daily. With this connectivity comes a new type of consumer – the digital consumer.

According to Nutritional Outlook, leading with package-based marketing isn’t always as effective in today’s market, often dominated by social media. Supplement brands should avoid overloading their product labels with product information.

Instead, shift your focus to promoting your product through platforms such as Instagram, email, podcasts and blog posts, highlighting specific elements to gain a trusted following and to convince your audience it’s the right product for them.

Research conducted by GlobalWebIndex revealed over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile phone to purchase a product online – making them 70 per cent more likely to do so than non-users. At ATP Science, we use Instagram as a platform to engage with, and educate our followers on our products and display the results achievable by them.

According to a survey conducted by the ABC, 89 per cent of Australians aged 18 – 75 are aware of podcasts, with 67 per cent of listeners using podcasts to inform and educate themselves on a specific topic.

ATP Science created The ATP Project, a podcast which covers a variety of health-related topics to educate listeners on the supplement industry. The podcast is now ranked consistently in the top 10 globally on iTunes, with more than 250,000 monthly listens.

An online blog is another useful way to connect with your audience. As well as two free downloadable eBooks, our website also has a blog that includes content relating to top health tips, recipes, and opinion pieces.

The advantages of in-house manufacturing

It’s the old saying “if you want something done right, then do it yourself”.

In-house manufacturing allows you to have more control of your business processes from start to finish and gives you the flexibility to adapt your business when needed. This is particularly important when making any consumer-led changes.

By manufacturing in-house, communication within your business becomes faster and easier.

According to Deloitte 30 per cent of companies who outsource their work, cite communication breakdowns as a key problem area. When first starting ATP Science, we outsourced every aspect of our business including marketing and manufacturing.

But over time, we learnt that by undertaking in-house manufacturing, we could spend more time and energy on designing and refining the best possible product for our consumers. Manufacturing was the hardest thing ATP Science has ever done, but it’s also the best thing we’ve ever done.

Jeff Doidge is the co-founder of ATP Science.

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