A small product packaging business provides covering and protection for small products which are usually homemade products.
In other words, they provide the branding design, display packaging for small product manufacturers.
Small business packaging provides branding for small businesses and helps to elevate the product in the mind of the buyer.
Home business owners often wear many hats, one of those is how to provide the best packaging for their homemade products.
This is because homemade products that have poor quality package design could leave the impression of poor product quality.
A lot of small business owners desire to outsource this aspect of their business since they know that the packaging of a product is the first impression a person has of their products.
Some small business types that require packaging include food, jewelry, clothing, fresh produce etc.
Please note that this business idea is presented to you from the viewpoint of someone who wants to start the packaging business from home and do it online.
Before I go on to share the steps you need to follow to start this business, I would like to offer you the opportunity to get a planner that makes starting your home business a breeze
Thehomebusiness planner & checklist is a well-curated planner and checklist that is designed to help you to put down your ideas and plan your small business from idea to delivery.
With this two in one planner and checklist, you can finally put your thoughts down and plan your small product packaging business idea to deliver what you desire.
This planner and checklist will move you from thinking to implementation mode.
It contains the following sections
- Business idea generation page
- Revenue and expense planning
- Business checklist
- Marketing plan
- To-do lists
- Business goal setting plan
- Vision, mission, and value statement pages
- One page business plan sheet
- Business goal tracking pages
Want to know how to start a small product packaging business from your home.
Let’s dive in
Table of Contents
8 Steps to Starting an Online Small Product Packaging Business
1. Choose a Niche
The first step to starting your small product business is to determine the niche you will play in.
Niche businesses do better online because you can better develop your message to reach your target customers.
There are a lot of homemade manufacturers that make products from their homes.
These producers need well-designed packages that will help them to market and sell their products.
Niching down to a particular segment of the market will help you to better develop your marketing message to attract your customers.
What Niches are in the small product packaging business?
Here are the niches in the small product packaging business.
Food and Beverage– This packaging can be used for milk, juice, food, drinks, fresh food or cooked food.
Jewelry, Clothing, and Shoes: This type of niche refers to packaging for clothing, jewelry, and shoes. Examples are jewelry boxes, clothing boxes, shoe boxes etc.
Book: This type of niche specializes in book covers especially for hardcover books that use extra packaging.
For example, some bibles come in custom-designed covers which are usually in a box format.
Cosmetics: This niche has to do with providing packages for body lotions, creams, essential oils, perfumes, and other types of cosmetics.
Fresh Produce-This niche provides all the packaging for fresh produce, this could be used in farmers‘ markets or small retail farms that sell to local communities. They are used for wrapping fruits, vegetables, and seeds.
Gift boxes- This niche is solely dedicated to making boxes that are used for packaging gift items which could be any of the other niches mentioned above.
A good clientele of gift box makers is gift-wrapping service providers and subscription box business owners.
It could also be confectionery makers like cake makers who need to deliver their cake products in a box.
Each of these niches has different packaging requirements.
For example, the fresh produce may require just a paper bag or a foil bag. While the perfume and lotions and jewelry may require a rigid box.
Whichever niche you choose, you must be cognizant of the type of packages that suits that niche.
2. Choose a Packaging Type
Different products require different packaging types because of the product type and the need to provide adequate coverage. For example, a food box packaging type is not the same as a perfume bottle packaging type.
Both products do not require the same level of coverage. Here the types of packaging available.
While the perfume bottle which is breakable will require the rigid and tough covering to avoid breakage.
The food box is usually soft because it is easily used and discarded.
Paper Board Packaging
Paper boarding packaging is basically made from cardboards and is easily manipulated.
They are soft and are often used for packaging foods and beverages.
For example, the pack used by Mcdonalds to pack your burgers and fries are made from paper board packaging. They are also easy to recycle when they have not been contaminated.
Corrugated Box Packaging
Corrugated box packaging is usually rough, strong and durable. These packaging types are called corrugated because of the inner lining which is called fluting.
To identify corrugated packages check if the carton has an outer lining and inner lining that looks like flutes.
Examples of products that use corrugated box packaging are:
Electronics, heavy-duty products like machines and even some household equipment like washer-dryers.
Rigid Box Packaging
This type of packaging is used for products that require a lot of decorative features. They could be used for jewelry, phones perfumes, chocolates and electronic materials that require fine packaging. They are rigid enough to protect the product and can also withstand pressure in transit.
Sealed Foil Packaging
Sealed foil packaging material have foil and polymer materials interwoven in their design. An example of such packaging is the coffee packaging that has a very beautiful design outside but has a foil package inside to help protect the taste of teh coffee.
I know this because I designed the package I used for my online coffee business. The sealed foil inside the coffee bag helps to retain the flavor of the coffee beans while in transit.
Plastic Packaging and Polybags.
Some jewelry manufacturers use plastic packaging for these products but with the current rise in the need to make products that are sustainable, recyclable and earth-friendly, it may be wise to really think well before using plastic packaging.
3.Create a Product Package
This is the step where you get to design the product packaging on a computer using software programs like
Adobe Illustrator studio 18
If you are considering starting a packaging business but you cannot use any of the software above, you can outsource the design aspect of the business to someone that will bring your products to life.
Factors to consider as a small product packaging business maker
There are two ultimate functions of packaging- They are to protect the product and to project the brand appeal of the product.
Therefore, as a small product packaging business owner it is imperative that you know how to create packages that meet these two ultimate desires but also meets the following attributes.
Functionality: What is the function of product packaging? Product packaging protects the content of a product.
A product packaging should, therefore, meet this basic function for it to be considered of good quality.
When choosing a product packaging type, customers are interested in packaging types that do not get squashed while on transit.
If a product will undergo a lot of travel time before reaching the intended user, choose a durable packaging material.
For example, someone who buys popcorn or burgers does not expect to travel far with the product, so its soft packaging material is just adequate.
But if such packaging was used for perfume bottles or jam that needs to travel far before reaching the user, the chances of the bottle breaking before reaching the final destination is high.
The packaging choice is poor and so the product will be perceived as poor quality by the user.
Durability-Durability has to do with the ability of the product packaging to withstand pressure while on transit.
For example, the perfume bottle we talked about above will be much safer in a rigid box container than a paper board packaging. A rigid box cover will protect the bottle and still withstand pressure during transportation.
Brand Appeal- A product is as good as the packaging portrays that is why even fake products can fool anyone once the packaging is right.
A product packaging business owner should know how to design packages that promote the brand appeal and makes the customers want to purchase it. This brand appeal effect can be created by taking care of the following aspects of the package.
Font type- Bold readable fonts on packages will always do better than cursive tiny fonts. When one picks up a package you want them to read your product name effortlessly.
Labeling- Proper labeling goes a long way to improve the brand appeal of a product.
Nothing screams fake like a product that has faded or not so legible labeling. All dates and required information for that product should be accurately placed where it is easy for the product user to find.
I can’t count how many times I have refused to purchase a product because I could not find the expiry date or the date of manufacture of the product.
Color- Colors have a lot to do with the perception of a product, for example, the color yellow makes one hungry, that is why most food vendors use yellow.
Yellow and red when used together produce a mixture of passion and hunger.
Understanding what you want to elicit from your product users will help you to know what type of packaging to make for your customers.
For example, it is not by chance the Doritos makers use either bright red colors or bright yellow colors, they are all targeted at getting their customers to purchase.
Readability- All writings on your packaging products should be readable, ensure that your printer does a neat job of not only creating readable print outs but also using nonsmudgeable ink so that the writing does not smudge off on contact with a liquid.
Aesthetics-Aesthetics of a product package has to do with a combination of style, color, and design. All these make product packaging to increase brand value.
4. Contact a Product Package Manufacturer
Now you are through with your design, the next step is to contact a manufacturer that will bring your product packaging business to life.
This is where you contact wholesale manufacturers in China to help you to produce the designs you have you have created.
Places to look include
If you would like to make your packages in the US, you may want to visit this link to get a list of companies that you can manufacture your packaging.
The usual way is to send your designs to the manufacturer, order a prototype and adjust any defaults that you have.
When I wanted to create the packaging for my online coffee shop
I designed the labels and then got the type of coffee packaging I wanted.
The design was sent to the manufacturer in China who then created it and sent it back to me.
Here is an example of my coffee product
I did not have to touch any part of creating this package except to design the labels.
So you could start by making a simple design like this for small home business coffee or tea sellers.
This packaging was made by someone I contacted in Aliexpress, I liked the design and I then sent in my label design which was then made and sent back to me.
So the only job I did was to cut our labels and paste it on the coffee packaging and my coffee bag was ready.
There are so many packaging needs you can meet by using this simple method.
The design I made was done using software that I teach about how to use it in my course.
The Newbies Printables Business Course.
While the course is focused on teaching one how to make printables products that can be sold to others.
I have a specific module that teaches how to make simple labels and stickers for products.
Furthermore, the course also teaches you how to set up your online shop and how to launch your shop online, and a simple color technology that you can use to pick the best colors for your designs.
These are aspects you will need to know in starting your business.
To learn more about this course, go here.
After getting your manufacturer setup, order a prototype of your packaging products.
You will need it to create pictures that you will use for marketing your business.
You can use a professional photographer or a simple camera phone.
For example, if you make packaging for gifts, you can order a prototype of your gift boxes and take pictures showing how they look.
You can then upload the pictures to your website for customers to see the samples and make choice based on the package type they want.
5.Build Your Packaging Business Website
The next step to starting a packaging business is setting up your website. There are two ways to set up your website, you could use an
Online ecommerce platform
These eCommerce platforms provide you with a shopping platform to display your products, collect payment and deliver your products to your customers complete with a tracking system for your customers.
They are easy to set up because they already have pre-built templates that you can use to start a business within a week.
Examples of online platforms that you can use are
Shopify – Costs 29 dollars per month
A WordPress site with Woocommerce Plugin.
The WordPress platform will allow you to build a normal website for your business, you can then use a woo commerce plugin to upload the different types of packages that you are selling and add price points to it.
You can learn how to build a store using a wordpress woo-commerce plugin in my course WordPress Without Tears
This course simplifies building your first website and also teaches you how to create your shop in that website.
The beauty of a website is that you are able to interact with your customers and you can also blog about your service offerings.
To set up either of these options you will need to do the following
Purchase a domain name
A domain name is a name you want to give to your online business. The domain name purchase allows you exclusive rights to that name for one year after which you will need to renew it if you want to continue using it.
In picking a business name for your packaging business it is important to take note of the following points. A domain name should be
Memorable– easy to remember
Available as a .com not .net or .org– Sometimes you may pick a business name that you like but the .com is not available because someone else is using the name.
Instead of taking the .net, it is better to change your domain name.
Even if you choose to go with .net, there will always be a conflict of names when people are searching for your business name. People are more likely to type a .com than a .net.
Have the keyword packaging embedded in it so that people can recognize what the business is about just by looking at the domain name.
It also makes it easy for Google to serve it up when someone is searching for a packaging company.
An example could be Andelspackaging.com.
To check for domain name availability and purchase one go here
If you want to go with the option of building a website, you will need to buy hosting also.
Hosting companies are like online landlords that help you to showcase your website by offering you a space on their servers for a fee.
Hosting costs little money. For as little as 3.95 dollars you can get a Bluehost hosting for your website.
If you want to pay per month, the cost will go up to 8 dollars per month. But if you are purchasing for a year, you will get the amount mentioned above.
With your domain name and hosting settled you are ready to build your website.
If all the aspect of setting up an online shopfront is quite overwhelming for you, you can contact me and I will set it up for you in a week.
So long as you have provided me with all the necessary information for setting up your website.
Go here to sign up for my services.
6.Register Your Business
This step involves choosing if you would like to get your business registered as a corporation an LLC or a sole proprietorship or just business name registration.
Some people choose to run their business formally from the beginning which is the right thing to do as it gives you legal protection from the onset.
While others choose to run it for a while before registering it formally, whichever way you choose to run, please ensure that you understand the legal implications and you also file your taxes appropriately.
Here is a resource that explains this aspect better.
Visit small business administration for more info.
7. Market Your Business.
To market your business to your audience, here is what you can do:
Create a social media presence
This includes creating your online profiles in social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.
It is always better to have a uniform name for all these profiles as it makes it easy for customers to recognize your brand across the social media channels.
Creating your profiles on these platforms not only help you to increase brand awareness but enables your customers to trust you.
In the online business world, customers don’t really like to be sold to but to be educated first. The best way to educate your audience is to blog about your product offerings. Blogs also serve as targetted traffic attractors
When you write a blog post about your product, the Google search engine will serve it up as information to people looking for such types of services
The customer by reading your blogpost can relate with you and trust you enough to buy your services.
Google does not serve up an online shop as an answer to a query, they usually serve up blogposts or website information that suits the inquirers needs.
Make videos that show how your products can be used to solve people’s problems.
Followers of your video will check out your website and buy from you.
You can also buy adverts and set them up to target your niche customers. You can buy Ads from Facebook, Google, Youtube, and Pinterest.
For you to have consistent loyal customers that you can sell to any moment you produce a new type of product you need to have an email list of customers that are willing to buy.
Getting an email list starts with signing up with an email list software provider company.
I recommend Sendpulse. They are easy to set up and use and costs only 9.99 per month.
Click the link to purchase Sendpulse subscription
Once your email list software is set up, you can then create a freebie that you offer to your website visitors in order to get their emails.
Such freebies could be a digital product such as printable checklists, planners, ebooks or even coupons.
One way to ensure that your marketing is effective is to create an opportunity for interacting with your online customers when they visit your website.
To do this, you need a live chat customer service tool that will enable you to attend to anyone that gets to your website.
A Live chat widget is the customer service tool that customers can make use of when they need clarification about your products and services, just like you would have a customer service personnel in a physical store.
According to statistics, 41% of customers prefer LiveChat as a way to reach out to customer service teams when they visit a business online.
To install a live chat widget on your website, simply contact 13chats.com
13chats is a live chat business that provides Livechat widgets and chatbots for small businesses.
It is easy to install and has customer support triggers that you can set up when a customer lingers for more than 40seconds on a check-out page.
It also stores a customer’s previous chats so that it can make better recommendations when the customer visits again.
To get 13chats’s Live Chat, tap the button below.
8.Launch Your Online Business
Launching your online business involves a series of activities that you will need to do in order to inform people that you are open for business.
Build up to your first sale and create awareness about your services.
Starting an online packaging business can be a rewarding venture, like most businesses it requires thorough planning and careful execution to begin to make sales.
To help you plan your business from idea to execution, get the Home Business Planner from my Online shop.
Do you have any more ideas on how to start a packaging business online, leave your comment below.