A product without packaging is like a cake without any icing. Whether for safety or aesthetic reasons, or both, packaging plays an undeniably important role in making an impression on the product recipient. The packaging business can be very lucrative if planned correctly. Here are some ideas to become successful at it.
Choosing a niche
This is perhaps the most important step because of its strategic nature. The right choice can pay rich dividends; anything else can be a risky gamble.
A good place to start, for a small business owner, is to observe current packaging trends along with the changing dynamics of customer demands. By identifying and adopting current trends with projections for longer lifespans, one can expect to have a steady business demand. By spotting a changing trend early on and catering to emerging demands, it is even possible to become a market leader.
Another important consideration is whether the packaging business caters to commodities or specialty products. The former operates on a larger scale, with smaller profit margins and low customization. On the other hand, the latter can be much smaller in size but accommodate more customization and higher profit margins.
Of course, the financial aspect – of available capital and funding plans – will most likely lead the selection process to a decisive conclusion.
Creating and executing a business plan
After choosing the niche, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Deciding business size and scalability
By choosing between commodities or specialty products, you already have a preliminary idea about the size of your packaging business. Budget considerations and long-term vision further help to decide the operational scale and the extent of future scalability.
Creation of business legality
Although this is an obvious step, great care is required here, especially during important considerations like taxation. You may want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) and limited liability partnership (LLP) models to choose and register the type of business ownership best applicable to your needs. You may also wish to consider which is the most tax-efficient.
With the plan to set up an online business, keep an eye out for the website domain. It’s best to check domain availability for the desired trade name and book it before registering the business. This will increase the likelihood of the website name being the same as the registered company’s name.
Sourcing raw materials for product packaging
If your online packaging business caters to commodities like FMCGs and FMCDs, the packaging specifications are already fixed and only need to be consistently followed. Thus, the main requirement is for standard-sized packaging, for which boxes and poly mailers of specific thicknesses and textures need to be bulk-purchased.
If you are dealing with packaging specialty products, there is greater flexibility to experiment and adopt custom packaging which can create a lasting impression on consumers. This requires sourcing different types of raw materials, which can help offer innovative as well as attractive packaging designs and solutions.
Care must be taken to ensure that all aspects of the packaging – which includes package quality, packaging style, label selection and printing quality – are consistent with the product or brand image.
Label and printing selection
Printing is a very important aspect of the packaging business because its quality and presentation make a direct impression on the consumer regarding the product. Depending upon the product’s price point and the brand name, you can choose between digital and offset printing. Digital Printing is the cheaper option but offset printing is far superior, quality-wise.
The labels on the packaging must clearly display all important product information. This helps to increase product and brand authenticity. Holographic sticker labels can be used as seals of authenticity. If you are adopting custom packaging, custom printing stickers can come in handy.
E-commerce and building an online presence
In the era of e-commerce, having an online presence is very important. Not only is it easy to set up a business online but it also helps to reach large audiences without much legwork.
Start with a well-designed website with a full portfolio of packaging services. Consider selling directly from your website; this can save you the commission cuts you are subjected to as a registered seller on large e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, or Etsy. However, there’s no denying the fact that such e-commerce giants can bring you a much larger audience than your website alone. Do your research and decide how you wish to proceed.
Any kind of e-commerce activity needs to be supported by online marketing activities to generate more interest and drive more traffic to your website and/or listed business on other platforms. Ensure that your website is SEO-friendly and set a budget for pay-per-click advertising through Google, Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. Build community pages on social media sites to engage with visitors and direct them to the business sites.
Some final thoughts
Doing some careful research in the beginning can help to set up a packaging business with long-term potential for success, while also reducing costs. Implement a good business plan with well-thought-out steps, and invest in marketing the business online to grow it consistently.
The type of packaging used for a product is an outer reflection of the product sold to the customer. Thus, there must be consistency between the packaging and the value that the product aims to create.
E-commerce has reshaped the way the world conducts business. Starting an online packaging business has become easier than ever, with no bounds to creativity and scale.
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