When it’s your first time ordering packaging for a business, you can feel out of your depth. Don’t worry – we were all new at these things once. To help you make smart choices in the packaging world, we’ve devised 6 packaging tips for a new business.
Research your chosen manufacturer
Step one is to find some packaging manufacturers. Most people head to the internet these days, but you could also visit trade shows or ask your network for suggestions. When you’ve narrowed down a short list – take some time to get to know their business. At Echo Cartons, we share regular packaging advice on our blog and post product work to social media to help customers, like you, get to know us a bit better.
Find the right box style for your industry
From regular slotted cartons to die cut boxes and shelf-ready packaging; there’s plenty of box styles to choose from. Choosing the right one is all about understanding their best uses. For example, regular slotted cartons are used for shipping boxes, while shelf-ready cartons are designed to stock retail shelves. You might even need two box styles – one for your interior packaging and one for your exterior. Your box manufacturer will be able to talk you through the options and find the best style for your industry.
To get started, you can also browse our Featured Products for some popular industry packaging choices.
Custom vs. stock boxes
Once you have a style in mind, you need to decide between custom packaging or stock boxes. Stock packaging is generally cheaper, so it can be a great starting point for a new business. It comes in a range of standard designs and sizes – making it easy for you to choose a box and get running. Echo Cartons offer a wide range of stock packaging from our online store.
Custom packaging is all about your brand. It can be fully printed with logos, colours and product info, as well as made to fit your products. With the right design, custom packaging can be just as cost-effective as stock options and it will help your new business stand out.
Read more on stock packaging vs custom design in our blog.
Design a functional box
Jumping in with custom design can be overwhelming. There’s plenty of choices to make and you’re still new to this whole packaging idea. Our top tip is to focus on functionality. Your boxes should find the sweet spot between showing off your brand and being user-friendly.
Read more with our top 5 design mistakes – and how to avoid them!
How to keep costs down
This is probably the question we get asked the most from a new business. So, how can you keep costs down? Here are six ideas:
- Reduce your box size
- Remember, deeper is cheaper
- Choose the ideal board grades
- Cut down on colour printing
- Choose stock packaging
- Work with a local manufacturer
Read the full tips in our blog on how to reduce your packaging costs.
Important questions to ask
After all this research, you should be ready to order some packaging. When you reach this stage – there are a few key questions we think you should ask.
1. Do you have a minimum order size?
As a new business, you’ll likely want a small order to start with. But some manufacturers don’t work in small runs. That can mean stretching your budget thin and ordering more than you planned for. By asking this question upfront, you can rule out any box suppliers that won’t work within your means.
Echo Cartons are specialists in short runs with no minimum order size, which is just one reason we’re a top choice for new businesses.
2. How long will packaging take?
Imagine if your business launch had to be delayed because your packaging order was not ready. Finding out the general lead time is a good way to keep your deadlines on track. At Echo Cartons, we have a standard 5-day lead time for new product work on all standard board grades.
3. What are your freight costs?
Those cheap boxes you were planning to order from overseas can become extra expensive when you add in shipping costs. Instead of blowing your budget at the last minute, find out this key detail early on. We’d recommend choosing a local box manufacturer to avoid high freight costs. Echo Cartons make all our boxes in Melbourne with delivery across the metro area. If you’re outside this zone, we can offer suggestions for separate transport.
Nervous about talking shop with box experts? Read our glossary of common terms to get your lingo up to speed.
Supporting new businesses with perfect packaging
Starting a business is an exciting venture – and at times, intimidating. For all your packaging needs, Echo Cartons are on your side. We work with new businesses around Australia to find cost-effective and practical solutions for their packaging. For custom design, simply request a quote. Or for general enquiries – contact our team.