Do you want to start a gift wrapping company from home? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to start a gift wrapping business with no money or experience.

If you are looking towards starting a business that requires little or no start-up capital, then one of your best bets is to start a gift wrapping business. Although this type of business looks simple, but trust me if you don’t have creative skills, then you are bound to struggle with it.

Gift wrapping is all about helping clients wrap their gifts and in some instances, you can be contracted to help buy and deliver the gifts on behalf of your customers.

Before launching this type of business, it will pay you carry out your due diligence as it relates to market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. If you get things right before launching your gift – wrapping business, it will not take you long before you break-even and start smiling to the bank.

So, if you want to start your own gift – wrapping business, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well equipped. You can start your gift – wrapping business from your house and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand.

Starting a Gift Wrapping Business from Home – A Complete Guide

  • Industry Overview

Gift wrapping business is a subset of the Packaging and Labeling industry in the United States of America and the industry is made up of packaging services, labeling services, gift wrapping services, assembly and fulfillment services and other related services.

In the United States, the revenue generated by players in the Packaging and Labeling Services industry fluctuates in line with consumer spending trends, as industry operators earn most of their revenue from contract package and labeling services provided to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and pharmaceutical product manufacturers.

Industry companies primarily package and label customer goods, adding value for clients through efficiency gains. Accordingly, improved consumer spending over the five years to 2019 has supported industry growth.

As US consumption has risen, manufacturers have expanded production, thereby increasing the number of products that need to be packaged and thus increasing demand for industry services. Overall, industry revenue is anticipated to increase going forward.

A recent survey conducted shows that more than half of all gift – wrapping businesses have their own gift and souvenir retail outlets. However, due to the flexibility of the gift – wrapping business as regards the choice of location, more people prefer to start the business from home than to rent out a store for it. Those who rent are often those who have a huge inventory with no space to store these inventories in their homes, and so often opt to lease facilities.

The Packaging and Labeling Services Industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in developed countries. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 10,288 registered packaging and labeling services (strictly gift-wrapping businesses inclusive) responsible for employing about 57,131 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $10 billion annually.

The industry is projected to enjoy 5.0 percent annual growth. Please note that the Packaging & Labeling industry has no companies with major market shares.

Gift wrapping businesses in the United States maintain the highest ranking, and comprises of more than 3,600 retailers that categorize their businesses mainly as gift wrapping firms within the country. A good percentage of gift wrapping businesses are in California, New York and Florida, and majority of the firms calculate sales volume at $500,000 or less. Firms that post between $1 million ad $5 million in sales have increased since the 2002 industry survey.

The market trend for the gift industry has consisted majorly of mergers and consolidations, as larger companies continually buy out smaller companies. This is made possible because larger companies have economies of sales that is able to allow them generate better margins.

E-commerce sales represent a growing segment of total retail sales. In general, higher reliance on e-commerce tends to reduce the number of physical locations that companies maintain as they seek to compete for higher-margin online sales.

As a result, these companies are more likely to outsource gift wrapping cum packaging and labeling services to a third party service provider. In 2019, e-commerce sales are expected to increase, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.

The market for the gift – wrapping business is also no longer limited to a single customer or to women, especially as women once made up the largest segment of the industry’s market. The market has now expanded to include the corporate client.

The gift – wrapping line of business will continue to blossom because people will not relent in purchasing gifts. Despite the fact that the industry seems over – saturated, there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who intend opening their own business in the United States.

Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own gift – wrapping business are that the business is easy to set up and it can be managed with minimal startup capital.

You can choose to start this business on a small scale from your home without a gift and souvenir retail outlet or you can chose to start on a large scale with several gift and souvenir stores in key cities throughout the United States of America.

Starting a Gift Wrapping Business from Home – Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who hire the services of gifts wrapping businesses cut across all genders; hence the demographic composition for the gift – wrapping business is all encompassing.

So, if you are thinking of starting your own gift – wrapping business then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include students, tourists, corporate organizations, socialites, celebrities and every adult in the neighborhood where your gift – wrapping business will be located.

List of Niche Ideas Within the Gift Wrapping Business That You Can Specialize in

It is important to state that there is no known niche idea when it comes to the gift – wrapping business. Every player in this business are usually involved in wrapping gifts and retailing complimentary gift items. On the other hand, some gift-wrapping businesses may decide to purchase, wrap and deliver gifts as requested by their customers. This is also applicable to those who have online platforms where they market their gifts.

The Level of Competition in the Packaging and Labeling Services Industry

The competition that exists in the gift – wrapping business goes beyond competition within gift-wrapping businesses in same locations where you are operating from; you will be expected to compete with gift shops, and supermarkets that also wrap gifts for their customers. So, it will be right to say the competition in the gift – wrapping business is tough.

The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you are pretty creative with wrapping gifts, you have unique and beautiful wrapping papers and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.

List of Well – Known Brands in the Packaging and Labeling Services Industry

These are some of the leading packaging and labeling services cum gift – wrappings brands in the United States of America and in the globe;

  • Gift Wrap Co
  • Ampelco Ribbon & Napkin Company
  • Superior Gift Wrap
  • Gift Wrap
  • Designer Greetings Inc.
  • PaperCraft By International Greetings USA
  • Sugar Paper
  • If It’s Paper
  • The Gift Wrap Company
  • Anne McGilvray & Company
  • Shamrock Retail Packaging
  • HighPoint Packaging
  • That’s a Wrap_Services
  • Indiana Ribbon & Bow
  • Interbrands Packaging‎

Economic Analysis

If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt international best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.

One good thing about starting a gift-wrapping business is that you don’t need to engage a professional to help you with economic analysis since it is a business that can be started with little or no startup capital.

If you want to start on a small scale, you can choose to start it as a part time business from your home. All you need is contacts, business cards and your catalogue. However, if you intend starting it as a full – time business person, then you should consider renting a shop in an area that is prone to high human and vehicular traffic and of course close to loads of gift shops.

The good thing about ensuring that your gift-wrapping business is visible to all is so that people may easily walk into your shop to make enquiries even if they aren’t buying at that moment. With that you will be able to build your potential client list that you can use for marketing purposes.

Starting Your Gift Wrapping Business from Scratch vs Buying a Franchise

If you are looking towards starting a gift – wrapping business, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get a franchise of gift – wrapping business to buy. Besides, starting a gift-wrapping business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small – scale businesses which usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business.

With a gift – wrapping business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a shop that is close to a major gift shop or attach yourself to several gift shops and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet when it comes to marketing your services.

It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own gift – wrapping business brand to become a successful brand with corporate and individual customers in your city.

Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Gift Wrapping Business

If you decide to start your own gift-wrapping business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established gift-wrapping businesses, gift shops, and supermarkets that also offer wrapping services for gift items purchased from their store. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape gift – wrapping services usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers. People will rather opt to wrap their own gifts themselves or go to stores to offer free wrapping services for gifts purchased from their store.

Starting a Gift Wrapping Business from Home – Legal Matters

  • Best Legal Entity to use for Gift Wrapping Business

The United States has a wide array of options that you can choose from if you are looking for a business structure to build your business on. The most important thing is that you should select a business structure that will best serve your overall business vision and mission.

A gift – wrapping business does not need to go through the stress of setting up complex legal entities that is meant for standard corporations. As a matter of fact, if you are operating your gift – wrapping business as a part-time business, then you don’t need to register the business.

If you choose to start a standard gift – wrapping business with the intention of filling for business tax, then the most – preferred legal entity to use for the business in sole – proprietorship/sole trader.

A sole trader is a business-type where one person owns and runs the entire business. It is the simplest business structure you could adopt. A sole trader is an individual entitled to all/any profits of the business but is also liable for any debt/damages incurred. It is very suitable for one-person businesses.

Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable for a Gift Wrapping Business

Choosing a name of your business is the starting point to starting a business not just in the United States, but all across the globe. When you come up with a name, it is always advisable to run the name via the Intellectual Property Office to ensure that the name you choose is not an already trademarked name.

Your business name must not have any profanity in it and it must not be similar to the name of a company that is legally registered at Companies House or else it will not be approved. If you are considering starting your own gift – wrapping business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Go Green® Gifts Wrapping & Gifts Store, LLC
  • 12 Baskets® Gifts Wrapping & Gift Store, Inc.
  • Adoral Sam® Gifts Wrapping Services, Inc.
  • Pretty Princess® Gift Wrapping & Gift Store, Inc.
  • Temple Gate® Gift Wrapping & Gift Store, Inc.
  • Ashely Linda™ Gifts Wrapping Services, Inc.
  • George Paulite® Gifts Wrapping Services, LLC
  • Lilly Rose™ Gift Wrapping and Gifts Stores, Inc.
  • Becky Allison™ Gifts Store & Gift-Wrapping Services, Inc.

Insurance Policies

In the United States, you cannot legally run a business without buying the needed insurance policy cover. With the right insurance policy cover, you can be rest assured that your business will be protected when the unforeseen happens. The truth is that if you don’t have the right insurance policy in place, when things go wrong, it can threaten the existence of your business and your business can go bankrupt.

In the United States, there are quite a number of important insurance policy covers that every business owner should consider buying and if you want to start a gift-wrapping business, here are some of the insurance policy covers you should consider buying;

  • Public Liability Insurance (PLI)

PLI protects businesses against losses suffered by customers injuring themselves or sustaining property damage due to the activity of the business. It is one of the most common types of small business insurance. It is of particular importance if you operate physical premises and regularly interact with customers in a third party or business owned premise.

  • Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

PII is for businesses and professionals that provide advice or services to customers. It protects your business against any claims for damages or legal costs which arise due to act omission or breach of professional duty in the daily course of operation. It actively protects your business if advice or a service provided negatively affects a customer.

  • Employers Liability Insurance (ELI)

ELI protects a business that employs staff from financial losses incurred when a staff member experiences a job-related illness or injury. Workplace injuries can be extremely costly for an employer if they are liable. ELI offers protections against this and it’s particularly relevant for businesses that have many staff involved in physical work.

  • Product Liability Insurance (PLI)

Product Liability insurance (PLI) policy cover protects your business from damage to property or personal injury caused by products your business/company has supplied or sold.

  • Key Man Insurance (KMI)

Key man insurance policy cover protects businesses from the loss of a key employee such as a CEO by paying out a large sum on the event of their death or incapacitation. It is effectively life insurance against anything critical happening to a key employee. If your business is entirely reliant on one employee or a small group, this insurance can often help save the business from bankruptcy in a disaster situation.

Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark

If you are considering starting your own gift – wrapping business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection / trademark. This is because it is possible for you to run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Gift Wrapping Business?

When starting a gift – wrapping business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to start the business in the United States of America. All you need is informal training that will expose you to creative ways of wrapping gifts and perhaps how to market your services.

On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your gift – wrapping business profitably, then by all means try and pursue such certification.

List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Gift Wrapping Business

The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.

If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run a standard gift – wrapping business in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws

Financing Your Gift – Wrapping Business

Starting a gift – wrapping business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale from your home or by attaching to a gift store or in a street corner within your neighborhood. So you might not need to go out of your way to raise money to start this type of business. As a matter of fact, you can start the business with little or no cash.

Even if you need cash, especially for printing business card, registering the business and purchasing gift wrappers and wrapping accessories, you can simply raise the cash from your savings or borrow from your friends and family members.

Choosing a Suitable Location for a Gift – Wrapping Business

For a gift – wrapping business, the basic guiding principle you should follow when it comes to choosing a location is a place where there is a concentration of gifts and souvenir stores, supermarkets and shopping malls. Naturally, gift-wrapping businesses do pretty well in such locations.

Before choosing a location for your gift – wrapping, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your gift – wrapping business;

  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for gift items and gift – wrapping services in the location
  • The purchasing power of the residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of gift shops and supermarkets in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community / state
  • Traffic, parking and security

Starting a Gift Wrapping Business from Home – Technical and Manpower Details

There is no special equipment needed to run this type of business except for Point of Sales (POS) Machines, shelves, and software applications. You will also need computers / laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

As regard leasing or outright purchase of a shop facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent / lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.

When it comes to hiring employees, you should make plans to hire a competent Manager (you can occupy this role) and Sales and Delivery Boy. On the average, you will need a minimum of 3 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard gift – wrapping business.

The Business Services Process Involved in Gift Wrapping Business

Gift wrapping business services process starts with knowing the size and type of gifts to be wrapped and the type and size of gift wrapper to be used. In some instances, you can be contracted to help buy, wrap and deliver the gifts on behalf of your customer.

You would need masking tape, fashionable gift wraps and labeling paper and marker. Once the gifts are properly wrapped, they are well labeled and delivered to the owner or to the recipient as requested by the customer.

If you also run a gift and souvenir store alongside your gift wrapping service, then you will have to do everything to convince your customer to hire and pay for your gift wrapping services because gift stores that offer gift wrapping services usually do it for free as a premium service for attracting customers to their gift store.

Starting a Gift Wrapping Business from Home – The Marketing Plan

  • Marketing ideas and strategies

Running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a gift – wrapping business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because most gift shops usually offer free gift – wrapping services as premium services to their customers.

These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your gift – wrapping business;

  • Introduce your gift – wrapping by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to event planners, gift and souvenir shops, shopping malls, supermarkets, and other key stake holders throughout the city where your gift – wrapping is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your services
  • Engage in road shows in targeted communities from time to time to market your services
  • Join local gift stores cum gift – wrapping owners associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)

Factors That Will Help You Get the Right Product Pricing

One key factor that will help you offer your gift – wrapping services at rock bottom prices is to purchase your items (gift wrappers, masking tape, scissors, markers and other related items) directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.

Another strategy that will help you offer your gift – wrapping services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, attach yourself to a major gift shop and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name.

Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products. You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.

Strategies to Boost Your Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness.

If your intention of starting a gift – wrapping business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national brand by opening chains of gift – wrapping stores, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and boosting to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your gift – wrapping;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and related magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs if you have the financial means
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your products
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your gift – wrapping business.
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List your gift – wrapping business in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise your gift – wrapping business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position your Flexi Banners in strategic positions in the location where your gift – wrapping business or shop is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks / vans are well branded with your company logo.

Joy Nwokoro

Researcher / Senior Writer at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Joy Nwokoro is a Freelance Business Journalist, researcher, translator and sales trainer who have worked with numerous clients amongst which is Women in World Banking, a business research NGO in New york, America. She holds a bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the Abia State University, Nigeria.
Joy Nwokoro