Have you ever thought of how tasking it must be to get repeat purchases as a business when products or services you offer can only be bought once? Though most business models revolve on repeat purchases with varying periods keeping customers is no mean feat. So if you’re looking to start a business that entails a significant level of repeat purchases then packaging supplies is the way to go. Most packaging supplies tend to be thrown away after use creating the need to purchase more packaging material. Thus, this type of business can mean sales virtually every day. Herein I discuss how you can start this business.


You’ve got to do your homework to see what sells and is in-demand in your area of operation. The idea is to have a diversified range of packaging material so that you become the choice destination for clients looking for different types of packaging material. Since you’ll be endeavouring to push sales of low-cost packaging material you’ll have to push large volumes. Some of the broad ranges of packaging material you can focus on are plastic bags, cardboard boxes, cake boxes, aluminium foil containers, wrapping material, posting and general packaging material, amongst many others. Remember I said you ought to find out what sells in your area of operation.

The other homework you’ll have to do is to find out the best and affordable manufacturers and/or suppliers. You must be well-networked to ensure you never run out of stock – packaging material tends to be fast-moving goods. You would also need to have a wide network of clients that you supply regularly from individuals to other businesses. If possible opening up accounts with manufacturers or wholesalers can enable you to have a guarantee of stock as and whenever you need it. As for the retailers, you can enter agreements with them in which they sign up for regular minimum order quantities. That way you secure your clientele and always have sales in the pipeline.

Key Requirements

Depending on the location of your home you could run this business from home. Otherwise, you can set up shop somewhere in local business areas where you know most prospective clients roam around. You can come up with low-cost ways of setting up shop like setting up inexpensive makeshift tents or sheds. You’ll also most probably start getting orders via phone or other media as the business grows. That would mean you must come with a distribution or deliveries framework. You can opt to have a website but social media accounts are imperative. What I’ve noticed about this type of business is that it thrives on referrals. So you find that if you offer excellent service your business will market itself effortlessly. You’ll find that your being a packaging supplies provider will become the key reference to your business location and its vicinity.

Human Resources

Totally up to your discretion with respect to your choice of location, your business approach and your standpoint regarding finances. Some of the people I know in this business operate as family businesses. This, of course, is a strategic way of limiting operating costs. On average at least 3 dedicated individuals can run this business smoothly. This business tends to self-market so that somehow lessens the need for specific human resources in that regard.


It’s quite possible to start this business with very lean costs. Essentially you’ll need money for sourcing your startup stock whose size is up to your discretion. You could start off by leveraging on social media and operating from home and you take it up from there. Not much in terms of financial resources is needed to start so much that you can start on a lean budget.


Earlier on I talked about how repeat purchases are a key feature of this business. Most packaging materials are disposable and thus the need for them will always be there. This implies that market demand is always there virtually every day. How you niche, your sourcing framework and your supply chain are some of what’ll determine how much market share you’ll command.


Business registration is always important so do start with that. Most packaging material tends to raise environmental concerns when it comes to disposal. That’s why some types of packaging materials such as kay-lite were banned locally sometime in 2017. It’s important to adhere to any such regulations to avoid tussles with authorities like EMA. Actually, in order to boost your corporate image, you might have to explore ways of incorporating recycling frameworks in your business. This you can do by incentivising clients to return used material for recycling. Thus you’ll be facilitating the easy collection of material for recycling – that’s if your manufacturers recycle. You could still forward collected used the material to those who do recycle if your manufacturers don’t.

There are several local packaging material suppliers that you can contact to start building your network. It’s important to have a broad network of manufacturers or wholesalers since you’ll be mainly active as a retailer. There’s one company that I know that specializes in manufacturing different types of packaging material, check out www.multiplestar.co.zw. All the best if you’re setting out to start this type of business.