Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on May 18, 2022 Updated on November 27, 2023
$8,550 - $19,100
$120,000 - $255,000 p.a.
Time to build
1 – 3 months
$36,000 - $77,000 p.a.
Do you love shopping for gifts just so you can wrap them creatively? Most people don’t! That’s why the gift packaging market is projected to grow more than 40% over the next decade.
Gift wrapping is a skill and an art, and if you have a knack for it, you could start a gift wrapping business, ride this growth wave and turn your abilities into a rewarding career. You could open your own kiosk and get business from hundreds of passersby every day.
But before you break out the tape and scissors, you’ll need to learn how to start and grow a business. Fortunately, all the information you need to launch a successful gift wrapping business is packaged into this step-by-step guide.
Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.
Growth forecast –The global gift packaging industry is projected to expand more than 40% by 2032 to reach $38 billion.
Trends and challenges
Trends in the gift wrapping industry include:
The use of foliage and fabric ribbons in gift wrapping is increasing. Modern designs and polka dot wrapping paper are also trending.
The rise in purchasing power around the globe is creating more demand for customized wrapping paper and packaging options.
Challenges in the gift wrapping industry include:
Gift boxes are the fastest-growing segment, reducing demand for gift wrapping services, but presenting an opportunity to offer a high-demand product for sale.
The increase in online gift shopping is reducing mall traffic, presenting a challenge for gift wrapping businesses.
How much does it cost to start a gift wrapping business?
Startup costs for a gift wrapping business range from $8,500 to $19,000. Costs include renting a kiosk or a store, and an inventory of gift wrapping paper.
If you want to hone your gift wrapping skills, you can take online gift wrapping courses through Udemy.
You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your gift wrapping business, including:
A wrapping table
Setting up a business name and corporation
$150 - $200
Business licenses and permits
$100 - $300
Business cards and brochures
$200 - $300
$1,000 - $3,000
Kiosk or store rental deposit
$2,000 - $5,000
Inventory and equipment
$5,000 - $10,000
$8,550 - $19,100
How much can you earn from a gift wrapping business?
If you are properly skilled, you should be able to charge about $10 per gift, depending on the size. You can sell rolls of premium wrapping paper for about $15 per roll. Your profit margin after product costs and overhead should be about 30%.
In your first year or two, you could average three gift wraps and $300 in sold products per day, bringing in $120,000 in annual revenue. This would mean $36,000 in profit, assuming that 30% margin. As your business gains traction, sales could climb to an average of $700 per day. With annual revenue of $255,000, you’d make a healthy profit of nearly $77,000.
What barriers to entry are there?
The only barrier to entry for a gift wrapping business is the competition you’ll face for your products from large gift stores.
Related Business Ideas
If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
Now that you know what’s involved in starting a gift wrapping business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market.
Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.
Why? Identify an opportunity
Research gift wrapping businesses in your area to examine their products and services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a gift wrapping business that also makes customized gift baskets or offers fabric bows.
You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as gift wrapping for corporate clients, or an online store to sell wrapping paper.
This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.
What? Determine your products or services
In addition to gift wrapping services, you can sell wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, tissue paper, gift boxes, gift bags, and greeting cards.
How much should you charge for gift wrapping?
You should be able to charge an average of $10 to wrap gifts. Prices for the wrapping paper and other items you sell will vary. After all your costs, you should aim for a profit margin of about 30%.
Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Who? Identify your target market
Your target market will be broad, so you should spread out your marketing to include sites like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You could also reach out to major local retailers and big box stores to see if they might be interested in a partnership.
Where? Choose your business premises
You’ll need to rent out a kiosk in a mall or a storefront. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.
When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:
Central location accessible via public transport
Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Step 3: Brainstorm a Gift Wrapping Business Name
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:
Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
Including keywords, such as “gift wrapping” or “wrapping and cards”, boosts SEO
Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “The Wrapping Room” over “Baby Gift Wraps”
Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.
Step 4: Create a Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
Executive Summary: A concise overview highlighting the gift wrapping business’s key objectives, market position, and financial projections.
Business Overview: A detailed description of the gift wrapping business, including its mission, vision, and core values, providing a comprehensive understanding of its purpose.
Product and Services: Clearly defining the range of gift wrapping services offered, including customization options, materials used, and any additional features.
Market Analysis: A thorough examination of the target market, including demographics, trends, and potential customer needs, to inform business strategy and positioning.
Competitive Analysis: Evaluating key competitors in the gift wrapping industry, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and differentiating factors to gain a competitive edge.
Sales and Marketing: Outlining the strategies for promoting and selling gift wrapping services, including pricing, distribution channels, and promotional campaigns.
Management Team: Introducing the individuals responsible for leading and managing the gift wrapping business, highlighting their qualifications and roles.
Operations Plan: Detailing the day-to-day operations of the business, covering aspects such as production processes, inventory management, and quality control.
Financial Plan: Providing a comprehensive overview of the gift wrapping business’s financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, and profit margins.
Appendix: Including any additional information, documents, or references that support and complement the gift wrapping business plan, such as market research data or supplementary financial details.
If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.
Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!
Choose where to register your company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to gift wrapping businesses.
If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Choose your business structure
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your gift wrapping business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
Here are the main options:
Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)– Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.
The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.
It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.
Step 7: Fund your Business
Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:
Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.
Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a gift wrapping business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties. If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your gift wrapping business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.
Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.
Step 10: Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.
Here are some types of insurance to consider:
General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.
As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.
Essential software and tools
Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.
You may want to use industry-specific software, such as LS Retail, Vend, or Retail Pro, to manage purchasing, inventory, sales, and invoicing.
If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.
Develop your website
Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.
You can create your own website using website builders. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.
They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.
For your gift wrapping business, the marketing strategy should focus on showcasing the creativity, elegance, and uniqueness of your wrapping services. Emphasize your ability to transform any gift into a visually stunning piece, the range of styles and materials you offer, and any special services like custom themes, corporate gift wrapping, or eco-friendly options.
Professional Branding: Your branding should convey creativity, attention to detail, and sophistication. This includes your logo, business cards, and promotional materials, as well as the presentation of your wrapping station or storefront (if applicable).
Direct Outreach: Connect with local businesses, department stores, event planners, and corporate clients who may require professional gift wrapping services, especially during holiday seasons or for special events.
Digital Presence and Online Marketing
Professional Website and SEO: Develop an attractive website showcasing your portfolio of wrapped gifts, customer testimonials, and the variety of services you offer. Use SEO best practices to optimize your site for local searches related to gift wrapping services.
Social Media Engagement: Utilize platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which are visually focused, to showcase your beautifully wrapped gifts. Use Facebook for sharing customer testimonials, wrapping tips, and seasonal promotions.
Content Marketing and Engagement
Gift Wrapping Blog: Share blog posts about creative gift wrapping ideas, the latest trends in gift presentation, and tutorials on basic wrapping techniques.
Email Newsletters: Keep your clients informed about your services, special holiday offers, and wrapping tips through regular newsletters.
Video Tutorials: Create video content showing your wrapping process, offering tips, or demonstrating creative wrapping techniques.
Experiential and In-Person Engagements
Gift Wrapping Workshops: Host workshops or classes where you teach various gift wrapping techniques, attracting potential customers and sharing your expertise.
Pop-Up Wrapping Stations: Set up temporary wrapping stations in high-traffic areas like shopping malls, corporate offices, or holiday markets.
Collaborations and Community
Partnerships with Retail Stores: Partner with local gift shops, bookstores, or department stores to offer in-store wrapping services.
Collaboration with Event Planners: Network with event and wedding planners to offer your services for special events, adding an elegant touch to gifts and giveaways.
Customer Relationship and Loyalty Programs
Loyalty Rewards for Regular Customers: Implement a loyalty program that offers discounts or a free service after a certain number of transactions.
Referral Incentives: Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by offering incentives to customers who refer new clients to your business.
Promotions and Advertising
Targeted Local Advertising: Use local newspapers, community bulletin boards, and online platforms to promote your services, especially during gift-giving seasons like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
Seasonal Promotions: Offer special promotions or package deals during holidays and festive seasons, which are peak times for gift giving.
Focus on USPs
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your gift wrapping business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.
Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your gift wrapping business could be:
Professional gift wrapping to please your corporate clients
Gift wrapping and supplies for all your holiday needs
Hate gift wrapping? We got you.
You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a gift wrapping business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in gift wrapping for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections.
The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in gift wrapping. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership.
Step 12: Build Your Team
If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a gift wrapping business include:
Store Clerks – wrap gifts, make sales
General Manager – scheduling, ordering, accounting
Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media
At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.
Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.
Step 13: Run a Gift Wrapping Business – Start Making Money!
Most people dislike gift-wrapping, so if you’re in the minority, why not start a gift wrapping business and have some fun? Gift wrapping is a large and growing industry, and you could grab your share of the market. You’ll have to put in some hours and have a passion for being creative and working with people, but you can build a lucrative gift wrapping operation.
You’ve now got the required entrepreneurial insight, so it’s time to get out the supplies and start your successful gift wrapping business.
Gift Wrapping Business FAQs
Is a gift wrapping business profitable?
Yes, a gift wrapping business can be profitable, but you’ll probably need to sell wrapping paper and other gift wrapping supplies to be successful.
How to differentiate your gift wrapping business from competitors?
To differentiate your gift wrapping business from competitors, you could focus on unique and creative wrapping techniques, use eco-friendly and sustainable materials, offer personalized and customized wrapping services, or provide additional services such as gift delivery or gift selection assistance.
How to find a clients and gift wrapping orders?
To find clients and gift wrapping orders, you could advertise your services through social media platforms, online marketplaces, or by networking with local businesses and event planners.
Can I start gift wrapping business from home?
Yes, you can start a gift wrapping business from home as long as you comply with any zoning or licensing regulations in your area. You may need to invest in supplies and equipment such as wrapping paper, ribbons, scissors, and a work table, and ensure that you have a dedicated workspace that is clean, organized, and free from distractions.
What is the best material for gift wrapping?
The best material for gift wrapping depends on personal preferences and the occasion. Common options include wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, or fabric. Some eco-friendly alternatives include recycled paper or reusable fabric wraps.
How to Start a Gift Wrapping Business
Decide if the Business Is Right for You
Hone Your Idea
Brainstorm a Gift Wrapping Business Name
Create a Business Plan
Register Your Business
Register for Taxes
Fund your Business
Apply for Licenses/Permits
Open a Business Bank Account
Get Business Insurance
Prepare to Launch
Build Your Team
Run a Gift Wrapping Business - Start Making Money!
Gift Wrapping Business FAQs
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