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Essentials For Starting Out – Part 4

By Jake Kirk • Friday 30th August 2013

Kite's Top 5 Sealing Tools

Welcome back everyone, to the penultimate part of our Friday five blog series 'Essentials for Starting Out', designed to help start-up businesses (particularly in the e-commerce sector) with their initial packaging needs. Our picks have been chosen to cover a wide range of industries, but more specifically to keep costs low and pack products with the greatest amount of ease. Last week we covered protection, and how to pack your products in the best possible way to ensure minimal damage in transit. Thanks to everyone who gave it a read, hopefully it made a difference to your business or sparked ideas for your next business venture. We love hearing from all our readers, customers and non-customers so if you'd like to get in touch for any reason follow us on Twitter - @kitepackaging #fridayfive.

In this part of Friday's Top 5 we'll guide you through the key sealing equipment we think is necessary for e-commerce start-ups to go forth and send out products, safe in the knowledge they are securely fastened in. And, as always, we'll be featuring a piece of software that has been designed to help online businesses manage their websites and campaigns better, to give you a head-start in the competition.

Next Friday marks the end of the blog series, and we'll be looking at equipment which is a great consideration as your business expands. Now how to seal that box!

Professional Finish: Printed Tape

Printed Tape

When starting a new business it's important to get your brand out there, you do this through your website, marketing, why not your packaging? Often companies shy away from branded packaging when they're starting out because of the costs they incur, however printed tape is a cheap and easy way of promoting your brand without spending lots of money. Printed on to white polypropylene tape for higher clarity we have noticed a growing trend for businesses placing not only their logo but also a QR code on their tapes for customers to scan and find out more about the brand (via a video or social media feed).

Worried about long lead times on such a product? Have no fear, because Kite operates in the UK printed custom tape such as this will be delivered within 10-15 working days after the artwork has been approved. There is also a choice of fragile, handle with care and other standard printed tapes to choose from.

Bulky and Heavy Items: Strapping


For bulky items and heavy duty boxes - such as pallet boxes or export boxes - where tape might peel off under the pressure, strapping tends to be a popular option. Polypropylene strapping is perfect for light to medium use and therefore most suited to start-up businesses; it is designed in such a way that means it has high-resistance to snapping. You can apply the strapping by hand, and will need to seal the strapping with strapping seals (metal or plastic) which ensure the strapping is tightly fastened - reducing the risk of boxes falling or popping open. You can also apply strapping using a strapping machine - more about them in next week's post.

Small Goods: Cable Ties

Cable Ties

Cable ties come in a variety of substrates from plastic to metal. However the most common one is of course the plastic cable ties, these are perfect for securing polythene bags (which we mentioned in part two) or even small items inside a package, such as pencils, together. Another great use for cable ties within the e-commerce sector is as a free gift with products that need securing in to place. This could be anything, from Christmas lights to garden accessories to keep plants upright. A small token in the package such as these send the message to the customer that you as a business have thought about the application of the product and want to make it easier for them.

Busy Packing Operation: Staples


If your business has taken off and you have a high turn-around of product with a limited resource (i.e. packers) then you may want to consider a sealing method that speeds up the operation, as often the longest part of the packing operation is taping up boxes. This is when staples make for a brilliant alternative, as they are easily applied and seal up even triple wall boxes - offering a great sealing method, which is also mess-free and secure. The most popular use for staples is with heavy goods, however it can be used for all kinds of different products, although not recommended for food packaging.

Food: Glue and Solvent-Based Tape

Glue Gun

The food industry has two key challenges - temperature and health and safety. This means all factors of packaging needs to be considered, including the sealing. If you are dead set on using tape, solvent is the best choice for food stored in chilled atmospheres as it doesn't lose it tack. Tapes such as acrylic will peel off in cool temperatures - increasing the risk of products falling out of cartons and being damaged. Another choice is glue, applied using a hot glue gun this glue will not budge and is recommended for making packs look more presentable. It is also a hygienic way of sealing up boxes that contain fresh food, choose 'Fast Set Glue' which dries quickly to speed up the packing operation.

Finally.Our Software Pick for E-Commerce: HubSpot

HubSpot describes itself as 'all-in-one inbound marketing software' and caters to all businesses large and small. It really does do exactly what it says on the tin, offering a fully integrated platform which covers blogs, email, eBooks, webinars, landing pages and analytics for SEO, social and marketing. It also has a lead tracking feature which shows you which parts of your marketing activity is generating leads. The customer service Hubspot provides is second-to-none, and they make sure you are fully versed in writing e-books, creating interesting content and much more, ranked #1 in customer satisfaction by marketers it is easy to see why over 10,000 customers have purchased the software. Hubspot offers a free trial service, and pricing for the basic package (recommended for small businesses) is £140 per month.

If you have any comments about this post, or would like to get in touch, follow us on Twitter - @kitepackaging

Please note that Kite Packaging is not connected to or endorses HubSpot

Jake Kirk

Jake Kirk

30th August • 2013