10 things your packaging should be:
Obviously, your packaging should be as attractive and professional looking as possible. Do some research on packaging for handmade products, pay attention to design trends and come up with something that is in line with you branding and looks good.
Give some real thought to your packaging and how it will function with the public. Example: One of my products is drawstring bags. If I'm at a show, I know people are going to want to touch them so I package them in cute, "doctored up" plastic bags and leave out a sample that people can touch and have a good look at.
Customers should be able to recognize your packaging as soon as they look at it and know that it's yours. Think about how your packaging will translate to each of your products (if you make more than one product). If you make only one product now, think about how it will work if you add another kind of product. Will your packaging work as you grow?
This is something that may or may not be a consideration for you. Much of my brand is all about recycling and being environmentally conscious, so most of my packaging and shipping materials consist of recycled products. This is not a requirement. Being eco conscious is an individual choice.
reflect your brand
Design, colors, font, typography, papers, boxes, plastic, cellophane, etc., are all aspects of your brand. Branding takes thought, reflection. If you're just starting a business, it's never too early to start thinking about packaging and branding.
reflect your customer
Who are your customers? Who buys what you make? Are they environmentally conscious folks? Then be sure to indicate that your products and product packaging are made from recycled materials. Are they upscale, saavy shoppers? Then make your packaging sleek and modern. Whomever your customers are, make your packaging in line with their sensibilities.
Your packaging idea may be brilliant, but if it costs more than the product itself, it's probably time to go back to the drawing board. Also, packaging should be factored into your product price.
Research. Figure out the quality of different types of packaging. You don't want your packaging to look like it's from the dollar store. Certainly, there's nothing wrong with the dollar store. They know their customer and their brand, but I'm assuming that you're trying to attract a different customer base.
Give just the facts m'am. People need and want to know the facts, particularly if you make body products. What are the ingredients? If you make jewelry, what materials did you use? If you make plush dolls, indicate that they're made from recycled materials? And what are they stuffed with? You get the picture. Your tags and labels should have the facts - such as your business name, name of the product, materials used, size. It all depends on what your product is, but you get the gist...be informative. :)
reflect your product
All of your products should be in packaging that is appropriate for the item. If you make jewelry, you product should be in a box or container that shows the piece in it's best light. A cellophane bag wouldn't work to it's advantage. This should be an obvious point, but you'd be surprised at some of the packaging that's out there. In defense of packaging that isn't so great, we handmakers are always learning and working at improving our products, packaging and brands. We all started somewhere and improvement takes time, dedication and many other things. Do research, keep learning, strive to improve, be gentle with yourself and know that Rome wasn't built in a day. Best wishes to you and your business! :)
PS: These are just tips and/or suggestions that will hopefully help you on your packaging journey. You are the final decision maker with regard to what elements you want your packaging to have.