50 manufacturing ideas for small businesses


President Donald Trump has pledged to create more manufacturing jobs in America. So there could be even more manufacturing opportunities in the United States soon. But whether or not his plans are successful, there are plenty of small-scale manufacturing opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in a small-scale startup idea. Here are 50 different ideas for small-scale manufacturing businesses to consider.

Manufacturing business ideas

Toy maker

Toys are relatively small and can be made with any number of materials. So they can be great products that small manufacturing companies can focus on.

Manufacturer of smartphone accessories

Likewise, smartphone accessories such as cases and chargers are popular and can be made with basic materials.

Manufacturer of plastic containers

With basic equipment for processing and shaping plastics, you can produce bottles and other containers for sale to consumers or even other businesses.

Textile producer

You can also focus on producing raw fabrics or other textile products for sale to individuals or businesses for use in making more finished products.

Furniture maker

If you want to make products on a larger scale, you can focus on creating custom home furnishing products for sale. Then create a process to make more furniture on a larger scale.


If you are a skilled carpenter, you can also make a number of different products from the material, from tables to small knick-knacks. Again, creating a simple process to replicate these products should help increase production and reduce costs.

Niche snack maker

If you have a healthy snack idea to sell, you can follow in the footsteps of the founders of Stacy’s Pita Chips and rent a bakery space to make your products.

Candy maker

Or if you are interested in making less healthy foods, you can make your own candy and package it for sale.

Bread maker

Bakers, you can start your own bread making business and sell baked goods to consumers or other food businesses.

Olive oil production

Olive oil is another food item that you can produce and sell with just a few ingredients and equipment.

Canning maker

Or you can focus on making canned food products like jams and jellies for sale to consumers.

Shoe maker

If you want to make wearable products for sale, you can make shoes from a variety of different materials. Focus on a few styles of shoes and you can probably create an assembly line process to increase production.

Belt Manufacturer

Likewise, you can produce simple belts for sale to consumers or wholesale to clothing retailers.

Leather Manufacturer

Or you can turn rawhide products to sell to those who make finished products like shoes and belts.

Wig Manufacturer

You can also make wigs and hairpieces for sale to consumers or hair salons.

Manufacturer of hair products

Or you can make other hair products like shampoo or hairspray and package them for sale to consumers.

Makeup manufacturing

Makeup is another product that you can potentially make from a variety of different supplies.

Fertilizer production

You can also make your own gardening and landscaping products like fertilizer and compost for sale to local farmers or homeowners.

Chalk maker

Or you can make chalk products with just a few materials and equipment.

Producer of technological devices intended directly for consumers

The manufacture of computers and other technology products may seem suitable only for large companies. But if the story of how Dell computers started is an indication, you can actually make your own niche tech devices and sell them directly to consumers.

Producer of electrical fittings

You can also make electrical fittings for light bulbs and other electronic products.


If you have the equipment to produce locks and keys, you can start a business as a locksmith or make additional keys for homeowners or local businesses.

Musical instrument maker

For those looking for a more specialized product to make, you can start a small manufacturing company to make various musical instruments.


Or you could specialize in making mechanical watches and clocks in different styles and sizes.

Eyewear manufacturer

You can also make eyeglass frames and / or lenses for sale to consumers.

Air freshener production

Air fresheners also come in many different shapes and flavors. So you can make your own with some basic materials and supplies.

Sports equipment manufacturer

You can also specialize in manufacturing various types of sports equipment ranging from balls to protective gear.


If you are looking for a more creative manufacturing business, you can invest in an embroidery machine to create custom embroidered products like Blue Soda Promo does.

Etsy Seller

Etsy recently changed its rules to allow the sale of certain manufactured products on the site. So you can produce items like props or even craft supplies and sell them on the site.


There are a wide variety of paper products you can make and sell, from cards and envelopes to books and magazines.

Bag maker

You can also make bags from a variety of sources and materials and then sell them to consumers or businesses to use for packaging.

Box maker

Or you can make boxes from cardboard and various other materials and then sell those boxes to businesses that need packaging equipment.

Jewelry maker

Jewelry is another popular product that you can make at home or in a small studio.

Glass bead production

You can also make your own beads from glass and similar materials and then sell them to individuals or jewelry makers.

Clothing manufacturing

If you are able to sew your own clothes, you can produce your own lines of clothing for sale to consumers or wholesale in local stores.

Kitchen utensil maker

Kitchen utensils are relatively small items that you can make from a variety of different materials. So you can start your own business specializing in a specific type and style.

Photo frame maker

You can also make personalized photo frames from various materials and even offer personalized framing services.

Carpet maker

If you want to make items on a larger scale, you can make carpets or rugs from various fiber materials.

Pillow manufacturer

You can also start your own pillow manufacturing business.

Diaper production

Or you can focus on smaller items and make items like loose diapers.

Ink Cartridge Manufacturer

For those looking to make office supplies, you can make printer ink cartridges.

Drug manufacturer

Although the pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, it is possible to manufacture drugs and supplements for sale.

Chemical production

For skilled chemists, you can also make chemicals for companies that use them in various products and processes, although you will likely still have to deal with a lot of regulations.

Soap and detergent production

Soap is another product you can mix and manufacture as a small business.


Or you can mix cement or make cement blocks for sale to construction companies.

Tool maker

You can also focus your efforts on making a wide variety of small tools and accessories.

Nail and bolt manufacturer

For those looking to specialize in a smaller product, you can make small nails and bolts in bulk.

Auto parts manufacturer

You may also specialize in making tools and parts for cars and automakers.

Roofing material manufacturer

Or you could make shingles or other materials used by roofers to repair or build roofs for homes.

Ceramic tile manufacturer

You might also specialize in making ceramic tile for homeowners or home improvement companies.

Manufacturing Photo via Shutterstock

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