10 Small Manufacturing Business Ideas

The government has promised to create more manufacturing jobs in America, so there could potentially be a rise in the number of manufacturing careers available in the U.S quite soon. However, regardless of whether or not the government’s plans come to fruition, there are plenty of small-scale manufacturing business opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in small to medium startup business ideas. We’ve put together a list of some small manufacturing business ideas to consider if you are interested in starting a manufacturing firm of your own.


Toys are relatively small and they can be made from any number of materials. They can be excellent products for small manufacturing companies to focus on, and there’s always going to be a need for new toys and games for kids. You could manufacture a range of toys including:

  • Educational toys
  • Technology-based toys
  • Toys for babies and young toddlers
  • Sensory toys
  • …and much more.

Smartphone Accessories

Everybody today owns a smartphone, and smartphone users are always going to need accessories to go with their tech. Many of today’s modern smartphone models are quite expensive and as a result, those who own them are always looking for newer and stronger ways to keep them protected. This means that smartphone accessories are excellent products to manufacture since they are often easy to make with some basic materials and there is high demand. You might manufacture:

  • Chargers and charging cables
  • Adaptors, such as lightning to HDMI or Aux-Lightning adaptors
  • Screen protectors
  • Gorilla glass screen protectors
  • Basic phone cases
  • Waterproof phone cases


There are many opportunities in the world of textiles for those who wish to start their own manufacturing business. You could focus on manufacturing:

  • Raw fabric
  • Clothing
  • Soft furnishings
  • Home accessories
  • Furniture upholstery
  • Pet accessories

As a textile manufacturer, you can work with a wide range of clients and customers depending on the kind of products that you produce. You might sell products such as clothing or home furnishings to retailers, or provide other manufacturers or individuals with raw fabrics from which to create products.


If you want to start a manufacturing business that focuses on larger scale products, you may wish to consider creating custom furniture products. Usually, you will work directly with individuals to create custom furniture products to request, which could include:

  • Wooden furniture items
  • General home furnishings like couches and armchairs
  • Bedroom furniture
  • Kids furniture
  • Office furniture

Once your business is more established, furniture manufacturing has a lot of potential to grow as you will be able to create a process that allows you to manufacture more furniture items on a larger scale, at which point you may be able to consider the option of selling to retailers and other businesses in larger numbers.


If you are interested in fashion, manufacturing shoes could be an ideal business venture for you. Shoes can be created from a variety of different materials and they are always needed, so you can be sure of demand. This is also an ideal route to go down if you are interested in creating your own fashion brand. Focus on a few different styles of shoe, or create a brand image that is centered around one type of shoe, such as:

  • Sneakers
  • Heels
  • Dress shoes
  • Work boots

Shoes are an ideal product to create on an assembly line, and you can implement lean manufacturing principles here in order to produce more products in a shorter space of time and boost efficiency. Consider learning more about lean principles and safety, and how to implement them in your manufacturing business at Kettering University Online.


Makeup is another product that is growing in demand and can be fairly easy to manufacture if you know or are able to employ staff who know how to do it. You can manufacture makeup from a variety of different supplies. You might want to provide a general range of makeup products or focus on one specific makeup product, such as:

  • Lipsticks or lip gloss
  • Foundation
  • Bronzer
  • Blush
  • Eyeshadow palettes
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara

Most makeup manufacturers will produce a range of products, but you can still do well focusing on one product only. You might also want to consider ethical and organic makeup products that are growing in demand.

Hair Products

Another field in the beauty industry where there are plenty of manufacturing business opportunities is hair care. Although there are hundreds of different shampoos, hair treatments, and other hair products available on the shelves today, people who use them are always looking for something new. And, there are still many gaps in the market that you might be able to fill, such as:

  • Ethical and organic hair products
  • Vegan hair products
  • Vegan and natural hair colorants


Manufacturing computers and other technological devices might seem reserved only for larger companies, but in fact, it can be done very successfully on a small scale. In fact, massive tech names that we know today like Dell and Apple started off as small, niche tech companies. As a small-scale tech manufacturer, you could produce niche tech products and sell them directly to consumers. You might create:

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Smartwatches
  • Smart speakers


Manufacturing might not be the first industry that springs to mind when you consider a locksmith, but that’s exactly what these professionals do. If you have the necessary equipment and the expertise to make locks and keys, you might want to consider starting a business as a locksmith. You could do anything from creating locks on a large scale for new build houses or making extra sets of keys for local homeowners and business owners.


Eyeglasses are coming back in fashion and even for those who need them for health reasons, they are often seen as more of a fashion statement and a way to express oneself than a medical necessity. You could manufacture eyeglass frames and sell them to:

  • Fashion companies
  • Optical companies
  • Online eyeglass stores
  • Directly to consumers

Starting a manufacturing business doesn’t mean that you need access to huge factories and long production lines. In fact, there are many products that you can manufacture successfully by yourself from home.

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