30 Small Manufacturing Business Ideas to Start in 2023

There are a lot of people who have fewer budgets but want to do something of their own or wish to start a manufacturing business or it's burned out of passion. But the question that comes to their mind is what kind of small scale manufacturing they can opt for?

Starting a big business requires a lot of money and involves equally high risk. On the contrary, a small scale business needs fewer funds and involved fewer risks. It is always advisable to first start with a small scale business and then expand as you generate revenue.

In most cases, a manufacturing business requires reasonable capital investment in the initial stage. However, once the business is successfully established, the profits make up the start-up investment in a short period of time.

Things might seem easy and simple, but when you actually implement them, then you realize how tough it is to plan even a small scale business. Don’t worry, all you need is right planning to keep the plan working as you wish.  

You should always know your budget, then calculate the fixed expenses, know how much production needs to be done initially and also add petty expenditures. Follow up regularly as per your plan so that you can make the changes instantly if anything goes off track. If you follow your list diligently, then success is not far from you. 

Food and beverage production

Small manufacturing business ideas such as food and beverage production is the process of creating, you guessed it, food and beverages.

The food and beverage industry is a large and complex sector that covers everything from agriculture to manufacturing to retailing. It employs millions worldwide and generates billions in economic activity each year. The industry is also one of the most important users of natural resources, including water, land, and energy.

Here’s a list of nutty food production ideas you may have never even considered: 
  • Food coloring
  • Potato powder
  • Soybean meat
  • Bakery
  • Banana wafer manufacturing
  • Iodized salt manufacturing
  • Mineral water
  • Packaged drinking water
  • Baking powder
Food production and beverage businesses come in all shapes and sizes, but all have at least one thing in common:

The global market size of the food and beverage industry in 2020 reached $258.80 billion. By 2028, that market share is expected to increase to $529.66 billion with a CAGR of 9.5%. That’s a lot of cheddar cheese. Fancy grabbing yourself a piece?

Hornby Organic

Hornby Organic makes organic energy bars which they sell via their online stores and at multiple retailers.

Why should you care? They originally started their business producing and selling from an old garage. If your manufacturing startup ideas involved getting started with food production, Hornby Organic proves that action — even if it means working in a garage — is better than daydreaming about starting your business. 

Textile producer

How about some manufacturing business ideas that involve supplying other manufacturers? Now that’s going off the beaten path.

A textile-producing business manufactures textiles and materials made from natural or synthetic fibers. The most common textile fibers are: 
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Wool
  • Silk
These fibers can be used to make a variety of products, including clothing, upholstery, and carpets.

Textile production is a complex process that involves spinning the fibers into yarns, weaving or knitting the yarns into fabric, and then finishing the fabric to achieve the desired properties. The type of fiber, the type of yarn, the type of fabric construction, and the finishing treatments all play a role in the final performance of the textile.

Even though the industry’s market share in 2022 was $42.4 billion, there’s been a downward trend in the market’s growth over the past few years. Between 2017 and 2022, it decreased by 1.4%. Furniture maker.

A furniture maker is one of those manufacturing opportunities that produces and sells furniture for your home, office, and anywhere else you can think furniture is required.

The furniture maker may use various materials to create their products, including wood, metal, glass, and upholstery. Some furniture makers also offer custom-made furniture services to their customers. Furniture making is a centuries-old craft that has been passed down through generations.

There are many different types of furniture that you can make. Some popular options include: 
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Beds
  • Dressers
  • Cabinets
  • Picture frames
  • Jewelry boxes (it surprised us too)
If you offer custom-made furniture services, your customers can choose their furniture’s style, material, and finish. This allows you to create one-of-a-kind pieces that they will cherish for years.
The market value of furniture making

In 2022, the furniture-making industry’s revenue reached a massive $25.7 billion in the US. However, since 2017, there has been a decline in the market size by 1.6%.

Real-life manufacturers in furniture production — NatureWall

All-natural wall paneling, from Slatwall to 3D paneling, is sustainably manufactured by NatureWall.

What can you learn from them? Certain e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, cater more to small manufacturing businesses just starting. According to NatureWall, 90% of their business came from that platform.

Candle making

Making candles is one of the greats for small manufacturing business ideas. You can make beautiful candles to sell at local craft fairs or online with a few supplies and some creativity. Candle-making is a relaxing hobby that can easily be turned into a profitable business. Here’s what you’ll need to consider when getting started: 
  • Choosing the right wax
  • Choosing the right wicks
  • Melting the wax properly
  • Sourcing fragrance oils
  • Molding the melted wax
  • A space for cooling
  • Trimming the wicks properly
Once you can answer these small problems, you can consider yourself well and truly in the candle-making game.

In 2020, the scented candles market size was valued at $533.5 million globally. Over the next several years, market value predictions suggest continued growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%.


A craft-making business is one of the small manufacturing business ideas that also focuses on creating handmade items.

Many people start a craft-making business because they have a passion for crafting and want to share their creations with others. First, you’ll need to determine what type of crafts you want to make. There are many different options available, so it’s important to choose something you’re passionate about and feel confident in your ability to create.

Here’s a small list of niches to get you started: 
  • Designer Bindi making
  • Woodworking
  • Glass Bead Production
  • Embroidery
In 2021, craft-making had a market value of $241.1 billion in the United States alone. By 2027, this is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.14% — which will be around $429.3 billion.

Plastic manufacturer

Suppose you’re considering small manufacturing business ideas that are outside the box. Why not create the box as a plastic manufacturer — a company that produces and sells containers or other items made from plastics.

Most plastic manufacturers use injection molding to create their products.

This process involves melting the plastic and injecting it into a mold. The mold can be of any shape, but most companies use molds that create cylindrical or rectangular containers. Once the plastic has cooled and solidified, it’s removed from the mold, and the manufacturing process is complete.

Stuck for ideas? Here are just some of the items you can produce with plastic as a raw material: 
  • Water bottles
  • Pens
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shower curtains
  • Storage containers
  • Disposable syringes
  • Disposable cups
In 2022, the plastics market globally was valued at $457.73. With a CAGR of 5.0%, this figure is expected to increase to $643.37 by 2029.


Cosmetic manufacturing is one of those small-scale manufacturing ideas that refers to the process of creating cosmetics and personal care products.

This can involve various processes, including: 
  • Formulation
  • Packaging
  • Labeling
Cosmetic manufacturers must adhere to strict regulations set by government agencies to ensure that their products are safe for consumers. In addition to government regulations, cosmetic manufacturers also have to consider consumer preferences regarding packaging, labeling, and formulations. But don’t let all that discourage you.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular categories: 
  • Foundations
  • Concealers
  • Blushes
  • Eye shadows
  • Mascara
  • Lip glosses
  • Setting sprays
  • Herbal hair oil
In 2022, the market size was valued at $262.43 billion. With a growth rate CAGR of 5.3%, this industry is forecasted to reach as high as $363.80 billion by 2028.

Essence One is not only a cosmetics business dedicated to raising awareness on mental health and wellbeing.

Why should you check in with them? Essence One must overcome demand fluctuations due to seasonality, one-off projects, and wholesale orders. If you have an idea for a business where its sales come in during specific periods, then Essence One is a great example to check out.

Electronics manufacturing

Small manufacturing ideas include electronics manufacturing — a process of making electronic components and assemblies for use in various products.

It involves a wide range of activities, from the design and development of new electronic devices to the mass production of finished products. The electronics manufacturing industry is a critical part of the global economy and plays a vital role in many sectors, such as: 
  • Telecommunications
  • Computing
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Consumer electronics
The sector is also one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing industries, with new technologies and processes constantly being developed.
In 2022, the revenue created by the global electronics manufacturing industry reached $1.6 trillion. The industry is seeing growth in the market share. Since 2017, it has increased on average by 1.7% each year.

Real-life manufacturers in the electronics industry — System76

Working in the electronics industry doesn’t mean you have to learn how to solder or create the greatest waterproof radio known in the universe.

System76 is a computer manufacturer specializing in Linux-based: 
  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Servers
What can you do with this information? Everyone is looking for PCs and laptops, but not everyone has the knowledge to build their own. If this is something that interests you, you could make customized PCs for those who don’t have technical knowledge.

Health and beauty

A health and beauty business involves manufacturing business ideas that produce products designed to improve skin, hair, and nail health and appearance.

The business may also produce other health-related products, such as: 
  • Dietary supplements
  • Cotton buds
  • Diapers
  • Ginger oil extracts
  • Soaps
  • Detergent powders
Health and beauty manufacturing businesses typically have a team of scientists who develop new products and formulations. The business may also employ marketing and sales staff to promote the products to consumers. Some businesses may also operate retail stores or sell products through other retailers.

Health and beauty manufacturing businesses must comply with regulations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when producing cosmetics, skincare items, and other health-related products. The FDA has strict guidelines that businesses must follow to ensure their products’ safety. Businesses must also obtain a license from the FDA to manufacture these products.

In 2022, the global revenue of the health and beauty industry reached $534.00 billion. This revenue is expected to keep growing at a pace of 5.86% CAGR — probably due to the mass epidemic of self-consciousness created by social media platforms (to hazard a guess).

Apparel and footwear manufacturing

When it comes to the best manufacturing business to start (that’s easy to set up to boot), many point fingers toward the apparel and footwear manufacturing industry, which comprises establishments that make finished products, such as: 
  • Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Accessories
Here are just some items you can consider manufacturing to become the next Tim Gunn: 
  • Belts
  • Garments
  • Jeans
  • Jute bags

Clothing production

The market value of the apparel and footwear industry. The apparel and footwear manufacturing industry is a major contributor to the global economy.

Retail sales of apparel and footwear goods worldwide exceeded more than $1.5 trillion in 2021. The forecast of this figure is expected to increase to $2 trillion by 2026.
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