9 Small Manufacturing Business Ideas You Can Start in 2019

If you’re in the business to build a business, you may as well build a business that builds. 

Confused yet? Manufacturing accounts for 11% of the US economic output. That should give you some idea how much money you could make from entering that arena. And while competition might be fierce, small businesses still have a strong chance to succeed — if only they have the right idea.

Let’s take a look at the small business manufacturing ideas you can start in 2019.

Secret Santa

In an age of smart devices, can toys compete? Absolutely.

Toys are still popular, but not everyone wants the latest piece of plastic produced by an industry giant. A small manufacturing business can carve out a space in the market by offering better quality, handcrafted elements, and unique ideas.

Toys made with love, care, and a little bit of innovation can attract parents and children alike. And we all have that inner toy we’d love to have had as a child, so this is your chance to put it out into the world.

I Have No IKEA

We’ve reached a point where the average home is like a mystic portal to the heart of an IKEA store.

But that’s only increasing the appreciation for traditional, custom-built furniture. Many are willing to forego the discounted prices of your average furniture store and opt for something more unique.

Tap into that with a furniture business and you could be in the money — while doing your part to bring some personality back into furniture and liven up the homes of your friends.

Woodwork Can Work

The rise of new technology doesn’t mean the old ones have to die out. Traditional artisanal goods are still popular — and sometimes even more so, in a mass-manufactured world.

A woodworking business has all the right elements to succeed. It can offer a USP, obtainable materials, and a strong brand identity. At the same time, it’s a business idea that suits the passionate craftsman, allowing you to make money from what you love. 

Holding a Candle

Butcher, baker, and candlestick maker: the candle maker has an entrenched place in pop culture.

We’ve already talked about the increased interest in artisanal goods, and the same holds true for candle-makers. Candles remain popular for their aesthetic and scent, which provides a wide scope for experimentation and invention.

Candle making also dovetails naturally with selling them as a retail venture, so you can manufacture candles in one room and sell them in the other.

Snack Attack

The success of brands like Graze has helped to establish a market for bespoke food packages built around a central theme. Graze started with just seven people, which is proof that it’s a business model that can work for small manufacturing companies.

Inventiveness is vital here. You need to find a niche that will speak to a target market, just as Graze did to those seeking healthier but convenient snacks. But Graze’s recent purchase by Unilever goes to show that the sky’s the limit.

All Made Up

Cosmetics has become one of Instagram’s favorite topics in recent years. And with it has come a greater interest in unique or niche cosmetics.

Tap into some of that interest by starting a cosmetics home manufacturing business. Build a brand with a strong sense of identity that can help others to find their own. Cosmetics brands can inspire a loyal and passionate customer base, giving you just what you need to grow.

Bold new brands like Lush are showing just how successful a cosmetics brand can become from humble beginnings.

You could even run plant tours as your business expands, giving customers an insight into how their favorite product is made.

Pandora’s Box

There’s something about mass-produced jewelry that can never quite capture the spirit of something unique and crafted with care — no matter how expensive it gets.

If you’re confident working with jewelry, then that could be an “in” for your business. Handcrafted or unique pieces of jewelry have a prestige outside of branding, and it can be worth going to a small brand if it means getting something your peers won’t own.

Starting a manufacturing company in the jewelry niche can be expensive at first, but it’s still practical at a small scale. And as it scales well, you can expand your business as your profits go up without dramatic changes in your business model. 


If there’s any one thing we always seem to have on our person that isn’t our clothes, it’s our smartphone. They go everywhere with us.

That makes the market for smartphone accessories pretty obvious. And “accessories” covers a huge range of products, from cases to car mounts. Anything that makes owning and handling a smartphone easier has its appeal.

The obvious route to go here is affordability. Your customers may pay double the price of your products to receive the same thing from a larger brand. Smartphone products offer high utility, which means there’s always someone in need of what you sell.

Kid in the Candy Store

You bet we’ve saved the best for last! If you want to bring some joy into the world, there’s nothing like making candy to do it.

Candy is perfect for scalable yet low-investment business. You can establish your early niche by offering artisanal candy, or even just by putting a friendly, local face on candy with an old-timey candy store.

Manufacturing candy also offers chances to innovate, so you can keep developing your product as you go. Soon enough, your product and your brand will become as inseparable as it is for the giants like Hershey’s and Cadbury. 

Starting Your Small Manufacturing Business

This isn’t even an exhaustive list of small manufacturing business ideas, but you can already see how many opportunities are out there. With more people than ever launching their own businesses, now could be the perfect time to start.

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