13 Helpful Options to Explore in 2023


Manufacturing business ideas are a smart business concept and an awesome potential business venture to explore. This small business idea is about creating a business with products you produce. They can be for the consumer market and commercial market, as well.

They also cover a huge range of goods, from customized products to jewelry, food, pet goods, and a lot more!

In this post, we’re sharing 13 different profitable manufacturing business ideas you can launch for yourself!  

We’re covering:

  • The best manufacturing business industries 
  • How it works and also,
  • Industry data

Ready to start?

13 Manufacturing Business Ideas to Explore

There are many manufacturing businesses out there. We’ll break down this roundup into sections to make it easier to navigate:

  • Lifestyle manufacturing business ideas
  • Beauty manufacturing business ideas
  • Food and beverage manufacturing business ideas

Let’s take a look.

Lifestyle Manufacturing Business Ideas

Lifestyle manufacturing business ideas include high-demand businesses for large markets and also small-scale manufacturing. Let’s get into it!

1. Clothing and Footwear

clothing market

Clothing and footwear include clothes and shoes for men, women, children, and babies. The garment manufacturing industry is a very profitable business market, forecasted to pass two trillion dollars by 2027.

Clothing and footwear are huge because of globalization. Increased consumer demand and fashion trends also play a role.

There are many different angles you can approach with this manufacturing business idea:

  • Seasonal wear
  • Accessories like belts, scarves, or hats
  • Leather goods
  • Eco-friendly apparel and shoes

These finished products are typically produced in factories. But, some niche, smaller-scale products can be handmade, like knitted mittens, for example.

Success story: Allbirds sustainable footwear brand is focused on sustainable materials and eco-friendly practices.


2. Candlemaking

candles

The global candle market was valued at 12 billion dollars in 2022 and is estimated to grow by 5.7% by 2030. Candles can be made in factories. They can also be a home-based manufacturing business, produced on a smaller scale.

Here are some of the steps for manufacturing candles:

  • Choose the materials: wax, candle wicks, candle jars, etc.
  • Melt down the wax
  • Assemble the candle
  • Trim the wick
  • Package and distribute 

For more details, read this 6-step guide for starting a candle business.

Success story: Milk Jar Candle Co. is a small-batch candle company. They create hand-poured, vintage-inspired soy wax candles using natural ingredients.


3. Personalized Gifts

custom gifts

The personalized gifts market has experienced significant growth recently. Overall, this growth is driven by the demand for unique gifts for special events and corporate gifting.

Customization options include:

  • Engraving
  • 3D printing
  • Bespoke products
  • Monogramming

Customization is done using special equipment. Goods can also be customized by hand with tools.

The personalized gifts market is expected to grow to 47 billion dollars by 2030. 

Success story: Hedge House offers bespoke, handcrafted furniture pieces sourced with local materials.


4. Pet Food and Treats

Pet food and treats

The pet food industry is expected to grow to over 160 billion dollars by 2029. There is a huge demand for pet food products and treats. 

These products include:

  • Dog food
  • Dog treats
  • Bird food
  • Fish food

There are hundreds of pet food companies that exist today, like Tetra, Oxbow Animal Health, Blue Buffalo, and Greenies.

How to Start Manufacturing Pet Foods?

Pet foods are manufactured through a multi-step process:

  • Ingredient sourcing
  • Quality control
  • Preparation and baking
  • Adding nutritional supplements
  • Cooling and drying
  • Packaging

This manufacturing process is subject to strict manufacturing guidelines. In general, pet companies must ensure the final product is nutritious and safe for pets.

This industry’s continued growth comes from the growing demand for healthy and nutritious pet food. Another contributing factor is the growing number of households considering pets as a part of the family. 

Nearly 97% of U.S. pet owners call their pets family.

Overall, this passionate audience wants the best for their animals. They will continue to demand the highest quality ingredients, food, and treats for their pets.

Success story: The Farmer’s Dog offers personalized, fresh dog food tailored to each dog’s diet and nutrition needs.


5. Toys

Toys

Create toys and games for kids. You can handmake toys, or you can also use machinery to assemble toy goods.

  • Create a prototype
  • Test it for safety
  • Make samples
  • Bring in a focus group

Toy manufacturing is a billion-dollar industry. It provides a lot of entertainment for kids and adults, like board games, brain and memory games, etc.

Success story: Melissa & Doug offer educational toys to promote child development and imaginative play.


6. Furniture

Another lifestyle manufacturing business idea is furniture!

Furniture manufacturing covers goods like:

  • Couches
  • Sectionals
  • Beds
  • Tables
  • Desks

Furniture Manufacturing Business Ideas Niches

You’ll need to decide what kind of furniture you’ll craft. Then, choose a focus.

  • Eco-friendly
  • Space-saving
  • Antique or vintage
  • Outdoor
  • Commercial

For more inspiration, take a look at our list of ideas for furniture business names. We cover all sorts of furniture categories.

Furniture is a massive industry with expensive products. The furniture industry is growing rapidly. As a result, it is expected to pass one trillion dollars in the next several years! 

How To Start Furniture Manufacturing

Here are the steps you’ll follow to launch a furniture manufacturing business:

First, conduct market research to understand market demand. Then, look at competitors and gaps in the market and choose a niche. 

Create your business plan and move into the manufacturing phase of business development.

This involves:

  • Setting up a warehouse or location for furniture assembly
  • Buying equipment, sourcing raw materials, and also machinery
  • Hiring workers
  • Quality control
  • Marketing and sales
  • Distribution

The furniture industry was valued at over 600 billion dollars in 2022. Overall, it’s still fairly large, but there’s still plenty of room for competitors to enter into the furniture space, especially if you go niche. 

Success story: Burrow offers customizable modular furniture designed for easy assembly and transport.


7. 3D Printing

3D printing

To start a 3D printing manufacturing business, you will need a 3D printing machine. Surprisingly, 3D printers can create a lot of unique products nowadays.

Lots of people think of 3D printers fondly, but honestly, they are another tool for manufacturing.

  • 22% of people said they used a 3D printer to fix something at home, while
  • 77% of people said 3D printing would be useful for simple supply chain issues

3D Printed Product Examples

  • Aerospace components
  • Earthhomes
  • Jewelry
  • Art
  • Architectural and education models

There are also 3D printed homes, believe it or not!

3D printing could be a great specialized manufacturing niche to enter.

Success story: Ultimaker is a big name in the 3D printing space, known for their user-friendly 3D printers used by consumers and businesses.


8. Jewelry Making

Jewelry making

The jewelry industry manufacturing sector is vast, covering hundreds of different categories and styles of jewelry.

  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Rings
  • Anklets
  • Minimalist
  • Modern

Jewelry is made with different metals and materials. It’s also embellished with gemstones and other expensive materials. 

While the U.S. is a major player in the jewelry market, China is the global leader.

The global jewelry industry is projected to reach over 308 billion dollars by 2030.

This versatile market can be run on a small scale or large scale. You could start with jewelry as a small manufacturing business idea and then scale it in the future. The low investment requirements make this an attractive option for aspiring entrepreneurs. 

This is how you start a jewelry business in 12 steps.

Success story: Kendra Scott, known for a diverse array of high-quality fashion jewerly. They offer stylish, affordable jewelry pieces catering to the luxury market.

Beauty Manufacturing Business Ideas

Beauty manufacturing business ideas include all manufacturing business ideas related to beauty, personal care, haircare, and cosmetics. Let’s go!

9. Soapmaking

Soap making

Making soap is a passion project that, surprisingly, may have a cult following, depending on the brand. You’ll design and create soap products for the general public. You can sell B2C or B2B.

You’ll need:

  • A concept for the kinds of soaps you’ll produce
  • Soapmaking equipment and supplies
  • Design and packaging materials

Soapmaking manufacturing produced on a large scale is possible. It can also easily be a handmade business.

Overall, if you’re interested in a smaller scale home-based manufacturing operation, soapmaking is a real option.

The soapmaking industry will grow to an estimated 66.5 billion by the year 2032. 

Success story: Dr. Bronner’s an organic and fair trade soap company offering an array of soap products including soap bars, liquid soaps, and personal care products.


10. Natural skincare

Natural skincare

Natural skincare products use natural and eco-friendly ingredients. These products may be made with plant-based ingredients, minimal processing, and have a focus on sustainability.

They are free from chemicals as well as artificial fragrances.

Natural skincare products include:

  • Cleansers
  • Moisturizers
  • Lotions
  • Serums
  • Masks

Natural skincare products are produced in factories and also made in a home-based setting.

Examples of successful home-based natural skincare companies are BeeFriendly Skincare, The Honest Company, as well as Pai Skincare.

The natural skincare industry was valued at 6 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to grow 6.6% by 2030.

Success story: Burt’s Bees uses beeswax and other natural ingredients in their product line. They are known for their commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing.


11. Personal Care and Beauty Products

Personal care and beauty products

Personal care and beauty products include self-care, beauty, and cosmetics goods.

Creating these products involves a multi-step process:

  • Come up with a product concept
  • Create a formula and prototype
  • Test for safety
  • Package and label

There are government regulations in place for beauty and cosmetics products. You’ll need to take care that you’re adhering to those guidelines to ensure products are safe for consumers.

You’ll also want to pay close attention to packaging, product colors, labeling, and overall appearance. 

Examples of personal care and beauty products are:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Bodywash
  • Lipstick
  • Foundation
  • Perfume

The beauty industry is growing overall. It will generate nearly 580 billion dollars in 2023.

Success story: Drunk Elephant is a small scale beauty brand with an emphasis on clean skincare and creating products without the “Suspicious 6” harmful ingredients.

Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business Ideas

Lastly, food and beverage manufacturing business ideas cover food and drink products. These products are also called consumables.

12. Coffee

Coffee

Coffee manufacturing business ideas can be a fun product category to pursue, especially for coffee lovers. Food processing in food and beverage is a massively huge market.

So, it makes sense why this business idea made the list!

Coffee has a cult following among consumers. This is one of the best manufacturing business ideas to start for aspiring entrepreneurs looking for a small manufacturing business idea to pursue.

Here are some ideas:

  • Coffee 
  • Coffee accessories
  • Roasted coffee beans

First, consider what coffee products you’ll manufacture. Then, source ingredients. Following that, you’ll formulate the product and create samples. Then comes testing and taste sampling.

Look at wholesale vs retail markets and figure out what direction you’ll take.

The coffee roaster industry alone is expected to reach over 700 billion dollars by the year 2032.

Success story: Nespresso, known for it’s unique premium coffee capsule products. They’ve cultivated a brand identity for luxury, high-quality coffee that also has its roots in convenience – you can brew it right at home in your kitchen.


13. Tea

Tea

Tea is one of the best manufacturing business ideas for people interested in entering the food and beverage industry. It has a similar product manufacturing cycle as coffee.

How To Start A Tea Manufacturing Business?

You’ll start with a product idea, then:

  • Create your recipe
  • Source ingredients 
  • Test and also taste
  • Package as well as distribute

The tea industry is quite large as well, though not as big as coffee. Surprisingly, it’s projected to reach 160 billion dollars by 2028.

Success story: Twinings of London, known for their versatile and wide variety of teas and blended teas.

Which Manufacturing Business is Most Profitable?

The most profitable manufacturing businesses are those that cater to a unique market and/or offer high-demand products.

Some examples of these profitable manufacturing business ideas are unquestionably accurate, like pharmaceuticals and medical device sales. Others might be surprising.

Here are examples:

  • Food and drink
  • Electronics
  • Renewable energy

Are you shocked?

What is the Easiest Thing to Manufacture?

When looking at manufacturing business ideas, the easiest products to manufacture are those that:

  • Require the least amount of materials
  • Can be easily manufactured with the fewest steps

Some examples of easy products to manufacture include:

  • Handmade crafts: Jewelry, candles, and soaps that can be made from home.
  • Clothing and accessories: T-shirts, scarves, and related goods.
  • Food products: Baked goods, homemade sauces, and simple snacks are examples.
  • Basic woodworking projects: Picture frames, small furniture, and small wooden toys.

Once you choose a product to manufacture, you can carry on with the remaining steps in the process to bring the product to market and sell to the public.

Sell your products on handmade and retail marketplaces like Etsy – it is a great place to sell your manufactured goods. Many different kinds of products thrive on Etsy, like jewelry, soap, home goods, food products, and more. Etsy has tons of potential to attract customers and sell your goods, but new sellers can face challenges like:

  • Setting up SEO-optimized product listings correctly to get the most exposure,
  • Ranking on Etsy search and,
  • Taking product photographs like a pro.

This Etsy Masterclass will show you how to master Etsy, including marketing, sales, and social media. Learn how to optimize your store and make sales from a seasoned seller.

Bottom Line

We just covered 13 manufacturing business ideas! You learned about different products to manufacture in your own company, from small scale products to significantly larger scale products.

What’s next?

If you want to start a manufacturing business, then you see, there are plenty of options available. I hope this list of manufacturing business ideas gave you some inspiration.

Do you have a clearer idea of what path you’ll take?

Which manufacturing business idea caught your eye?





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