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Manufacturing Ideas For Small Businesses To Use As Inspiration

Tillie Demetriou
11 Nov 2022


There are many small businesses out there that struggle to come up with new and innovative ideas. This can be a big problem, as, without fresh ideas, businesses can quickly become stagnant and uninteresting.

If you're a small business owner who is looking for some inspiration, then you've come to the right place. This blog post will discuss some great manufacturing business ideas that small businesses can use to get the creative juices flowing.

From developing new products to improving existing ones, there are plenty of ways to improve your own business and bring more footfall through your door.

Let's get started!

What is manufacturing?

Manufacturing is the process of creating products or goods from raw materials. This can be done either by hand or using machines, and it usually involves several steps, including assembly, packaging, and shipping.

In the past, manufacturing was often seen as something only large businesses could do. For example, companies like Ford and General Motors were known for their huge assembly lines where hundreds of cars would be produced each day.

However, times have changed, and nowadays, there are plenty of small businesses are getting involved in manufacturing. Thanks to advances in technology, it's now easier and more affordable than ever for small businesses to get started with manufacturing.

Benefits of manufacturing for small businesses

There are many benefits that small businesses can enjoy by getting involved in manufacturing. Here are just a few of the most notable ones:

1. Increased profits:

One of the main benefits is that your small manufacturing business will increase its profits. By creating and selling products, businesses can make more money than they would simply by selling services or products created by others.

2. Better quality products:

Launching a small manufacturing business means you'll have complete control over the quality of your products. This means that you can ensure that your products are made to the highest possible standards, leading to happier customers and increased sales.

3. Greater customer satisfaction:

Small businesses that manufacture their own products can also offer a greater level of customer satisfaction. This is because they can tailor their products to meet their target market's specific needs and preferences. As a result, customers are more likely to be happy with the products they receive and more likely to return for repeat business.

4. Improved brand image:

Small businesses that are involved in manufacturing can also benefit from an improved brand image. This is because customers will see them as more professional and trustworthy than businesses that don't manufacture their products.

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5 manufacturing business ideas for hospitality businesses

Own a restaurant, cafe, bakery, or small hotel? We've got the best manufacturing business ideas for you. Plus, our hospitality EPOS systems can help you scale your manufacturing business!

1. Create your own line of coffee

For many hospitality businesses, coffee is a big part of what they do. This is why starting your own coffee manufacturing business could be a great way to get more involved in the industry. 

There are plenty of different ways to go about this, from roasting your own beans to packaging and selling your own blends. If you're serious about starting a coffee manufacturing business, you'll need to research and develop a solid business plan.

2. Create your own line of beer or wine

Another great manufacturing business idea for hospitality businesses is to create their own line of beer or wine. Having this USP can help to set your business apart from the competition, and it's something that customers will be interested in. Plus, there's nothing more wine connoisseurs love than trying new and interesting wines.

One affordable way to do this as a small business owner is by teaming up with a local brewery or winery. This way, you can get access to their equipment and expertise, and you'll also benefit from their established reputation.

3. Create your own baked goods

Do you own a bakery, a café, or a few profitable food processing businesses? If so, then you could start manufacturing your own baked goods. This is a great way to save money on ingredients, and it's also a great way to offer something unique to your customers. 

There are plenty of different types of baked goods that you could manufacture, from bread and pastries to cakes and cookies, so get started today and run a successful business. Similarly to this idea, why not consider chocolate making? You'll be able to offer your customers custom-made sweet treats.

4. Create your own line of pet food

If you own a pet store or a pet-friendly café, you could start manufacturing your own line of pet food. By doing so, not only are you likely to save money on ingredients, but you'll also be able to offer a higher-quality product to your customers. Plus, if you create some gorgeous packaging, you could even sell your pet food in other stores!

5. Create your own b&b products

Own a b&b or small hotel? If so, you could start creating your own line of products, such as shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and lotions. 

Or, for your hotel's restaurant, you could start manufacturing your own herbs, spices, sauces, and dressings. This will help set your business apart from the competition, and it's something your guests are sure to love. Plus, it's a great way to make some extra money on the side!

5 manufacturing business ideas for small retail businesses

Own a salon, clothing store, homeware store, or electronics store? Here are some manufacturing business ideas to help bring people to your store.

1. Create your own line of clothing

One very good business idea for small retail businesses is to run a successful garment manufacturing business. Your customers will love buying unique and stylish clothing that's not available anywhere else, and you'll be able to make a good profit on each item you sell. Of course, starting your own clothing line is no easy feat, but if you're creative and have a good eye for fashion, it could be the perfect business for you.

TIP: find out how our retail EPOS system can help you scale your small business!

2. Candle manufacturing business

Another great manufacturing business idea for small retail businesses is to start a candle-making business. Candles are always in demand, making great gifts and home decor items. Plus, if you make high-quality candles, you can charge a premium price for them.

Be sure to take a unique approach to your candle-making business. For example, if you run a home design store, you could create a line of candles that transport your customers to different places around the world, like the beach, the forest, or a floral garden. Or, if you own a few gift shops, you could create candles with special scents that correspond to different occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas. Who wouldn't want a birthday cake-scented candle?

3. Make your own soap

Another great manufacturing business idea for small retail businesses is to start a soap-making business. Like candles, soap is always in demand, and it's something people use daily. Plus, there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating unique and interesting soaps. You could make soaps shaped like different animals, or you could add special ingredients to your soaps to make them extra moisturising or exfoliating.

4. Create your own line of jewellery

One manufacturing business idea that's perfect for small retail businesses is to create their own line of jewellery. Your customers will love buying unique pieces of jewellery they can't find anywhere else, and you'll be able to make a good profit on each piece you sell. 

Plus, these items aren't just limited to jewellery stores. If you run a yoga studio, for example, you could create a line of yoga-inspired jewellery, such as bracelets and necklaces with om symbols. Or, if you run a small technology company, you could create a line of self-tracking jewellery, such as bracelets that track your steps or rings that track your sleep.

5. Create your own wigs or hair extensions

If you own a small beauty and hair salon, then you could start manufacturing your own line of wigs or hair extensions. This is a great way to set your business apart from the competition, and it's something that your customers are sure to love. Plus, if you create high-quality wigs and hair extensions using high-quality hair (Peruvian, Indian, etc.), you can charge a premium price for your products.

TIP: why not also consider making and selling your own hair and beauty products for wigs and extensions?

How to start a manufacturing business

If you're interested in starting your own manufacturing business, here are a few steps that you can follow to get started:

1. Choose your niche

The first step is to choose the type of manufacturing business that you want to start. As we've seen, there are many different business ideas available, so you must take the time to choose the one that's right for you. You need to consider:

  • What products are you interested in manufacturing?
  • What type of business do you want to run? (Do you want to sell your products online or through brick-and-mortar stores?)
  • Who is your target market?
  • What are your unique selling points? (What makes your products different from the competition?)

2. Research your niche

Once you've chosen your niche, it's time to start researching it. You must learn everything you can about the manufacturing process, the raw materials you'll need, and the best way to market and sell your products. Luckily, a wealth of information is available online, so you should have no problem finding everything you need.

3. Create a business plan

Once you've done your research, it's time to start developing a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them and help you create a lucrative business model. It's important to have a solid business plan before starting any manufacturing business, as it will help you stay on track and make sure that you're running a profitable business.

4. Raise capital

Depending on the type of manufacturing business you want to start, you'll need moderate capital investment to get started. Some manufacturing businesses that are small-scale can finance their own ventures. However, if you're looking to start a large-scale manufacturing business, you'll need to raise money from investors.

One of the best ways to raise capital for your manufacturing business is to create a pitch deck and present it to potential investors. This should include information about your business, your products, your target market, and your financial projections. If you can convince investors that your business is a good investment, you'll be able to raise the money you need to get started.

TIP: check out our payment processing service to see how we can save your business money!

5. Find a manufacturing partner

If you don't have the expertise or the equipment to manufacture your products yourself, you'll need to find a manufacturing partner. They'll help you with the production process, as they specialise in manufacturing the type of product that you're interested in.

6. Source your materials

Once you've found a manufacturing partner, it's time to start sourcing the raw materials that you'll need to create your products. This step is important, as you need to ensure that you're using high-quality materials that will meet your customers' needs.

7.Start marketing and selling your products

The final step is to create a sound marketing strategy and start promoting and selling your products. You need to make sure that your target market knows about your products, and you need to find the best way to sell them. This could be through online channels, such as your own website or online store, or through brick-and-mortar stores.

8. Use a POS system to track your inventory

As your manufacturing business grows, you'll need to start tracking your inventory levels. This can be a daunting task, but using an EPOS system will make it much easier. You can run detailed reports showing you what products are selling and what's in stock, and you can even set up automatic reordering so that you never run out of the products your customers need.

9. Scale your business

As your manufacturing business grows, you'll need to start scaling your operations. This could involve hiring more employees, to investing in new equipment. Whatever route you choose, scaling your business will help you keep up with demand and make sure that your customers are always happy.

Here are some scale manufacturing business ideas to get you started:

  • Automate your manufacturing process
  • Add new product lines
  • Expand your sales and marketing efforts
  • Invest in new equipment
  • Hire more employees

Final thoughts

Starting a manufacturing business is a lucrative business opportunity that can help set your business apart from the competition.

By following these steps and taking inspiration from our list of small manufacturing business ideas, you can get started on the right foot and run a profitable business.

Once you've started making some cash, why not think about how you can scale your business? Research scale manufacturing business ideas to get some tips on how you can achieve this!

Good luck and happy manufacturing!


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