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Manufacturing Business Ideas You Can Start On A Small Scale

Manufacturing Business Ideas

Do you have a passion for creating products from start to finish in order to solve human problems? Then these manufacturing business ideas should resonate with you.

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Manufacturing has been one of the largest creators of wealth and an important aspect of economic growth. It is a sector of the economy that produces products for use by the masses. It is a sustainable and profitable business area that can be started on a large or small scale.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Manufacturing business ideas can be anything from infrastructure, furniture, water, power, tech, design, handcraft, or any physical item. Basically, it is the transformation of raw materials into finished goods which are then sold to the final consumer (user).

Generally, there is no home or office in Nigeria without a piece of manufactured item in it. Therefore, whichever manufacturing business you decide to launch into, the market is sure.

In this article, I have highlighted some of the manufacturing business ideas you can start on a small-scale in Nigeria. So, if you are a prospective entrepreneur seeking business ideas, this is for you.

Watch the full video of all the manufacturing businesses you can start now and how to start them. Also, subscribe to our channel to get more business ideas and insights.

21 Manufacturing Business Ideas To Start On A Small Scale

Paper Making

Making of paper or book is one of the low-cost manufacturing business ideas. Papers are widely used in educational systems, religious centres, offices, events, e.t.c and this explains why it is a lucrative business area.

It involves the manufacturing of papers, cardboard, and turning them into finished products like books, envelopes, paper bags, folders, etc. It can be done with the use of an industrial machine or by hand. All you need is to decide the kind of paper you want to produce, get the technical skill, tools, and equipment.

Papermaking process involves separating the useful fibre from the rest of the raw materials. i.e separate cellulose from wood, cotton and beat it into pulp. Then, adjust the color, and other properties, screen, and press dry to get the actual size.

If you are interested in papermaking, some of the materials you need include; chemicals, vacuum tables, beaters, paper dresses, dryers, etc.

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Water Manufacturing

Water is a lucrative manufacturing business in Africa, owing to the demand for clean and drinkable water. It is a universal need with high demand from humans and animals without restriction to any location, place, or time.

By venturing into pure water business, you will be providing one of the basic human needs. This way, you are sure of your profit irrespective of the economic situation in the country. Water can be packaged into sachets or portable plastic bottles after it has been purified. It requires a clean environment, factory, equipment, and distribution vehicles.

Some of the equipment for water manufacturing business idea include; purifier, distiller, tank, buckets, e.t.c.

See Also: How To Start A Successful Film Production Business In Nigeria

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

Garri Processing

Garri has remained one of the oldest manufacturing business ideas known in Nigeria and other West African countries. Aside from rice, it is one of the popular staple meals.

Just like fufu, garri is made from cassava tubers. The tubers are peeled, washed and crushed, and pressed to remove excess water, after which it is sieved and fried. Then, packaged and marketed for sale.

Some of the equipment for garri processing include; presser, grater, fryers, rotary dryer, hammer milling machine, weighing balance, granulator, sieves, and sealer.

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Baking business is one of the profitable manufacturing business ideas that have grown in popularity over the years. It involves mixing raw materials like flours, sugar, egg, and other condiments into edible a substance.

It is a wide business area that requires focusing on a specific niche for effectiveness. For instance, you can choose to bake a cake, bread, snacks, pizza, biscuits, etc. You can begin from your kitchen and you make deliveries to customers, and as time goes on, expand into a big factory.

Baking is a viable business irrespective of your location. All you need is to focus on a particular area and master it. Some of the equipment you would need for the business include; grinder, mixer, measuring cups and spoon, spatula, baking pan, oven, e.t.c

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Bead Making

Bead making is also one of the low-cost manufacturing business ideas common in every part of Nigeria. With a little amount and a high level of creativity, you can turn pottery, glass, ceramics, plastic, wood into beads, and ornaments. The beads can then be used for necklace, belt, earrings, bracelet, waist bead, flower vases, etc. All of which can serve as beauty tools in events, parties, etc, especially for women.

Usually, beads come in different materials, shapes, sizes, and colours. The equipment and tools used for bead making include; scissors, needle, thread, twine, plastic plates, stopper, hook and nut, e.t.c

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Soap And Detergent

Soap and detergents are essential household items constantly in high demand everywhere in the world. It is the combination of animal fat, plant oil, and alkali or caustic soda. They are usually mixed in the right proportion to form solid bars, tablets, liquid, or powdered substances.

Soap manufacturing can start from home or a suitable location that allows for full concentration. Then, you can make, brand, and distribute.

Soaps are used in homes, offices, and public places to cleanse and wash away dirt. Also, it can be used to cure skin pores, dye hair, wash clothes, dishes, body, etc. Some of the materials used for the business include; gas or electric stove, mixer, basin, plastic bags, weighing scale, ladles, hand-gloves, e.t.c

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Plastic Bags

Virtually, all products require packaging until it gets to the final consumer. This packaging can be in the form of plastic, nylon, paper, or any container. It is used on a daily basis and very easy to manufacture.

Plastics bags are made from polymer substance known as polyethylene. It is made from ethylene and chemically changed into polyethylene. It is easy to manipulate into different shapes, sizes, densities, and texture. Plastic bags business can start from the comfort of your home with moderate capital. If you are interested, get an extruding machine, cellulose, natural gas, etc.

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Chalk Making

Chalk making is one of the small-scale manufacturing business ideas that you can start from home. It is a round shape brittle stick that comes either in white colour or other colours. It is common in schools, churches and can be used for blackboard, walls, or other hard surfaces. Besides, it is also used by furniture makers, construction workers, tailor, plumber, and non-educational settings.

Chalk is made from plaster of Paris, clean water, lubricant, and colours. It is mixed, presented in a brittle round shape stick, and packaged in a paper container. Some of the chalk making equipment include; chalk mold, scrapper, hand gloves, dryer, etc.

See Also: How To Start Cassava Farming Business In Nigeria

Textile Production

Textile production is one of the lucrative manufacturing business ideas you can start. It is a major industry everywhere in the world. It involves the conversion of fibre into yarn, fabrics, then into clothes. Textile involves a number of processes like cultivating and harvesting of cotton, preparing and spinning, weaving, knitting, finishing, colouration etc.

As a textile producer, you can focus on producing Adire, plain and pattern, Ankara, lace, guinea, or other kinds of clothes from cotton. You can make just the fabrics then market to clothing lines to design outfits. Besides, you can also focus on making and designing ready-made dresses.

Textile production is now taking an upturn in Nigeria and therefore is a good business to get involved in. Some of the equipment used in textile industries include; weaving machine, tufting machine, crotchet, knitting, e.t.c

Furniture Making

These days, Nigerian import furniture from different parts of the world which means, we do not have enough furniture producing companies in Nigeria. Furniture making can be on a large scale or small scale or you can start small then scale up. First, you can focus on creating custom furniture like chairs, cabinets, or beddings, and as time goes on, expand on your production.

Some of the equipment for furniture making include; panel saw, hammer, edge binders, edge foilers, boring machine, drill pressers, e.t.c

See Also: How To Start Cocoa Production Business In Nigeria

Basket Making

Basket making is a rural craft manufacturing business idea. It is an idea unique to people of different cultures. Baskets are produced from a wide range of plant fibers like roots, cane, twigs, and grasses like raffia and reeds. Then, they are made in different shapes and sizes to serve different purposes. It can be manufactured by hand or with the use of a machine.

Basket can serve as gift items, clothing, hats, mats, boxes, e.t.c

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Flour Production

Flour milling is one of the lucrative manufacturing business ideas in Nigeria. It is a sustainable investment opportunity in the food processing industry. It is a business that involves grain processing or other agricultural produce into flours. Some of the foods that can be process include; yam, maize, wheat, and plantain, beans.

Some of the machines to make this effective include; flour purifier, bran brusher, flour blender, flour packer, bran finisher, e.t.c

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Leather encompasses a wide range of areas. It is one of the manufacturing business ideas that require huge attention. Leather related items are always in high demand owing to its importance to man. After making the leather, you can sell to shoe, belt, and bag making companies who then turn it into a finished product.

Leathers can be natural materials made from animal skin or artificial from paper, waxed cotton, apple fibers, teak leaves, etc. It is a profitable business as long as you have the technical know-how skill on how to turn the raw material into finished leather products.

Some of the equipment used in leather manufacturing include; leather buffing machine, shamming machine, e.t.c

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Shoe And Belt Making

Shoemaking business can start from the comfort of your home, and as time goes on, you can expand into a large manufacturing company. It is a profitable and sustainable business that requires a high level of creativity.

Shoe and belt making business come hand in hand. They are both made from a wide variety of materials like leather, rubber, synthetic, foam, textile, hook, etc. You can produce in large or small quantities and sell to consumers or wholesale to retailers.

All you need is the skill and important tools like pattern making and cutting machine, shoe mold, etc.  

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Spices And Condiments

Condiments and spice are essential ingredients added to food to improve the food flavour. It helps to add colour and extra taste to the food. It is common in homes, events, hotels, restaurant or other places where meals are prepared.

Spices are high in-demand both in the local and international markets. However, it can be manufactured right from the comfort of your home, packaged, branded, and export for sale. All you need is to get the raw items, grate, add flavours, and ensure it is consumable.

With tools like mixer, grinder and raw materials, you can make spices and condiments like; chili pepper, coriander powder, ketchup, black pepper, butter, mayonnaise, turmeric, garlic powder e.t.c

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Drinks And Beverage

Drinks and beverage is a profitable manufacturing business idea in Nigeria. Aside from being essential to hydration, it is a source of energy, vitamin, mineral, fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Although several people avoid it due to sugar and acidic content, it is still a viable market, especially in dry seasons.  

To compete in this market, your product has to be unique. Also, you need to develop a winning marketing strategy that will communicate the nutritional contents of the beverage or drink.

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Cooking Oil

This is one of the major needs everywhere in the world. It is a profitable and sustainable manufacturing business idea with guaranteed profit. Vegetable oil is essential for our everyday meal, and therefore in high demand in all regions of the world. It is used mostly for frying, preserving, or for cooking food items.

Vegetable oil consists of edible oil extracted from olives, peanuts, safflowers, palm kernel, cotton, sesame, grapeseed, etc. with no additives, preservatives, or special flavouring. The extraction can be done mechanically using an oil mill or chemical extraction using a solvent. Afterwards, it’s purified and if necessary refined or chemically altered then packaged.

Some of the equipment used for manufacturing cooking oil include; oil presser, crushing machine, extractor, cleaning machine, etc.

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Paint Manufacturing

These days, paint is one of the common manufacturing business ideas that people can venture into. It is a profitable industry that requires less capital. There are different kinds of paints that appeal to different groups of people. You need to identify the market and determine the best paints that appeal to them. Some varieties of paint are emulsion, textcoat, flextured, vanish, undercoat, matte eggshell, etc.

Paints are made from solvents and chemicals like formalin, nitrosol, colorite, calcium carbonate, etc. They are then mixed and packaged.

They are used in beautifying a house and to add a great appeal to the look of a building. You can start a local paint manufacturing business if you have the skills from a corner of your home.

Some of the equipment for paint making include; mixing tank, sand mill, and paint filter.

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Hair Oil Production

Hair oil production is a low-cost manufacturing business that you can begin from home. It is a good market potential because hair oil is used by males and females. These days, people are looking out for what can make their hair softer, silkier, and free from dandruff and lies.

For instance, you can focus on making coconut oil, olive oil, palm kernel oil, avocado oil, or other natural oil types.  

You need to make sure the oil is non-sticky and has a good fragrance, then package and brand. Some of the things you need to get started include; base oil, herbal extract, perfume, mixing and bottling, and sealing machine.

See Also: Palm Oil Business – How To Start Palm Oil Business In Nigeria

Hair Wigs

Just like hair oil, hair wigs are in high demand. As long as you can offer quality hair products, you are sure to have plenty of customers. However, before you launch, you can train to have technical know-how and what the competitors are doing.

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Perfume making is a low-cost manufacturing business in Nigeria but a highly competitive one. Just because everyone wants to smell good, perfume is in high demand, especially from the fashion-conscious individuals.

Perfumes are mixtures of fragrance oil, alcohol, essential oil, distilled or spring water, and glycerine. They can be used to keep the skin dry, moist, and to manufacture body creams, etc. You need to ensure your perfume is rich in aromas like other top brands and packaged in an elegant style.

Some of the equipment for perfume production include; glass jar for mixing fragrance, measuring spoons, aluminum foil, funnel, etc.

Now that we have an overview of what manufacturing business ideas entail, it is time, to dive deeper into how you can start one and become successful at it.

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How To Start Any Of The Listed Manufacturing Business Ideas

Beyond having a passion for any of the listed businesses, it is important to plan before you fully venture in. This way, you can clearly identify the goals of the business and think of the future.

In the following paragraphs, I will highlight the basic steps that should be taken to set up a manufacturing business.

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Step 1: Choose A Niche

There are multiple human needs today and the ability to meet any of these needs determines how sustainable your business can be. This means doing research and finding the needs of your target market. Then, think of how to proffer solutions and profit from it.

Besides, you also need to focus and specialise in one area that you are passionate about and skillful in. So, in choosing a niche, determine what the needs are, the target market, competition, and profitability.

See Also: How To Start A Successful Bakery Business In Nigeria

Step 2: Write A Business Plan

As soon as you make a choice from the business ideas, the next thing is to write a business plan.

A business plan states the mission, vision, pricing, organisation structure, product, and financial projection of a business. It can serve as a good reference point and map to give the business a sense of direction. It is usually written with the future of the business in mind with a realistic time frame.  

To write a business plan, first, conduct research on the nature of the business, the existing competitors, and the best strategies to survive. Then, document the result to form your plan. By doing this, you can easily seek financial support from banks and investors.

See Also:  Comprehensive Guide On How To Start Printing Business

Step 3: Register The Business

It’s important to register your business with the right authority. Business registration is a smart and rewarding decision made by an entrepreneur. It allows access to opportunities and make a business more credible.

Depending on your choice and ownership structure, you can register as a limited liability company, sole proprietorship, or partnership. Just log on to the official website of the company and follow the due process.

In case you find the process uneasy, reach out to business consulting firms like ReDahlia. ReDahlia makes business registration easy and offers consultation services to entrepreneurs.

In addition, you will also need to register under some national regulatory bodies. For instance, food manufacturing industries are required to register under the National Agency for Food And Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC). NAFDAC regulates and controls the manufacture, import, export, advert, sales, and use of food, drugs, chemicals, water, cosmetics in Nigeria.

Then, pay tax, and obtain licenses and permits specific to your business area.

See Also: How To Start Bottled Water Or Pure Water Business In Nigeria

Step 4: Get Trained

Depending on your area of interest, having a technical know-how skill of the business is important.

For example, to be a good baker, you will need to attend a catering institute at least for a period of six months. This way, you can have hands-on experience in the field of business, and perform better.

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Step 5: Location

Some of the manufacturing business ideas can start on a small scale from the comfort of your house, and as time goes on, you expand into a fully staffed factory.

However, if you wish to operate on a large scale from the beginning, you will need to build or rent a factory where the business activities can be carried out. For instance, pure water business requires a factory free from air and water pollution and must be licensed by NAFDAC before production is carried out.

Besides, if it is a small scale, you can start from your home and leverage the internet for market promotion.

See Also: How To Start A Cleaning Service Company In Nigeria

Step 6: Tools And Equipment

To do any of the listed manufacturing business ideas, you will need to procure equipment unique to your industry. Some are cheap while some are a bit expensive.

But, if you are starting on a small scale, you can use your hands for some of the productions and as the business expands, get more machines and tools to make it faster and easier.

See Also: How To Start A Poultry Farming Business In Nigeria

Step 7: Human Resource

Human resource is a sensitive area in every business. You do not want to employ the services of lazy people or insincere people who might be changing figures and reducing the number of raw materials.

Look out for experienced individuals and those who can stay committed to the vision of the business. Then, create an onboarding process that teaches the habits and ethics needed in the work environment. This way, you will be preserving the future of your business and building a strong workforce.

Some of the basic personnel to hire include; administrative personnel, sales personnel, managers, factory workers, drivers, security officers, etc.

See Also: Mini Importation – How To Start Mini Importation Business In Nigeria

Step 8: Deliver Quality Services

By producing exceptional products, you stand a good chance in your industry no matter the existing competition. Most times, the majority of people prefer quality products that can stand the test of time. So, if you intend to become an authority in your industry, ensure to produce quality goods.

For example, if you are into pure water business, make sure you do not produce tasty or colored water. If it is oil making, make sure it is not rancid. If textile, ensure to create durable fabrics.

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Step 9: Promote The Business

In every business, selling is key. So, as long as you have the right product, try to devise feasible marketing strategies. Some of which will be highlighted in the following paragraphs;

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Important Tips For Promotions

First, build an online presence. This involves creating an attractive website and leveraging social media platforms i.e Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Irrespective of what your business is about, you can build a website and optimize for search engines. The website should have a perfect description of your service offering, contact details, and business location. Also, it should include the tools that will allow orders to be made, and queries answered.

Secondly, have a business card and create brochures. These days, some SMEs overlook the importance of a business card and see it as an unnecessary item. But on the contrary, a business card and marketing come handy when you attend industry-specific events.

Then, invest in advertising. Depending on what you can afford, invest in print, electronics, and online advertising. You can pay for advertising spaces on billboards, television, radio, magazines, or newspapers.

In conclusion, starting any of the listed manufacturing business ideas can be the bold step you need to take. If you have the experience, skill, knowledge, and capital, there is no best time to start than now.

Let’s help you put your business on the world map and increase your brand’s visibility. Contact us today so we can start. 

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13 thoughts on “Manufacturing Business Ideas You Can Start On A Small Scale”

  1. Panpe blessing

    This article is helpful. Thank you.
    I am student with great passion for production I need a mentor.

  2. Kufre Emmanson

    This is really very helpful. Thank you for such ideas. I will try any one of the businesses.

      1. This is a good business ideas, I would like to develop more ideas on pure water, bread, palm oil processing or more businesses ideas.

  3. Thank you for this great article.Please I want a comprehensive proposal on textile and leather manufacturing business.

    1. Hello Daniel,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. For a business plan, reach us on 08038874148. Thank you.


    Thank you for such opening ideas. May God bless you. Will want comprehensive write-ups about PERFUME PRODUCTION, PRODUCTION OF SPICES, CONDIMENTS, FLOUR PRODUCTION, PLASTIC BAGS PRODUCTION. Thank you very much. Daniel Roland Odeh

    1. Hello Fatokun,

      We are glad the content was helpful. We just sent you a mail. Interestingly, we have a comprehensive guide coming out soon that contains the investment cost for starting many business ideas. Please, keep tabs on Entrepreneurs.ng, because we will make the announcement once it’s launched. You can always reach us on business@entrepreneurs.ng.

      Thank you.

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