When people think of magic the image of fireballs and powerful magic swords occur to them. While it makes sense these things exist there is a large area of magic that does not get the attention it deserves, that of mundane magic.
Many say why would anyone create mundane magic items. Well there are a lot of reasons the first and foremost is to learn. Do you think you enchanters immediately begin on some great artifact? No they are assigned a mundane task such a skillet that heats when needed. This teaches them the basics and earns them money to start thinking about bigger and better things.
The second reason that mundane magic items would be made is the need. A pan that heats saves a great deal on wood. A box that preserves food would be very useful, and imagine an innkeeper with an everfull brandy keg. Because the nature of magic these items are expensive but in the long run would pay for them.
Besides Items spells for the common man might be of use. Imagine a smith who knows essential flame, a spell to purify metal, and one to repair. He may not use them all the time but such knowledge would give him the ability to do far more than normal.
This would be a main driving force behind spell research. Imagine a magical construction company with a couple of simple digging spells, and maybe a way to meld wood. If they had a mage work with them best believe he will be looking for a way to make his life easier and earn a bit more money. This is what would push the development of minor magicís.
While they may not seem earth shattering these mundane spells have a way of change a great deal around them.