10+ Best Small Business Ideas to Start in Montana [2023])

Explore top small business ideas perfect for Montana's unique market! Get inspired to launch your successful venture in 2023.

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 07, 2024

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Hey there, future entrepreneur! Are you ready to ride the wave of opportunity in Big Sky Country? Nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, Montana has a lot more to offer than just breathtaking landscapes. It's a place filled with potential for those with a keen entrepreneurial spirit. If you're dreaming of starting your own business, but you're not quite sure where to begin, you've come to the right place.

As we usher in 2023, it's time to leave those doubts behind and take a bold step towards your dreams. Montana's diverse economy, supportive community, and rich natural resources provide a fertile ground for small businesses to thrive. But, what kind of business should you start? Don't worry, we've got you covered!

In this article, we're going to explore 10+ best small business ideas that you can start in Montana this year. From the booming tech industry to the evergreen tourism sector, we'll delve into a range of industries that hold promise for aspiring entrepreneurs like you. So, buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey into the world of entrepreneurship in Montana!

Outdoor Adventure Guide Service

Montana, known as the "Treasure State", is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Its diverse landscape ranges from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, offering a plethora of opportunities for adventure activities. An Outdoor Adventure Guide Service business in Montana is a perfect venture due to several reasons:

  • Rich Natural Beauty: Montana's stunning natural beauty, with its majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and expansive forests, provides an ideal backdrop for outdoor adventure activities.
  • Variety of Activities: The state offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, skiing, white-water rafting, and horseback riding, ensuring a steady stream of customers interested in diverse experiences.
  • Popularity among Tourists: Montana is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year who are eager to explore its wilderness, making it a lucrative market for an adventure guide service.
  • Supportive Local Community: Montana's local community is supportive of outdoor recreation and tourism, which can help an adventure guide service business to thrive.
image of a Outdoor Adventure Guide Service

Local Artisanal Food Store

A Local Artisanal Food Store in Montana is an excellent idea for a multitude of reasons. This venture not only supports local farmers and artisans, but also provides residents and visitors with high-quality, unique, and fresh food options. Furthermore, it helps to boost the local economy and promotes sustainability.

  • Supports Local Economy: By sourcing products from local farmers and artisans, the store helps to keep money within the community, thus boosting the local economy.
  • Promotes Sustainability: Local sourcing reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting goods over long distances. This is a more environmentally-friendly approach to food retail.
  • Quality and Freshness: Products from local artisans and farmers are often fresher and of higher quality than mass-produced items, as they are typically made in smaller batches and with greater care.
  • Unique Food Options: Artisanal food stores offer unique products that can't be found in typical supermarkets, providing customers with a wider variety of choices.
  • Encourages Tourism: Such a store can attract food lovers and tourists looking for a unique, local experience. This can further boost the local economy.
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Examples of successful businesses:

Montana is known for its stunning natural beauty, vast open spaces, and entrepreneurial spirit. Over the years, several small businesses have thrived in this state, capitalizing on its unique opportunities and catering to the needs of its residents. From outdoor adventure companies to local craft breweries, here are some successful small business ideas that have flourished in Montana:

  • Big Sky Adventures: This company offers guided hiking, fishing, and camping trips in the breathtaking landscapes of Montana. They provide visitors with unforgettable outdoor experiences and have gained a loyal customer base.
  • Montana Craft Brews: Craft breweries have gained immense popularity in Montana, and this local brewery stands out for its high-quality and innovative beer flavors. They have successfully tapped into the growing craft beer market.
  • Wilderness Gear Rentals: With Montana being a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, this business offers gear rentals for camping, fishing, skiing, and other wilderness activities. Their convenient services have made them a go-to option for adventurers visiting the state.
  • Montana Made Crafts: This small business showcases and sells handcrafted products made by local artisans. They have created a platform for artists to display their talents and connect with customers who appreciate unique, Montana-made goods.
  • Montana Gourmet Food Tours: Capitalizing on the state's growing food tourism industry, this company offers guided tours that take visitors on a culinary journey through Montana's finest restaurants, wineries, and food producers.
  • Montana Outdoor Apparel: This clothing brand specializes in outdoor apparel designed specifically for Montana's climate and outdoor activities. Their durable and functional clothing has gained popularity among locals and tourists alike.

Handmade Crafts Store

Our Handmade Crafts Store is a unique shopping destination that offers a wide variety of beautiful, high-quality handmade items. Each piece is carefully crafted by talented artisans, ensuring a level of quality and uniqueness that you won't find in mass-produced items. Whether you're looking for a special gift or something to add a touch of charm to your home, our Handmade Crafts Store has something for everyone.

  • Unique Products: Our store offers a diverse range of products, each one unique and handmade. You can find everything from pottery and jewelry to candles and home decor.
  • Support Local Artisans: By shopping at our Handmade Crafts Store, you're supporting local artisans and contributing to the local economy. It's a great way to give back to the community and support small businesses.
  • High-Quality: All of our products are made with high-quality materials and craftsmanship. You can be sure that whatever you purchase from our store will last.
  • Personal Touch: Handmade items have a personal touch that you just can't get from mass-produced items. You can feel the love and care that goes into each piece.

More resources:

Farm-to-table Restaurant

A Farm-to-Table Restaurant in Montana is a great idea due to several compelling reasons. Montana, known for its rich agricultural heritage and abundance of fresh, local produce, is the perfect location for a restaurant that focuses on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

  • Abundance of Fresh Produce: Montana's fertile lands produce a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. This ensures a steady supply of fresh ingredients for the restaurant.
  • Quality Meat and Dairy: The state is home to numerous ranches and dairy farms. These can provide high-quality, organic meat and dairy products.
  • Supports Local Economy: By sourcing ingredients locally, the restaurant would support local farmers, ranchers, and the overall economy of Montana.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Farm-to-table restaurants promote sustainable farming practices and reduce carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances.
  • Health and Nutrition: Fresh, locally sourced food is often more nutritious and free from harmful chemicals and preservatives commonly found in processed food.
  • Unique Dining Experience: The restaurant could offer a unique, authentic Montana dining experience that would attract both locals and tourists.

Bed And Breakfast

Running a Bed and Breakfast in Montana is a fantastic idea due to several reasons. Montana, known as the "Big Sky Country," is famous for its stunning landscapes, outdoor activities, and rich history, making it a top destination for travelers from all corners of the globe.

  • Scenic Beauty: Montana's breathtaking natural beauty, with its vast plains, towering mountains, and crystal-clear lakes, offers a tranquil and picturesque setting for a Bed and Breakfast.
  • Outdoor Activities: The state provides ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, skiing, and wildlife viewing, attracting tourists who love outdoor adventures. A Bed and Breakfast here can offer a cozy retreat after a day of exploration.
  • Historical Attractions: Montana is steeped in history, from Native American heritage to the Old West. Visitors often seek local accommodations that reflect the area's historical charm.
  • Local Cuisine: A Bed and Breakfast can offer guests a taste of authentic Montana cuisine, enhancing their travel experience.
  • Personalized Experience: Unlike large hotels, a Bed and Breakfast can provide a personalized and homely experience, which many travelers prefer.

Related business ideas:

Mobile Veterinary Service

Mobile Veterinary Service in Montana is an excellent idea for several reasons. Montana, with its vast rural landscapes and scattered population, can pose a challenge for pet owners to access regular veterinary care. A mobile service can bring essential healthcare right to their doorstep, ensuring no pet is left without the care they need.

  • Accessibility: Many parts of Montana are rural and isolated. A mobile veterinary service can reach pet owners who otherwise have to travel long distances to access veterinary care.
  • Convenience: Pet owners can schedule appointments at their convenience, without the need to transport their pets, which can be stressful for both the pet and the owner.
  • Personalized Care: A home visit allows the vet to observe the pet in its natural environment, which can provide valuable insights into the pet's health and behavior.
  • Emergency Services: In case of emergencies, a mobile vet service can provide immediate care and potentially life-saving treatment.
  • Comprehensive Services: Mobile veterinary services can offer a range of services, from routine check-ups and vaccinations to surgical procedures and end-of-life care.

Custom Furniture Business

Starting a Custom Furniture Business in Montana is a great idea due to several reasons. Montana's rich natural resources, growing population, and appreciation for handmade, quality items create a favorable environment for this kind of business.

  • Montana's vast forests provide a sustainable source of high-quality wood, which is a primary raw material for custom furniture making.
  • The state's growing population means an increasing demand for unique, custom-made furniture pieces.
  • Montana residents have a deep appreciation for locally made, handcrafted items. This appreciation extends to furniture, making a custom furniture business a welcomed addition to the local economy.
  • Montana's booming tourism industry can also be a potential market. Tourists may be interested in purchasing custom furniture as unique souvenirs or gifts.
  • Lastly, the state's business-friendly policies can help ensure the success and growth of a custom furniture business.

Local Brewery Or Winery

Montana, with its rich soil and diverse climate, is an ideal location for a local brewery or winery. The state's unique geographical features provide an excellent environment for growing a variety of grapes and grains used in the production of wine and beer. Moreover, Montana's thriving tourism industry offers a ready market for local breweries and wineries.

  • Montana's climate, characterized by warm days and cool nights, is conducive to the growth of high-quality grapes and grains. This results in the production of distinct, flavorful wines and beers.
  • The state's rich, fertile soil is another factor that makes it ideal for vineyards and barley fields. The soil quality significantly influences the taste and quality of the wine and beer produced.
  • Montana's booming tourism industry provides a steady stream of customers. Tourists are often eager to try local products, and a local brewery or winery can capitalize on this.
  • Establishing a local brewery or winery in Montana can also contribute to the local economy by creating jobs and supporting local farmers.
  • Montana's beautiful landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for a winery or brewery, making it an attractive destination for events and wine or beer tasting tours.

Landscape Photography Studio

Setting up a Landscape Photography Studio in Montana is a great idea due to the state's stunning natural beauty and diverse landscape. This makes it an ideal location for landscape photography.

  • Scenic Beauty: Montana is known for its breathtaking landscapes, which include mountains, plains, forests, and rivers. These provide a wide range of options for landscape photography.
  • Wildlife: Montana is home to a rich variety of wildlife, offering unique opportunities for wildlife photography in addition to landscape shots.
  • Changing Seasons: The state experiences all four seasons, each bringing its own charm and changing the landscape dramatically. This allows for a diverse portfolio of photographs throughout the year.
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts: Montana attracts many outdoor enthusiasts who may be potential customers interested in purchasing landscape photographs as mementos of their adventures.
  • Artistic Community: Montana has a thriving artistic community. A landscape photography studio would not only fit right in, but also benefit from networking and collaboration opportunities.

Independent Bookstore

Opening an independent bookstore in Montana is a great idea for several reasons. Montana, known for its wide-open spaces and vibrant local communities, provides a unique opportunity for independent businesses. Furthermore, a bookstore can serve as a hub for community engagement and intellectual growth.

  • Support for Local Businesses: Montanans are known for their strong support for local businesses. An independent bookstore can tap into this community spirit and thrive in the local market.
  • Literary Interest: Montana has a rich history of literary interest, with many famous authors hailing from the state. This creates a potential customer base of avid readers and literature enthusiasts.
  • Community Hub: Independent bookstores often act as community hubs, hosting events like book clubs, author signings, and literary discussions. This can help foster a sense of community and intellectual engagement.
  • Tourist Attraction: With its unique charm and local flavor, an independent bookstore can also attract tourists, contributing to the local economy.
  • Education Resource: A bookstore can serve as a valuable resource for local schools and universities, providing access to a wide range of books and educational materials.


Founder and CEO

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.