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13 Best Business Ideas in Montana

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on September 29, 2022

Updated on November 12, 2022

13 Best Business Ideas in Montana

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13 Best Business Ideas in Montana

As the largest landlocked state in the US, Montana relies on its agricultural sector. Its highest valued commodities are cattle and calves, wheat, and hay. The state is expected to post strong growth in the next two years, but concerns over a tight labor market are also seen to persist. 

We’ve come up with a list of business ideas in Montana, which you’ll find helpful if you’re looking to launch your own business. Among the possibilities are freight brokerage, recycling, and catering. Take a look!

1. Solar Power Business

How to start a solar farm

Are you thinking of starting a solar business? If so, you’re in good company. Thanks to government incentives and greater concern about the environment, the solar industry is booming, and the cost of panels has declined more than 60% in the past decade. To top it off, there’s probably never been a better time to go into business for yourself. 

Before you get started you’ll have a big decision to make: which aspect of solar power your company will concentrate on. You could sell solar panels, install them, sell and install, or go in another direction and build an entire solar farm. That last choice is of course the most expensive, and also requires a sizable chunk of land, preferably in a sunny place. Whichever option you choose, you will need to meet all the licensing and regulations requirements, and after that you’ll be ready to renew and energize your entrepreneurial journey.

2. Recycling Business

How to start a recycling business

Are you all about going green and saving the environment? Then why not start a recycling business and turn your passion into your livelihood. You could be fighting climate change and making good money at the same time — now that’s a win-win! 

Getting started won’t be cheap, as you’ll need a vehicle to collect and transport the recyclables and a sizable processing facility, as well the appropriate licenses. But you should see a relatively quick return on that initial investment as the US recycling industry is worth billions and growing fast. You’ll just need to decide which types of recyclables you’ll focus on, such as collecting glass to melt down into jars. 

Before you dive in, you might want to check the recycling rates for your state, as some states are much more profitable when it comes to recycling.

3. Tax Preparer

Tax Preparer

Taxes are inevitable, which is why the tax preparation industry has seen slow but steady growth for years, and is expected to continue to do strong business in the years ahead. If you’re a licensed accountant or enrolled agent, you could easily start your own tax preparer business. But even if you’re not, many US states still do not require licensing for tax preparers. Some states don’t have any requirements, while others require that tax preparers pass a beginner’s course in tax prep. Be sure to check with your state government before you get started. 

Beyond that, you will need to get a PTIN, or Preparer Tax Identification Number, which the IRS requires all tax preparers to have. Beyond that, you’ll just need to register your business and start offering your services online. Once you get that first client or two and provide excellent and affordable tax preparation service, you’ll start seeing referrals and you’ll be able to increase your rates and be well on your way to business success.

4. Freight Brokerage

How to Start a Freight Forwarding Business

The freight brokerage market in the US is predicted to grow by at least $8 billion a year through 2025. A freight brokerage business connects shippers and carriers. You can tap the increasing opportunities in this industry by understanding the market and introducing innovations. 

To get your business off the ground, it’s important to understand that it’s all about relationships. You’ll need to vet trucking companies and partner with reliable carriers to make sure the shipments are delivered and you earn the trust of shippers. It’s also important to be adept at negotiating rates to be able to offer cost-efficient services.

Some brokerage companies have entered into the digital space and found solutions that combine automation and artificial intelligence in moving and tracking shipments. The increasing use of smartphones and improving connectivity are also expected to drive the market. You might want to consider these when you set up your business.

5. Blog

Blog

In the podcast era, you might have thought that blogs had gone out of style. You would be wrong. The internet is home to more than 600 million blogs, more than 2 million blog posts go online every day, and after years of steady growth, the US is home to about 32 million blogs. Substack, the blog and newsletter platform, recently passed one million subscribers. As a result, there is real opportunity for a bold entrepreneur looking to start a blog business and get in this massive market. 

It requires minimal investment. All you really need is a reliable computer and decent wifi. The major hurdle is coming up with a concept, an objective or mission for your blog business. You might choose generating funds to feed hungry children or delivering crucial news to the people of your city or state. Once you’ve found your niche, you’ll need to reach out across your network, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and beyond, looking for all those who write on related subjects and asking them to get on board. You could offer discounts, incentives, or rewards to sweeten the deal. 

Once a couple of accomplished bloggers sign on, the paid advertisements will start rolling in and you’ll be on the road to success in the blogging business.

6. Candy Business

How to start a candy business

Got a sweet tooth? Then you probably know that candy is big business. The global candy market has seen steady growth of late and will soon be worth a whopping $200 billion. No wonder everybody wanted to get a glimpse of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! People are crazy for candy. 

If you’re thinking of starting a candy business, it might not be as difficult as you think. In the early days you could run your business from home, sell your candies online and save up to open your own candy store. The key is producing a uniquely appealing product and standing out from the competition in an increasingly saturated market. It could be chocolate, jelly beans, lollipops, jawbreakers or something entirely new! As long as it’s delicious, the sky’s the limit for you and your candy business.

7. Catering

How to start a catering business

Do you have great culinary skills? Have you always dreamed of making your delicious dishes for hundreds of people? Now is a great time to start a catering business. The industry is seeing strong growth as the pandemic recedes and more and more people plan major events, like weddings and corporate affairs. 

The crucial first step will be nailing down an initial menu. Do you favor traditional American dishes? Are you obsessed with Italian? Or maybe Mexican, Thai or Middle Eastern food is more your thing. Once you decide, fill out the menu with appetizer options, second courses, soups and salads, and a selection of entrees and desserts. And don’t forget Americans’ dietary issues — be sure to include low-fat, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. 

Next you’ll want to nail down your product offerings. For example, some caterers today are providing box lunches for in-office events. You should also consider embracing technology, as today’s top event planners often use apps to book the best caterers. Lastly, it’s crucial that you acquire all the necessary licenses and permits, as food businesses are strictly regulated. 

Now you’re ready to get in the kitchen and start making a lot of smiling faces, and a lot of money.

8. Cake Making

How to start a cake business

Nearly six out of 10 Americans eat dessert after a meal at least once a week, and cakes are among the favorites. Cake consumption is growing steadily in the US despite the increasing preference for healthy food. Well, those with a sweet tooth always find an excuse to indulge in cakes. If you’re fond of baking and designing cakes, starting a cake business might be the perfect career choice for you. 

This type of business can be run from home so you can minimize your overhead cost. Once you’ve registered your business, you should find a reliable supplier of ingredients and supplies. Besides offering unique birthday cake designs, you might also want to introduce gluten-free and sugar-free cakes to cater to all kinds of customers. Keep yourself updated with the latest market trends and consider coming up with cakes in a box or tin can cakes. A cake business will require a lot of creativity, hard work and an effective marketing plan.

9. Retail Store

How to start a furniture store business

Are you thinking of starting your own retail business? If so, you’re in good company. The retail industry is a huge part of the economy, and it’s only getting bigger. But starting a retail business isn’t easy. There are a lot of things to think about, from choosing the right location to setting up your payment system. And let’s not forget the most important step: deciding what you’ll be selling! 

A good way to choose your product offerings is to first do some research — see what’s out there, and more importantly what’s not. You’re looking for what sells well, as well as a market gap to fill.  Once you know your products, finding a great location for your store will be the next big step. However, you might want to initially run your retail business out of your home. This would significantly reduce your costs and give you time to build a brand and a reputation. 

After a year or two, assuming your products are well received by the market, you’ll be in a much better position to find a great location and run a successful retail outlet.

10. Vending Machine

How to start a vending machine business

Vending machines are everywhere, from hospitals to train stations, and from schools to offices, special events and more. But have you ever wondered how much money there is in vending machines? Potentially, there’s a lot. It’s a $9 billion industry that’s expected to see strong growth in the coming years. So you could start your vending machine business right now and grab a share of that market while giving yourself a steady stream of nearly passive income. 

It requires a sizable investment to buy that first machine or two and get started, but it’s a fairly low-risk venture. As long as you’re able to put your machines in locations with steady foot traffic, you should do decent business. A key decision will be the products you choose to offer; you could focus on candy and chips, soft drinks, or healthier options like trail mix and granola bars. Once that’s done, you’ll basically be able to sit back and watch your vending machine empire grow.

11. Farm

How to start a farm business

Do you have a green thumb and always dreamed of starting your own farm? Well now is a great time to take the plunge, with countless people leaving cities for the countryside and looking to eat healthier, all-natural foods fresh from the farm. Farming is a trillion-dollar industry in the US, and offers considerable opportunity for the hard-working entrepreneur. 

And there will be hard work. Farming is not as easy as putting on overalls. You’ll need to find and purchase the right piece of land. You’ll need to choose your crops. Maybe heirloom tomatoes, zucchini and soy beans? Next, work the soil and make sure it’s ready for planting, then keep your fields clear of insects and blight. You’ll also want to decide on livestock. Will you have chickens, lambs, cows, pigs? There’s so much work to do on the farm, but you’ll get to work in the great outdoors, providing nourishing foods to your family and community.

12. Podcast

How to start a podcast

The number of Americans who listen to podcasts is seen to increase by around 5 million each year through 2024. Most of the podcast listeners are millennials and their most preferred podcast providers are Apple iTunes and Spotify. Podcasts are digital audio files that are used mostly for entertainment. These can also be used for educational purposes as well as for branding and raising awareness of major issues. 

Starting your own podcast can be daunting, but if you can get your podcast on iTunes or Spotify, you can immediately engage millions of people not only in the US but also worldwide. Podcasts on iTunes may be streamed or downloaded on Apple devices while those on Spotify are available on both Android and iOS, desktops, smartphones, smart TVs and even gaming consoles. 

Submitting your podcasts for upload on iTunes or Spotify is easy, but the challenge is getting an audience to listen to you since you’ll be competing against popular podcasters with tens of thousands of loyal listeners.

13. Wellness Center

How to start a spa business

If you’re passionate about health and want to help other people improve their lives, a wellness business might be best for you. It can be financially rewarding, too. As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global wellness industry is expected to recover from the slowdown and projected to grow nearly 10% annually to approach $7 trillion by 2025. This presents an opportunity for you to start a wellness business. 

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to decide on your niche market. Are you thinking of simply selling health and wellness products? Perhaps you could focus on providing health and wellness services. Would you open a massage or yoga studio? How about a retreat center or treatment spa? Find the answers to your questions as you research more on the subject. Keep in mind that every business is different, so you’ll need to tailor any tips to fit your specific situation.