Want To Start Your Own Business in Missoula? Five Industries That Are Thriving

When it comes to natural wonders, Missoula is one of the most incredible states in the entire country. Located in the western part of Montana, we have a typical mountain ecosystem, surrounded by valleys and mountains. Attractions found in the city’s bustling downtown area include famous carousels, museums, and spectacular theaters. Caras Park in Missoula, for example, is a great place to enjoy cultural events and music festivals throughout the year. 

In addition to our city’s natural beauty, Missoula’s unique culture also makes it a worthwhile visit. And since tourist income has been gradually increasing in Montana, many company owners have been reaping the benefits by simply starting firms that center around the tourism sector. Other than tourism, several different industries make up Missoula’s economy, including Healthcare, fishing, agriculture, and transportation. 

With the population increasing more than 2% every year, isn’t it about time you start a company in the booming town of Missoula? However, while trying to start your own business can definitely be challenging, knowing what industries are flourishing can make it easier to decide which one you want to pursue. The following businesses provide a variety of options for those who want to start a prosperous business.


Healthcare is an essential source of revenue for the entire city of Missoula. According to the 2019 census, our population currently has a median age of 32.8, and that number will only increase as time passes. The older the demographics found in a city, the more healthcare will be needed for these aging residents. If you want to corner this market, then you may want to open a pharmacy, medical equipment shop, or even create an emergency ambulance service. 

Obtaining a license and setting up a shop in the central part of the city is all you need to do to get your business off the ground, and over time, you can easily witness your business start to grow. Once you begin operating in Missoula, you can possibly think about starting to direct your service outward, towards the entire state of Montana. Eventually, you may find yourself expanding throughout the nation, too. 


We already know Missoula is filled with fertile lands. Agriculture is one of the highest-paying industries in Missoula. While farming products like potatoes, grain, fruits, or barley are easy to cultivate, the main focus here is livestock. Cow, sheep, and calves are some of the top exports from our city. Furthermore, the majority of our food is imported, making it somewhat expensive. If there are more high-quality food industries in Missoula, people can get nutritious food at a lower price.

Tourism & Hospitality

Tourism and hospitality are some of the largest contributors to Missoula’s flourishing economy, as we are genuinely a one-of-a-kind place. As far as sightseeing goes, mountain ranges, valleys, and glaciers are available in a surprisingly small radius. It’s hard to beat it, and our wildlife, geography, and culture are just a few of our many draws for visitors. More importantly, travelers visiting Missoula rely on the dozens of establishments that offer tours, events, and lodgings for their stays here.

There’s no question that tourists, to some extent, define the economy of Missoula. As it’s such a huge industry here, there are a lot of ways you can become profitable by cornering this market. For instance, you may decide to open a hotel or a bed and breakfast. Or, if you prefer, you can become a tour guide for our many local attractions. There are tons of options from which you can choose, giving you a wide variety of ways to succeed. 


Since mountains and valleys surround Missoula, it’s no surprise that the transportation industry is also thriving. From transporting packages to exporting goods, logistics is flourishing more than ever before. Exports are a huge part of our city, and there’s always a need to improve freight services by providing the buyer with safe and fast deliveries. As long as you have a vehicle and the license, you can start your own transportation firm, and it definitely has the potential to develop quickly. 

Coal Export

There are many reasons to consider the coal mining sector as a viable option if you’re planning to start a new business here in Missoula. With Montana being the sixth-largest coal producer in the United States it speaks volumes of the industry’s position here. Just like any other business, the first step is oftentimes the hardest part, and getting into coal exportation can be difficult. And to make things clear, you don’t need a coal mine to get started.

All you need to know is how the business, export, and transportation takes place, and the rest will fall into place. Since coal will always be required, you can feel confident that the industry is here to stay. This booming export industry is a lucrative endeavor, and it’s fine to start small. Later, if you feel inclined, you can start exporting coal to different states — or even other countries — once you have a better grasp of the business. 

Is A Missoula Small Business Right for You?

If you want to start your own business here in beautiful Missoula, you’ll need more than just good old-fashioned ambition. You’ll also need a detailed marketing plan to help you promote it and the right attitude to grow it. After all, if the public doesn’t know about the goods or services you offer, then you will have a much harder time with it. However, seeing your dream finally come to life can be incredibly rewarding, and it’ll be more than worth it once you see it take off. 

After all, for many people, starting their own business is the culmination of years of hard work and tireless effort. While you’ll certainly have your ups and your downs along the way, knowing which sector is a good fit for both yourself and this community can help make it much easier. And by being careful about which industry you choose — and of course, following your heart — you can find yourself becoming Missoula’s next small business success story!