What We Do

Our Mission: To Help Businesses in Lake, Mineral, and Sanders County Grow And Prosper

Mission West works with entrepreneurs like you to take your business ideas from concept to reality. We also work with existing businesses to grow and scale.

How? Mission West can help you with:

  • Writing Business Plans
  • Setting Up Business Structures
  • Organizing Financial Data
  • Buying Businesses
  • Selling Businesses
  • Obtaining Small Business Loans
  • Developing Marketing Plans
  • Business Management
  • Human Resources Management

Mission West also offers Free Training Workshops and one-on-one consulting to small businesses that qualify.
To get started email us or us a call at 406-676-5901.

Start Up Grow – Thrive!

Starting A Business: Where To Start When You're Starting Up

Start With Us. We’ll work with you from the beginning to lay a firm foundation for your business. Learn more about how we work with entrepreneurs, like you, in the Business Department Center at Mission West.

Writing A Business Plan

A major cause of small business failures in the first three years is lack of planning.

An idea for a business is just that – an idea. A Business Plan provides a path for making that idea a reality. Your business plan describes what your business is, how it’s structured, and how it’s managed. It includes financial projections, a description of the market in your industry, the strengths and weaknesses of your business, and how your business will operate.

The process of writing a plan helps you make decisions about your business to position it for success in the marketplace. We can provide you with templates, guide you through the process, and review your plan as it progresses. Most lenders require a business plan as part of the small business loan application process. Your business plan will serve as a roadmap as you set up and manage your business, and it will help lenders assess your potential for profitability.

We’ll work with you through the start-up process and beyond to help you develop a business plan, obtain financing, and help you manage, maintain, and grow your business.

Financing a Business

Financing for your business is one of the most critical factors in determining your success. The basics of lending start with the Five C’s of Credit – Capacity, Collateral, Capital, Conditions, and Character.

In the opinion of the bank, the first “C”, CAPACITY, may be the most important. Capacity refers to the ability of the firm to repay the loan. In your small business loan application, you must discuss exactly how and when you intend to repay the loan. Not only do you need to state your revenues and expenses, but you also need to indicate the amount of your cash flows and the timing of your cash flows with regard to repayment. Capacity also refers to your credit history. Do you have a good credit score? The bank will look at your past repayment history, both business and personal. Don’t forget to indicate every possible source of repayment at your disposal in your application.

This refers to forms of security you can provide to your bank or other lender. COLLATERAL may be buildings or equipment owned by your small business or by you personally, including your home. Collateral may also include a guarantee by someone else that, in case you cannot repay the loan, the other party will. As money gets tight in the economy, there is an increased chance that banks will require loan guarantees in addition to collateral. You may know loan guarantees by the term “co-signer.”

CAPITAL, in this context, represents the owner’s investment in the business. Before applying for a bank loan, the owner has to have a significant investment in the business before a lender will even consider making a business loan. The loan officer will look carefully at the amount and quality of capital the owner has to offer.

CONDITIONS are two-fold. First, conditions refer to the overall economic climate and external environment surrounding the bank and the business firm. During a recession or periods of tight credit, it is obviously more difficult for a small business to repay a loan and more difficult for a bank to find the funds to loan. It becomes even more important for the small business to present an iron-clad loan application to the bank.

The second part of conditions refers to the intended purpose of the loan. Are you buying new equipment for expansion? Are you replenishing working capital to prepare for seasonal inventory buildup? Why do you need the money? Spell it out in detail in your loan application.

CHARACTER is often a subjective judgment made by the banker about the prospective client. The lender decides if the client is trustworthy with regard to repaying the loan and generating a return on the investment. This is where the education and experience of the client comes into the picture. The financial loan officer considers your references and background in your industry.

Character refers to the financial history of the borrower; that is, what kind of “financial citizen” is this person or business? Character is most often determined by looking at the credit history, particularly as it is stated in the credit score (FICO score). Factors that will affect your credit score include late payments, delinquent accounts, available credit, and total debt. Your credit score is an important number. It is how creditor and lenders quickly decide if you are creditworthy.

Lenders will take an in-depth look at your finances, including your business plan for a start-up, your profit and loss statements for an existing business, your credit rating, business assets, collateral, cash flow projections and more. We work closely with banks throughout the region, and we can help you determine your eligibility for a small business loan and work with you throughout the lending process. The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity act prohibits lender discrimination – learn more about the ECOA.

In addition to helping businesses obtain capital through commercial banks, we offer loans through our In-House Revolving Loan Fund to businesses that meet specific criteria. We’ll work with you to assess your best options for financing at any stage, from start-up through growth and expansion.

We partner with the following financial institutions

Growing A Business

While business growth presents opportunities, it also presents challenges. Only about half of new business start-ups are still in operation after five years. A solid growth strategy helps you manage and control when and how your business grows. Depending on the industry and the market, your business may grow through increased market penetration, market expansion, product expansion, diversification, or acquisition of other companies.

Workshops And Training

Our free workshops help you gain the skills you need for your business to succeed. We offer workshops on business start-up, cash flow projections, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Windows 10, QuickBooks, social media marketing, taking your food business idea from concept to consumer, and more. We also offer free access to business workshops at the Flathead Valley Community College to qualified individuals. Check out our schedule and sign up for the workshops you need to improve your business skills.

Business Development News

Business Updates & Success Stories

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Mission West Awarded $3 Million National Grant to Launch Montana Local Food Financing Fund Partnership

The Montana Local Food Financing Fund Partnership will promote food hub development to expand food access for communities across Montana. …
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Government Contracting 101

Wednesday, May 24 9:00 am to 10:00 am Mission West Building 407 Main St., Ronan Instructed By Robert Much Government…
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Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

Flathead Lake_ Chief Cliff, Courtesy Bear Country Drone Service

Get In Touch

If you’re interested in furthering your small business or have questions about how we can assist you, reach out to our Business Development Team.


Any person eligible to receive benefits or services from the Department of Treasury – Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI Fund) or its recipients is entitled to those benefits or services without being subject to prohibited discrimination. The Office of Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity (OCRE) enforces various federal statutes and regulations that prohibit discrimination in CDFI Fund financially assisted and conducted programs or activities. If a person believes s/he has been subjected to discrimination and/or reprisal because of membership in a protected group then s/he may file a complaint with: Director, Office of Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20220 or [email protected].

Upon request, a Spanish translation of the Nondiscrimination and Civil Rights Information web page is available Non-Discrimination Statement and Civil Rights Information | Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (cdfifund.gov). Para solicitar esta información en español, envíe una solicitud a través de [email protected]. To request this information in Spanish, please submit a request to [email protected].

Additional Civil Rights contact information:

USDA-Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/home

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