Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and every business plays a critical role in keeping Montana’s towns vibrant. The Treasure State consistently ranks in top five in reports from the Kauffman Foundation in rates of business ownership and business sustainability.
In our Q and A series, we’ll introduce you to some of Montana’s brightest and best entrepreneurs from all corners of the state. These businesses are involved in a variety of industries including hospitality, retail, and food.
Join us we travel to the Mining City and meet Tom Cronnelly!
1. What is the name of your business?
OMG! Mongolian Grill
2. Are you natives of Montana? If you are, where is your hometown and why do you love it? If not, why did you decide to make Montana home?
I have lived in several other states and many different communities. Butte is unique in that the people are generous, resilient, and optimistic. You almost need to experience Butte to understand how rare this community is.
3. How long has your business been in operation? What does your business do?
8 months. We opened in May 2018. OMG! is a Mongolian Grill and a do-it-yourself Asian stir-fry. Customers select their own ingredients and we cook for them on a round flat top grill that is visible to everyone.
In addition, we strive to be an example for our community in promoting the hiring of developmentally disabled workers. More than 1/2 of our workforce has limited abilities.
4. What has surprised you about owning your own business?
We are surprised and grateful to our customers. EVERYONE seems to love our food and the positive feedback is amazing. Customers have become fans and supporters.
5. Why should an entrepreneur start a business in Montana?
The process was fairly easy and it didn’t cost as much as expected to get up and running. There are grants available in many communities to assist in some of the start-up costs.
6. Why did you decide to start your business?
It started out as a conversation about the food options in Butte compared to cities we have lived in. We discovered a need for a healthier option. We then stumbled upon an old building in the heart of Uptown Butte that was available. Through great support from Bank of Butte and the Silver Bow County Urban Revitalization department, we were able to obtain a grant and financing.
7. What are three pieces of advice you would give someone about starting a company in Montana?
1. Hire professionals to help you navigate. For example, you need the right corporate structure to match your business. A professional architect can save you thousands of dollars in construction costs. An accountant can get your set up property to reduce risks.
2. Have a detailed business plan with realistic and ultra-conservative forecasts. This will assist in financing and measuring your success.
3. Select local PARTNERS and suppliers where possible. Personal relationships are worth a few dollars more in the big picture of things and when you NEED help, it is great to have someone you know come to your aid.
Do you know a local business that should be highlighted on our Q +A feature? Fill out the following questionnaire here and we will consider featuring your business!