Making it in Big Sky: Anderson Enterprises
By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – Owner of Anderson Enterprises, Elliott Anderson, has been involved in the family business since he was 18 years old. Anderson was born and raised in Big Sky after his dad Jim Anderson moved to the community in the ‘70s to work in Yellowstone National Park, and later founded the company in 1988.
Growing up, Elliott Anderson spent time skiing, snowboarding, fishing, biking and doing all of the outdoors activities residents of Big Sky love. After leaving to live in Utah for a short time, Anderson has been back in Montana since 2014 and he has been running the family business alongside raising his eight-year-old son.
The small team at Anderson Enterprises works hard to provide professional textile cleaning services to the Big Sky community. Anderson said they operate exclusively in Big Sky and accept jobs ranging from private homes to large spaces at the resorts.
The company has grown and reduced the scope of services they offer over the years, but Elliott said today, they are busier than ever. Anderson Enterprises largely receives business through word-of-mouth and connections within the Big Sky community, which allows the small family business to thrive.
Explore Big Sky sat down with Elliott Anderson to learn more about Anderson Enterprises and his answers are below.
Some answers below have been edited for brevity.
Explore Big Sky: Tell me about the history of the company?
Elliott Anderson: “My dad moved here in 1978 from Indianapolis, Indiana. It was to work in Yellowstone Park; he came out here with a buddy from Indiana. He ended up in Big Sky like a lot of people do that work in the park. When he moved to Big Sky, he was very into construction, so what happened is he started managing a bunch of jobs when Hidden Village was starting to get going up there when that was the big new development. Then he started his own construction company, which was Anderson Enterprises, and then he had an investor come up to him to see if he wanted to get into water damage restoration. He agreed and did that and with restoration kind of comes all the same equipment for carpet cleaning. So he thought to himself as long as I’m doing restoration, I might as well double dip into the honeypot so he did that and he was also doing construction. Later, he sold his construction sector off to a guy who now owns Little Coyote Construction. He continued on with the restoration and carpet cleaning. Restoration was always the main thing, but the carpet cleaning came with everything that restoration does. That went on since I was about four or five till, I was probably 24 when we actually got rid of restoration we gave the rights to Buffalo Restoration in Bozeman because restoration is just huge. … Now we’re just doing carpet cleaning and I think that’s where we’re going to stay.”
EBS: When is your busy time?
EA: “When, when Big Sky Resort closes, and Moonlight, we actually do everything for them. We do the Summit we do the Huntley we do the Exchange, all the common areas. We also do everything for Yellowstone Club, we do all their lodges so it’s definitely crunch time right now.”
EBS: How has your business grown over the years?
EA: “It’s a strange way that happened actually because it went from being construction to restoration to carpet cleaning all in the same business to then getting rid of the construction and then getting rid of restoration. So it’s actually gone from big to small but that doesn’t mean we’re not busier than we ever were before. We’ve definitely grown and it’s definitely different than a lot of places.”
EBS: What services do you provide?
EA: “We’re a textile cleaning business, which means we pretty much clean anything, upholstery, leather, carpet, drapes, and we do high dust downs on big houses in the Yellowstone Club, where there’s cobwebs up in those big rafters. Anything from residential to commercial—we do just about everything [but] we don’t do housekeeping services. Anything tile grout like that we take care of and we also do wood floors.”
EBS: Who is your biggest client?
EA: “I would say this year it’s going to be the Yellowstone Club, but usually it’s Big Sky Resort. The reason why it’s different this year is because Big Sky Resort is redoing almost the whole Huntley Lodge and almost the whole Summit Hotel.”
EBS: How is Anderson Enterprises unique?
EA: “Being a family business is unique because a lot of places aren’t like that, in Big Sky we’re fortunate to have that. You’re able to provide more of a one-on-one feel to each of the customers. Keeping employees happy is a lot easier and everyone gets along and agrees with each other for the most part.”
EBS: What is the best business advice that you have ever received?
EA: “The customer is always right. Friendliness is everything, it’s not what you say but how you say it.”