High Desert Ranch and Home was established in 2003 by owner Craig Carroll. Looking to start a small business in Bend, Carroll purchased the local Massey Ferguson tractor dealer that had a small retail space attached to it. The company saw significant growth in their first three years and continued to expand their retail side. In 2006, they upgraded their space to a 15,000 square-foot building on the corner of Butler Market and Fourth in Bend. High Desert Ranch and Home currently has ten employees and offers a huge selection of ranch and home products including: clothing and western wear, pet supplies, livestock and equine feed and supplies, lawn and garden, power equipment, hardware, fencing supplies, and of course, Massey Ferguson tractor sales and service. High Desert Ranch and Home’s expert staff is extremely knowledgeable and can consult ranchers, farmers and homeowners with virtually anything pertaining to their land or livestock.
How has your business been impacted by the economic downturn?
We carry a wide variety of products, so the results of the downturn were mixed. Pet supplies and livestock feed are a ‘must’ for farmers and ranchers and the ‘must-have’ sales stayed pretty flat. High Desert Ranch and Home specializes in clothing and western wear for men, women and children and it was the luxury items like clothing and gifts that were most impacted. Luckily, we were well positioned and were able to weather the storm without any layoffs or downsizing, but it wasn’t without some creative thinking and new efficiencies within the business.
How have you reinvented yourselves to stay in business?
We have completely re-vamped our online presence and have focused more on social media. Flashtag SEO came in and was able to optimize our website for all of the different categories and brands we carry and we saw our web traffic increase ten-fold. Also television advertising with KTVZ and KFXO has had a huge impact with keeping us at the top of people’s minds. We have also brought on some new products and brands that have been very popular with our customers.
What are your goals going forward in our present economic climate?
We continue to operate as efficiently as possible and focus on our core strengths like customer service and education. Education is a huge part of our business, and the more we can share our knowledge and expertise with our customers, the better we can serve the community. We want to be the local expert for everything from lawn and garden to livestock and pet supplies. All of our staff has lived the Central Oregon lifestyle for many years and are able to relate to customers in a way that the big box stores can’t.
What have been the keys to your continued success?
Customer service is our top priority and we want to make sure that every person who walks through the door gets the time and attention they deserve. Our staff play a significant role in the success of the business, and all of them have been with us since the beginning. We have had virtually no turnover in almost ten years. So every time you come in, you are going to see the same friendly faces that make this company so great. We also focus on having a consistent inventory in stock as well as competitive prices. In-stores specials are a way to say ‘thank you’ to our customers. We will be having an open house from 10am-5pm Saturday December 8 with refreshments and a special appearance by Santa, so please come in and say hello.
Craig Carroll: 541-280-9214, 541-318-0760.