Riverford Organic Franchise

DORSET RIVERFORD THROUGH TO FRANCHISEE OF THE YEAR AWARDS FINAL

4th August 2011

Social Media and Marketing Innovations Inspire Judges

Dorset entrepreneurs, Chris and Holly Galley, are through to the Franchisee of the Year Awards Final. The couple believes their success in reaching this stage lies in their innovative use of marketing and social media to boost their customer base, and increase local brand awareness.

Riverford Organic Vegetables Franchise - health food franchiseChris and Holly Galley took over the Dorset franchise of Riverford Organic just 18 months ago, and in this short space of time have increased their number of deliveries by almost 200, and pushed cash sales up by 12%.

Says Chris: “When we took over from the previous owners, sales were declining. By improving customer care and processes and introducing social media – as well as other marketing methods such as cooking our fresh organic produce at local fairs to stimulate interest – we’ve taken on more regular customers. When you also consider that this is a slower time of year, because a lot of people go away and routines are disrupted, it’s a great achievement. Going into autumn and the busy Christmas period, I expect our veg box sales to increase even more.”

Engaging customers via Twitter and Facebook has helped the Galley’s new business venture, not only by encouraging more sales, but also by creating a real sense of community both on and offline.

Says Holly: “We knew we needed to work hard on the marketing, and employed a local PR woman who has helped to galvanize the Riverford community in Dorset. We’ve got more than 500 followers on Facebook already, and have found that it’s a brilliant environment for discussion. We can post recipes, give advice, talk about the impact of weather on crops, and generally let people know what we’re up to. It’s a soft approach to selling, and one that seems to work, mainly because we’re not telling people how good Riverford Organic is – they’re telling each other. It’s actually much more about engagement and helping people make an informed choice than getting them to buy a box.”

The Galley’s have also made the most of social media by listening to posted comments and finding out more about what people think and want.

Says Chris: “We discovered that a lot of potential customers didn’t know how flexible and affordable our veg box delivery scheme is. Many were unaware of just how easily an order can be amended or put on hold when circumstances change. Educating people about the service, we learnt, was almost important as teaching them about fresh produce.

He adds: “Using social media is simply an extension of what we already do on the doorstep. But it’s more useful for gathering lots of qualitative and quantitative information quickly and easily, and improving the way we run our business.”

The Galleys, who run Riverford Dorset from their family home in Motcombe, were Riverford customers for five years before they bought the franchise.

We’ve always been passionate about Riverford Organic, and have waited a long time to finally get our own territory,” Chris says. “We bought our franchise because we love what the company is about:†it’s consideration of ethics, and things such as the specific impacts that growing and transporting organic produce has on the environment. There’s almost nothing they haven’t considered in these terms.

“But it’s also a great investment,” he adds, “and we’re delighted to be finalists in the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards so soon after getting started. Last year, a fast food franchisee won. I think it would be great for an organic business to win this year!”

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Riverford Organic Franchise Case Studies

Charlie Bush throws in the trowel for a business on a plate
24th January 2013
Charlie Bush tried to start his own organic veg box delivery business, not realising that he had set himself a relentless and unforgiving...

Paul Jardine, a Riverford case study - 'Itís all about the Mooli'
21st December 2012
Paul Jardine talks about why he invested in Riverford, why itís not all about the money, and why he wants to be known as North Londonís...

How does your franchise grow? - Steve and Lynn Allen, A Riverford Organic Case Study
29th October 2012
Riverford Organic customers Steve and Lynn Allen decided the time had come for change and started their own Riverford Organic business

Gunning for Organic
3rd May 2012
From the RAF to his own Organic Franchise - An Interview with Chris Hayton

Mush-room for Improvement
11th January 2012
AN INTERVIEW WITH RIVERFORD ORGANIC FRANCHISEE, HAYLEY DWYER

Ex-high powered salesman starts new life with Riverford Organic
5th October 2011
Investing in a new business is a big step. But going from long-term employment to buying and running an established franchise could be...

Back to his Roots with Riverford Organic Franchise
2nd September 2011
James Negus took over a struggling Riverford Organic franchise territory a year ago

FROM THE PUBLIC SECTOR TO THE OPEN ROAD
29th July 2011
VANESSA COOK - A RIVERFORD ORGANIC FRANCHISEE CASE STUDY

Riverford Organic Franchise

Further Information

Franchise Information

BFA Membership Status
Full
UK Years Established
13 years
Current UK Coverage
90%
Franchisee Support Staff
7
Personal Investment Req.
£12,500
Total Startup Cost
£24,000
Home-based business location Home-based business location
Business to consumer services Business to consumer services
Franchisee operates individually Franchisee operates individually

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