Hub management tips

This section is under development. Please contact your local OFN support team to let them know areas where you would like to have more support.

The Open Food Network is a global community of people who are running local food enterprises. Some of them are not-for-profit social enterprises run by community groups. Some are private businesses. All of them see the benefit of collaborating to continue to develop a single software system that allows them not only to access the OFN tools that facilitate their business but to use the power of the Network to link up with everyone else who is using OFN so that they can distribute and sell each other's products.

As well as collaborating to grow the OFN software, these enterprises are sharing ideas on managing the enterprises themselves. One example is this review of a community food hub which details its successes and failures as it is set up and grows. This document pulls together several options for community food enterprises and tips for how to set them up. Several OFN countries have a community forum where OFN users can share ideas and advice about managing their food hubs/shopfronts. This is the OFN UK community forum.

Running a food enterprise is about much more than just selling food and documenting/accounting for sales. Marketing your enterprise to your target customer base is key. As well as sending regular emails and newsletters, social media can be an effective (and cost-efficient) way of promoting your business.

You may wish to set up the following:

  • Facebook Page and/or Group:

    • Read our tips for FaceBook here

    • Step-by-step guide to setting up a FaceBook page for your enterprise here.

  • Twitter

To coordinate and automate your social media campaigns, the following are handy:

Regular, periodic posts on one social media platform are better for building your audience (or following) than sporadic posts across multiple platforms.