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Business Showcase
13 October,2017

Business Showcase: How I Took My Business Overseas

Hello, I am Sandra Poppema, B.Sc. and I am the proud founder of HippoLogic. I connect equestrians to their inner wisdom and teach them the principles of learning, so they become confident and knowledgeable to train their own horse safely and effectively.

HippoLogic offers online coaching via Skype, courses in Equestrian goal setting and training challenges. Since HippoLogic went online I have had clients all over the world. In this blog I will tell the story how HippoLogic evolved from a rural business in The Netherlands to an international business online.

What do hippos have to do with HippoLogic?

In 2012 I emigrated from The Netherlands to Canada. For English speaking people the word hippo has a different meaning. In The Netherlands people would make the connection to ‘hippic’ or ‘hippique’ in a heartbeat and think of horses, in Canada people think of hippo as in hippopotamus.  In Greek potamos means ‘river’ and you already know the word hippo. Now you know Hippopotamus means ‘river horse’.

For a while I wasn’t sure if I should change my business name HippoLogic into something else, but I decided not to. I had established my business name and re-branding would have a serious impact on my online presence.

New country, new customs

In The Netherlands I offered private dressage lessons and workshops on location. When I emigrated to Canada I had to build a new network of local horse people. That was much easier said than done. Making friends and finding clients in another culture isn’t easy. You have to understand the local customs first and that takes time.

In Vancouver, BC, Canada most barns have their own instructors and they don’t allow outside instructors on the premises. That was a very unexpected surprise. Other novelties I had to deal with were liability concerns: people are a lot more likely to sue each other here than in The Netherlands and required a much higher insurance. The ways I used to find new clients didn’t work at all in Canada.

Quitting or changing business model
It was hard for me to find local clients. What to do? I didn’t want to quit my business so I decided to turn back to my Dutch clients. Some of them really missed me and I started coaching them over Skype and offering video lessons. I started connecting with new clients through my online community which I had built over the past 5 years.

In December 2016 I created my first online course ‘Set Your Equestrian Goals & Achieve them’ in which I help equestrians to turn their dreams into reality. I now have clients throughout Europe, North-America and Australia.

The next step

The next step is focusing on being a speaker in Canada. This year (2017) I will be participating in the largest Canadian horse expo, The Mane Event. It is a three day event and every day I will be speaking about a different aspect of my horse training method.

Sandra Poppema

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Post History

Haynet Podcast

Do You Swing Both Ways?

Chatting A Bit with Olive & Berry

When You Have To Say Goodbye

Stand Out In Business

My Favourite Equestrian TV Series: Flambards

Changing The Rein