The entrepreneur | With Yvonne van den Bergh via your real ‘me’ for more…

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Turn on your charisma and you will make a bigger impression, both professionally and privately. This is Yvonne van den Bergh’s mission with her company Sproet Image Consultancy. During the corona crisis, in search of business depth, she chose an advisory process with Stichting Ondernemersklankbord. ,,I am very strong creatively, with too little attention to the business aspects of running a business as a shadow side. That has changed. I now run business with much more focus.”

Wim Danhof

3 August 2022

Yvonne van den Bergh from Sproet Image Consultancy with OKB adviser Ferd Grobben. Photo: Ruud Voest

From corporate identity and logo to website and newsletter: many entrepreneurs invest heavily in marketing. But they forget that they themselves make up the last piece, like a living business card. Yvonne van den Bergh and her clients achieve the personal blend of colour, style and behavior that makes a real impression. Her services range from personal shopping and wardrobe management to presentation training. Result: people manifest with new momentum and increase their positive impact.

Clothes to affirm and nurture your self-expression

Yvonne started this service in 2012 when she exchanged a career in fashion and haute couture with entrepreneurship. ,,I wanted to work professionally with the question of what a unique clothing style that suits the person can mean. It nurtures your confidence and self-expression. It brings you closer to your inner strength, your true ‘I’. When you can show the original version of yourself to others, you come across as more powerful and you achieve more.”

That every person has the inner strength, Yvonne experienced firsthand in 2012 when she was fighting breast cancer. “I made a full recovery, but everything on the outside fell away for a while. I realized even more that you can exude personality in all circumstances, with clothes as a supporting and enhancing factor.”

”I could make a good living from my work, but I could use some extra eyes and brains in my company. I immediately clicked with Ferd. A relaxed guy: curious, open. And he’s sharp”

Yvonne van den Bergh, Sproet Image Consultancy

Presentation of your story in the theatre

During that difficult time, Yvonne watched a TED talk by Brené Brown. “I saw her talking and joking and I thought, ‘I want that too’. She talked about shame, vulnerability and self-expression. Difficult subjects that she conveyed powerfully through storytelling. Added to this was the magic and freedom of theatrical presentation, including forms like singing and dancing. I felt everything: ‘I just have to organize those lectures myself!’ This resulted in another business activity: ‘Stories Worth Sharing’. I have now organized nine editions of this. The tenth will take place on September 25th at the theater PePijn in The Hague. 50 entrepreneurs have already conquered themselves and shared their unique entrepreneurial story on stage in front of a hundred people. I’m super proud of that!”

Yvonne accompanies these entrepreneurs for three months on their journey to the stage presentation. ,,I give them content and stage presence advice and I collaborate with a cabaret artist who gives tips on how to play the audience. Humor is important here. Anecdotes are the cement of the content of your presentation.”

Read also: Almin Zolotic works with Entrepreneur soundboard towards ‘City Shower’

‘Never waste a good crisis’: involving the sounding board of entrepreneurs

The corona crisis was a big challenge in 2020. Three sold-out theater meetings with eighteen entrepreneurial stories were postponed until after summer. Yvonne found a new, ‘corona-proof’ location for this in Lourdeskerk. During this uncertain period, she saw an Instagram ad from Stichting Ondernemersklankbord and she thought: ‘Free advice from an experienced entrepreneur or professional: why not?’ She applied and was linked to OKB advisor Ferd Grobben. He had spent his 40-year career at Rabobank in eight consecutive branches, the last twelve years until his retirement as account manager ‘Big business’ in Rotterdam.

Yvonne: ,,I could live off my work, but I could use some extra eyes and brains in my company. I immediately clicked with Ferd. A relaxed guy: curious, open. And he is sharp. He asks about your grades and tells you what to pay attention to. I soon realized that my focus on my strength, the creative part, has a dark side: that I had less eye for the business and administrative aspect of entrepreneurship. Ferd thus opened his eyes to the value of the time I spend on things. For example, sessions where I give a client a style guide at the end: It could have been shorter and more systematic.”

”I knew the Ondernemersklankbord Foundation, made contact and it turned out that my services were put to good use. I have now mentored twenty entrepreneurs.”

Ferd Grobben, adviser Entrepreneurisk klangbund

Talking without flour in the mouth

Ferd adds: ,,In my working life I have seen 700 companies within. Then you retire and sit at home. With all the knowledge you have gained about business economics, finance and marketing, you no longer do anything. Isn’t that a sin? I knew the Ondernemersklankbord Foundation, made contact, and it turned out that my services could be used. I have now mentored twenty entrepreneurs. The most important question for any company is: ‘Who am I and what do I want to radiate?’ Certainly, when you help clients with charisma, you should also profile yourself in this way. We therefore checked the consistency of Sproet Image Consultancy’s expression on the various social media platforms. We had to streamline some things. The good thing for the entrepreneur is that the OKB adviser offers reassurance, because as temporary outsiders we are not part of their network. It makes open communication possible.”

More financially conscious

In addition, Ferd looked at Sproet Image Consultancy through the financial lens, which apparently also dealt with time writing. ,,I love spreadsheets: how much work do you have and how many hours do you spend on it? If you keep track of it on a daily basis, you’ll ultimately know what you’ve spent the most time on and what you’ve earned from it. This way you can see which activity gives the most. Then you decide very consciously whether you want to focus on the most profitable activities or not.”

Read also: Smart innovation at Shipyard Geertman through consultancy Entrepreneurial sounding board

Smarter packaging of the offer

Revenue growth through smarter packaging of the services is another result of the OKB process, adds Yvonne: “I now sell more courses and fewer individual items, for example the process ‘In three steps to a charismatic look that suits you’. In this I have combined services such as ‘Personal shopping’ and ‘Wardrobe advice’. This allowed me to price my services higher. So the inclusion of Ondernemersklankbord has helped me in several ways.”

On the way to the next stage of growth

Half of Sproet Image Consultancy’s revenue now comes from styling advice, and half from ‘Stories Worth Sharing’: consulting processes that result in a theatrical presentation. Yvonne is already looking further: ,,I want to grow ‘Stories Worth Sharing’ into the most important business activity, nationally and later also internationally. I’m also working on ‘Document for Later’, a variation of ‘Stories Worth Sharing’. In this case, it is the young people who, after a counseling session, present their vision of their own future, on stage or in their school class. To this end, I seek cooperation with education. It also has my heart, because many young people are very uncertain about their own future. By letting them present their dream, they have an anchor point they can work towards. It gives them new energy and hope, which I have already experienced.”

Entrepreneurial soundboard helps SMEs

Entrepreneur Soundboard Foundation offers support to entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized businesses. It can be advice for start-up companies, or guidance for entrepreneurs who want to grow, innovate, reorganize or relocate. Ondernemersklankbord is also happy to give entrepreneurs a listening ear in difficult weather. In that case, too, we are there to first listen carefully to the entrepreneur and then provide unbiased expert advice.

Ondernemersklankbord Foundation has existed for forty years and in 2021 processed more than 3000 entrepreneurial courses. Our consultants have worked in a number of different sectors and industries. They know the challenges of entrepreneurship like no one else.

Please note: a soundboard process is now temporarily free.

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