The 4 types of people who can help you grow your business using the SEED Relationship Mapping tool seed Monday, 18 September 2017

The 4 types of people  who can help you grow your business using the SEED Relationship Mapping tool

Growing a business can be a tricky and intimidating process. Business owners are overwhelmed with different aspects to focus on. Should we invest in better customer experience, partnerships, staff wellbeing, or procuring more equipment?

At SEED, we are dedicated to creating enabling environments for entrepreneurs to grow their business. Besides supporting entrepreneurs, we therefore also support Business Development Service (BDS) providers through our Training of Trainers (ToT) programme. We provide access to our tools to improve their work with small enterprises, particularly in the core sectors of sustainable agriculture, waste and sanitation, manufacturing, and sustainable tourism.

Earlier this year, we ran an impact assessment survey amongst the BDS providers who participated in all our Training of Trainers workshops so far. Amongst the various tools we used in the workshops, the BDS providers selected the Relationship Mapping tool as one of the most important ones.

As they explain below, the analysis of key relationships is critically important to the businesses they work with:


Our participants find the SEED Tools simple to understand and easy to use in producing excellent results and having a clear impact on SMEs. Can it actually be simple and efficient at the same time? Let’s have a closer look on how the Relationship Tool works:

The Relationship Mapping tool provides clear and easy steps. The first step identifies four types of people who can help you grow your business. We refer to these as ‘actor groups’.

Graphic 1

Once you have identified and listed your current partners and relevant stakeholders within those actors groups, analyse the quality of each relationship with your business. The types of relationships could be: close, weak/ informal, or institutional/ contractual.

From there, identify the characteristic of the relationship: Who is dominant (the business or the other party)? Are there conflicting interests or tension in a relationship? Are there relationships that you would consider as interrupted or damaged?

Analysing Relationships,SEED BDS+ Relationship Mapping Tool

Frequency of usage of SEED tools, SEED BDS+ Impact Assessment, 2017

Business development can never be a one-size-fits-all solution and needs to be adaptable to different markets and climate changes. SEED Tools are designed to be adaptable to changing market situations and applicable in different types of communities. Our recent Impact Assessment study confirms the value and broad applicability of these tools by the ToT participants as reflected in their continuous and frequent usage of the tools post-workshop.

Find out more about the SEED Training of Trainers programme for BDS providers.

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