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Business Owner's Handbook: What Type of Business Are You Anyway?

Updated: Mar 16

I love a good graph, maybe it's the economist in me, but things always make the most sense when you can put it in a nice visual representation of less and more. If you are further to the right then you're more of this and if you are closer to the bottom then you're less of that.

Yeah, now you're starting to like graphs, too, aren't you? I'm kidding, of course.

person holding up a sheet of paper with a large fingerprint on it with a busy downtown in the background

One of my favorite graphical representations from grad school was the matrix illustrating the Miles and Snow Strategy Typology (I have a picture of it below).

Miles and Snow Strategy Typology
Miles and Snow Strategy Typology

We based our semester's assignment on this matrix- asking - "is your business more of an analyzer or are they more of a reactor in the marketplace?" We had debates on what type of business is better suited for this industry or that. It was all so interesting... you agree, right?

Today, we're summarizing the Miles and Snow Strategy Typologies for you - so go ahead and see where your business lies and what potential strengths / weaknesses you may face as a result.


Without further ado, let's dive in!


A prospector is a company that represents high explorations but low exploitation. This means that they are aggressive in their moves, but that aggressiveness can lead to inefficiencies.