Business Systems and Processes.

The Systems Thinker Blog

Work ON the Business: 7 Tips to Do It Right!

Years ago, I was struck by a statement that had a great impact on me. In fact, it changed my entire approach to business, and ultimately became one of the driving forces behind my current Box Theory™ methodology and software.

Michael Gerber, author of “E-Myth Revisited,” said, “Business owners must spend time working on the business, not just in the business.”

 Running a business

Working on a business—or running a business—is an entirely different task than working a “job” within the business.

Shortly after hearing this profound statement, two young fellows walked into my office and wanted to teach me about time management. Among other things, they said the best use of my time as a business owner was creating value in my company. The second-best use of my time was building relationships and creating sales opportunities.

The epiphany: Working on the business to create value for stakeholders, customers, and employees is the most important and best use of a business owner’s time.

I soon devoted an hour a day improving my company’s operations. This eventually increased to four hours a day—and everything just got better. I got off the treadmill and became a “business engineer”—one who plans, constructs, or shrewdly manages an enterprise” (Online Dictionary).

I was transformed by this new thinking, and so was my company.

Running a Business

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years about how to get the best results when working on the business.

  1. Get Clarity of Purpose: Make sure you and all employees understand your mission, vision, strategy, and goals so that everyone is pushing in the same direction (easily accomplished with Box Theory™ Software). Working on the business means becoming clear about who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to get there.
  2. Find Time for Learning: Spend some time every day in The Zone reading and learning, becoming an industry expert, considering feedback from customers and employees, and pondering your key performance indicators (KPI’s). “There is no substitute for knowledge” (W. Edwards Deming, Total Quality Management). Working on the business means pursuing the knowledge and skills that give you an edge and keep your company on top.
  3. Never Stop Improving: Continuous Improvement of business operations is the primary responsibility of business owners and managers. Hold a regular business improvement workshop that focuses on developing better people, products, processes, and policies. Tap into a wealth of employee ideas. Small improvements over time will produce significant financial benefits. Working on the business means creating a culture of learning and improvement—a culture of excellence—where people love coming to work and perform at their best, even when you’re not around.
  4. Increase Value to Customers: Innovate to make your products and services easier, better, faster, and cheaper than the competition. WOW your customers and turn them into evangelists for your company. “See how much you can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar” (Henry Ford). Working on the business means figuring out how to provide so much value that you become the obvious choice of your target customer.
  5. Elevate Your Employees: First, hire the right people. Then encourage learning and growth by asking them to take on new or greater responsibilities. Seek their help with important tasks and goals. Offer your people opportunities to acquire new skills—perhaps attend a paid seminar. Challenge them to stretch their performance levels. And be sure to recognize and reward achievement! Remember: If your business isn’t learning, you’ll fall behind, and a business learns as its people learn. Working on the business means lifting people and deriving the maximum value from their increasing talents and experience.
  6. Take Cost Out of Your Business: Profit is the life-blood of your enterprise. Find ways to reduce ever-rising costs and preserve your margins, while maintaining the value given to customers. The secret to lowering costs is to make your products, services, and business processes better, faster, and cheaper. And keep in mind the important principle of sales equivalency. Working on the business means applying pig-headed determination to get rid of the waste and inefficiency that increase operational costs.
  7. Create High-Performance Business Systems and Processes: Your entire organization is made up of systems and processes. You can accomplish the six objectives above by creating good business systems that consistently get desired results. There is no other way. The primary purpose of those business systems is to differentiate your company in the marketplace and to help you excel at finding and keeping customers. Working on the business means spending time designing, developing, overseeing, monitoring, and evaluating all the systems and processes that make your organization run smoothly, create value, and generate profit.

Work On the Business More and In the Business Less

So, if you want to run a successful business, the above strategies will get you on the right track. As your company grows, you will spend more time working on your business and less time doing the pick and shovel labor in the business.

And that’s when it starts to get fun!

The mission and purpose of Box Theory™ is to help business owners and managers work on their business in an intelligent and systematic way. It replaces guesswork with proven principles and methods that get results. With the Box Theory™ Way, you know every day exactly what you can do to improve. With each new successful business system or process, the task gets easier and your rate of progress accelerates.

I know the challenge small-business owners have in finding extra time to work on their business. Changing my work pattern to accommodate the process of business improvement was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my business career. Now, all I can say is, “I’M GLAD I DID IT”… AND YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

*****Special Alert: My Retirement is Your Gain*****

To give back to the entrepreneurial community, I HAVE DECIDED TO GIVE AWAY MY VALUABLE SYSTEMS-BUILDING SOFTWARE, ecOURSE, AND OTHER INFORMATION ABSOLUTELY FREE. By filling out the form on this page, you will go directly to a download page. This is not hype. There is no catch. You will receive a software product and a “college equivalent” eCourse on how to develop effective business systems and processes. Customers have been paying for this software and eCourse for fourteen years (see What Cutomers Are Saying).

I will show you how to eliminate business frustrations and make more money by creating remarkable systems and processes that boost customer loyalty, profitability and growth. The application of these strategies has proven to be of great worth for owners of many small and mid-size businesses. Put me to the test!

You will learn the following, and much more:

  • How to become a Systems Thinker and raise your business I.Q. by 80 points—OVERNIGHT.
  • What six elements are found in every great business system.
  • How you can remove waste and inefficiency, and build a results-driven organization.
  • Why good systems and processes are the essential ingredient to start, grow, fix or franchise (replicate) your business.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I will not be trying to sell you because you are getting everything for FREE, much more than I have described here. I won’t be contacting you; however, you can contact me for help with the software or your business at any time. Please browse around my website. If you have any questions, email me, Ron Carroll, at

I hope you enjoy and benefit from this FREE offer. It was a labor of love for me to develop. Becoming a Systems Thinker and using the Box Theory™ methodology will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

I’ll be cheering you on from my quiet fishing hole in the mountains of Utah.

I want to learn how to create remarkable business systems …

Just Retired
Gone Fishing
Your Lucky Day

It's time for me to focus on other things. Many hours and dollars have gone into my software and written materials over the last fourteen years. Now it's time to give back. This is not a gimmick. There is nothing to buy. I give it all to you for free. If you use the software and apply the principles, you can create a remarkable company. See Below. Have fun!

Turn Your Business Into Money-Making Systems!

Get Free Information for Creating Better Business Systems and Processes
Welcome to the #1 website for helping owners of small to midsize businesses create customer-pleasing, waste-removing, profit-boosting business systems and processes.

Michael Gerber, "E-Myth"

Michael Gerber

"Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant."

W. Edwards Deming, Total Quality Management

W. Edwards Deming

"If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing. . . . 94% of all failure is a result of the system, not people."