What is a business?

I want to think about a business as a system. Is there a system representation that is valid for every business?

Here’s my current attempt:

Leads, Market Needs, and Raw Materials enter the system. Throughput exits. The better the system is at turning Leads, Market Needs, and Raw Materials into Throughput, the better the business is. So I need to look at my current system and figure out where to start.

The main part of the system worthy of clarification is Marketing. Going with Eli Goldratt’s definition of Marketing, that is the subsystem where I define my offering to the market. My offer defines what I’m going to show leads (Advertising) to get them to buy (Sales) and what I’m going to build (Production) once people decide to buy.

Until I have something to offer, the system can not work. That makes it clear what my next step should be. I must figure out what I’m going to offer.