Bush said the purpose of the package was to unlock the nation's credit freeze "to get money moving again." But, he added: "We don't want to rush into the situation and have the program not be effective."
The president, after a weekend at his ranch in Waco, met with small business owners at an old-fashioned soda shop in San Antonio, and sought patience from a jittery country.
Congress last week approved a massive plan of federal intervention that allows the government to buy up devalued assets from financial companies in hopes of unlocking frozen credit lines.
Bush, who quickly signed the bill into law, said "it's going to take awhile" to get the program working fully and effectively. He called it a big step toward solving the problem.
A proponent of free enterprise, Bush said the government intervention was necessary. Otherwise, he said, people like the business owners he met with "would be a lot worse off."
Bush's comments came as his top economic advisers pledged to work with their counterparts around the world to restore confidence and stability to financial markets roiled by tight credit and worries about a global economic slowdown.
To that end, the administration was expected to announce shortly that it had tapped a 35-year-old former Goldman Sachs executive, Neel Kashkari, to head the government's rescue effort on an interim basis, according to an official who asked not to be named.
The President's Working Group on Financial Markets said in a statement Monday it planned to quickly implement the expanded authorities granted to federal regulators by the $700 billion rescue package passed on Friday. The working group was formed after the 1987 stock market crash.
Bush will speak about the rescue package on Tuesday after touring Guernsey Office Products in Chantilly, Va., a Washington suburb.