A simplified Gantt chart helps illustrate the key steps. You can then write a brief line-by-
line commentary describing why key activities are required when. These become your
operational objectives. If you have drawn up highly detailed Gantt charts by departmen-
tal/functional area, they can go in an annex. If you write a one-paragraph commentary
about each line in your charts, tying them into the financial operating plans, you will have
a clear, logical and very detailed operating plan. Chapter 13 further discusses the use of
the objectives when steering the business.
You have now completed the very core of your business plan. The hard part is over. The
next step is to cost your plans and draw up budgets and cash flow forecasts. This is not to
say that these are separate processes. All the steps in preparing a business plan are inter-
active. You cannot consider any one in isolation. You may have had to prepare financial
estimates in order to develop the strategy and operating plan. Or you might decide to
revise these parts of the plan after looking at the costs. Let’s move on.
‘If one wants to be successful, one must think; one must think until it hurts.
One must worry about a problem in one’s mind until it seems there cannot be another
aspect of it that hasn’t been considered.’
LORD THOMSON OF FLEET