That isn’t harsh; it’s how it is in the real world. A company’s business plan is what lenders such as banks and the U.S. Small Business Administration use in deciding to lend you money. It’s the main company document that your employees — and you — use to gauge your company’s success and to make decisions about what you should do first, second, or not at all. If you’re starting a home-based business on a shoestring, some of these suggestions probably aren’t necessary, but you still should create a plan that outlines your goals, expected costs, marketing plan and exit strategy. A business plan is your road map for how you expect to succeed and how you’ll measure success.