EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of an ongoing series offering tips and information for businesses, job-seekers and consumers.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of an ongoing series offering tips and information for businesses, job-seekers and consumers.

SCORE, a nonprofit organization that provides advice for small businesses, offers the following tips for effective business planning:

Clearly define your business idea and be able to articulate it succinctly. Know your mission.Examine your motives. Make sure that you have a passion for owning a business and for this particular business.Be willing to commit to the hours, discipline, continuous learning and frustrations of owning your own business.Conduct a competitive analysis in your market, including products, prices, promotions, advertising, distribution, quality, service, and be aware of the outside influences that affect your business.Seek help from other small businesses, vendors, professionals, government agencies, employees, trade associations and trade shows. Be alert, ask questions, and visit your local SCORE office.

SCORE, which has 370 chapters in the United States, is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For more from SCORE, see www.score.org.