Business Clinic

What is the Business Clinic?
The Baldwin Wallace University Business Clinic is a community outreach program for small business owners, new business entrepreneurs, and nonprofit board members and executive directors. We coach our clients through the development of a business strategy using a number of different tools including a feasibility analysis to determine if a venture or new product is worthwhile; the Business Model Canvas to determine the value proposition and customer acceptance; and a detailed Business Plan. We also offer other services including an in-depth review of your existing business plan.

Who works with the clients?
Student consultants, selected for their academic accomplishments, prior business/internship experience and communication skill, are teamed with Executive Volunteers (EV) to provide services. Students are fully trained in all aspects of the feasibility analysis, the Business Model Canvas and business plan development. Our EVs have run small and large organizations, have a passion for helping other business owners and for economic development in Northern Ohio.

What is the Business Clinic process?
While the business owner is expected to fully develop his or her plan, the EV and student consultant offer significant information and experience to help throughout the planning processes.

Clinic services are customized to your business; simply call to discuss your specific needs. After an assessment, your student consultant and EV will set up an initial client meeting to review a full agenda and expected outcomes. During each working session, your team discusses, in detail, one or more topics and goals. You, as a client, then draft content, email it for review and receive feedback at the beginning of your next session. The pace is comfortable, while making progress at each meeting. There are no limits to the number of meetings as long as progress is being made. BW students and faculty also can assist in a trial presentation of the final plan.

For in-depth reviews of complete business plans, Business Clinic consultants will review your plan in advance and, during a one-time consultation, give detailed feedback focusing on the completeness and clarity of the plan. The feasibility study is also a one-time meeting in which a student consultant guides you through the assessment of the potential for your business idea.

What other resources are part of the Business Clinic?
As a client of the Business Clinic, you have full access to the Ritter Library business reference material, including printed and electronic information and databases. Some of these online services are subscription-based and not publicly available. In addition, our research librarians are available to assist you. You also have the potential to connect with other EVs and faculty.

What does the service cost for a business plan and how many consulting sessions are included?
There is a nominal charge for the clinic and there is no set limit on the number of sessions a business owner can have. Our experience suggests that six to eight sessions are required to complete a business plan.

Who do I call for more information?
To find out how the BW Business Clinic can put you on the path to small business success, fill out the information below or contact Professor Phil Bessler at (440) 826-2083. An informal, no obligation consultation with him can determine if the BW Business Clinic is right for you. IS THERE A FORM HERE??

What do our clients say about the Business Clinic?

Chuck Debelak, Head of School, Birchwood School
"Transitioning from a founders-run, nonprofit institution to a formal board-run institution was a significant undertaking for Birchwood School, and the BW Business Clinic was able to provide a framework for our thinking and professional feedback for our planning. My year at the clinic was well spent."

Al & Sabrina Baker of Bubba's Q in Avon
"I'm really excited to get to this point with the Business Clinic; I'm seeing a vision on a larger scale than the restaurant. The Business Clinic's team of the trained student consultant and volunteer executive are taking my thoughts to the next level. This was one of the first and wisest investments made in the new venture."

Jamie O'Brien of Mercury Networks, Inc.  
"You and your group have exceeded my expectations. I was thoroughly impressed with the process and the individuals involved. Thank you very much for your help. It is much appreciated."

Bruce A. Sherman, Ph.D., President, B & D Specialty Concepts, Inc.
"As an exercise physiologist with minimal business experience, I found writing a business plan to be more challenging than writing a doctoral dissertation. I truly appreciated how my Business Clinic team challenged me to think out of the box and out of my comfort zone and, in the process, gave me an MBA-like business education. Now I have a far-reaching, yet focused and directed, roadmap to success for my product and my company. I could not have done this without your help!"

Ferne Zigler, President, Ferneway Company
"The structure and content of the BC has enabled me to think more clearly about how Ferneway Company will operate and grow for the future. The access to the Ritter Library is helping both my business plan development and my clients."

Ike Brooks, Managing Director, The PARTNERSHIP
"The value I received from the Business Clinic was in the detailed discussions held that challenged my thinking."

The Business Clinic at Baldwin Wallace University: Practical. Principled. Powerful.