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Free Business Counseling
from Experienced Professionals

Who We Serve

Business Advisers of Cleveland (BAC) volunteer executives provide free, unbiased business advice to individuals who want to start a business or non-profit organization. BAC also serves existing businesses and non-profits who face difficult business challenges. BAC volunteers provide their confidential advice for free to help Northeast Ohio.​

Team Approach to Problems

What’s unique about BAC’s approach to business counseling is its team approach. Our counseling uses a team of three experienced business professionals with extensive general management experience. This brings a range of viewpoints into the discussion and often uncovers hidden dimensions of problems.

The team serves as a free board of advisers without any conflict-of-interest to provide realistic advice for as long as a client needs it.

Ari and Stacy, Owners of  Awaken Bake Company in Hudson, OH

Ari and Stacy, Owners of

Awaken Bake Company in Hudson, OH


Ari and Stacy had been looking to acquire a store-front for their bakery business. When the right opportunity arose, Business Advisers of Cleveland helped them through the process.


Awaken Bake Company opened in November of 2023 in Hudson, Ohio, with excitement and support of the local Hudson community.  


“The advisers at BAC were absolutely instrumental in the purchase of our bakery. They helped us in all aspects of the purchase process, from determining a value on the existing establishment to negotiations with the seller. We really couldn't have done it without them!”


~Ari, Owner of Awaken Bake

Building success solving problems

First Step:
Complete Request
for Counseling Form

BAC will contact you by phone or email to schedule your appointment. Sessions are typically scheduled two weeks in advance. Sessions are usually held in person at our downtown office, although if necessary we will schedule a meeting via video conference.

A three-person counseling team from our experienced membership will lead and provide counsel during your session.  If other skillsets or industry knowledge are required, other BAC members may join in future sessions.

Clients are encouraged to schedule follow-up sessions after their initial session, always at no cost.

If they qualify, they can apply to the Mentoring Program to work with a single mentor or group that meet regularly and focus on both short-term and long-term goals.

Come With A Goal.
Leave With A Plan

Coaching Start-ups

If you are starting a business (or non-profit) or are considering buying a business, BAC will help you assess your personal and professional readiness to make this major decision. Starting or buying a business is a challenging endeavor.  Most entrepreneurs find it helpful to have a source of unbiased advice and support.

Typically, the team can help by providing a reality-based assessment of the opportunity. This involves:

• Evaluating the business idea systematically, looking at strengths and weaknesses, and helping to assess the chance of success.

Guiding the entrepreneur through the steps of creating a good business plan, setting up a sound legal and accounting structure, and taking sound operational steps.

Giving the new owner a sense of the expectations of major business players such as the banks, accountants and attorneys, suppliers and customers.

Counseling Existing Businesses

If you have an existing business and need a solution to an existing problem, BAC can offer a dispassionate sounding board to explore your options.

Due to extensive business careers, BAC’s advising team can often provide a common-sense perspective on resolving familiar problems. They can offer a practical problem-solving approach to financial, personnel, marketing, or other operational issues based on personal experience.

BAC counseling will explore a range of possibilities and improve your business judgement. Best of all, the advice will come from advisers who are not trying to sell you services, manage your business, or invest in it.

Executive Volunteer Jim LeMay:

Why BAC Counseling Works

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