For small business owners across the country, every dollar counts. As the economy continues on the road to recovery, many small businesses are still operating on lean budgets and a limited number of resources. To help reduce costs, many owners have had to make necessary but unwanted cuts to various departments within their companies.
But what is a business to do when they need a qualified professional (say, with an MBA) to help them on a short-term project but can’t afford to pay a big company rate? That’s simple. They can rent an MBA. Founded by three Harvard students and backed by Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban, HourlyNerds has completed 150 projects for clients since its debut in September. Currently, the company has signed on more than 2,700 MBA consultants from some of the best business schools in the nation.
For the MBA consultants, the weeks- or months-long freelance projects can help sharpen their skills before landing a full-time gig, provide a little extra cash, or “offer a flexible alternative to a corporate career.” Although smaller start-ups were the first to use the MBA consulting services of companies such as HourlyNerd, MBA & Co., and SkillBridge Inc., bigger companies, including American Apparel and Ogilvy & Mather, are now customers as well.
So how does the service work? Prospective client companies post project details, including a timeline and proposed budget. Consultants then bid on the job, listing their rates and profiles. Companies pay the middleman – who takes 10-20% of the total budget – and the consultant is paid when the project is complete. To make sure the consultants deliver, coordinators keep tabs on them throughout the process. In the end, everyone wins.
Are you a small business owner in need of a little help with that marketing strategy or financial spreadsheet? Don’t shell out big bucks. Bring on a (Hourly) Nerd.