August 8, 2023
Melinda Head

Taylor Swift

Just a small family business …

Well, not quite.

According to Forbes, Taylor Swift’s net worth was $570 million in 2022. It is expected to surpass $1 billion by the time the Eras Tour wraps up. Among female musicians, that puts her in #2 position, behind Rihanna at $1.7 billion.

Businesses are typically categorized as small, mid-sized or large. Factors considered in determining a business size most often include how many employees that business has and/or its annual revenue.

A small business can be defined as having fewer than 100 employees – Taylor Swift undoubtedly has many contractual relationships, but few true-blue employees. So, on that basis alone, one could say that Taylor Swift is, indeed, “just running a small family business”. Everyone can relate to a “mom and pop shop”, which makes Taylor Swift seem much more approachable than Big Business.

If Ms. Swift makes more than $50 million in annual revenue, but less than $1 billion, the Taylor Swift organization would be classified as a mid-sized business.  Go any higher, and you’re a large business.

After the Eras Tour, Taylor Swift may end up with a net worth of $1 billion or more, but that doesn’t mean her wealth was earned in 1 fiscal year. And that’s how business size is established – on an annual basis.

I think we’re safe to say that Taylor Swift is currently a mid-sized business and, indeed, her business may be a family business, with mom (Andrea), dad (Scott) and brother (Austin) involved in her affairs. Sounds like a family business to me.

Taylor Swift’s parents did not naively step into the business world. Andrea was a marketing manager at an advertising agency and Scott was a financial broker. They may not have been music industry experts, but they had proven business smarts.

Taylor had great marketing materials way before anyone knew who she was. Even her name was deliberately chosen by her parents – unique, non-gender limiting and memorable.

Some have made light of the fact that the Swift family lived on a Christmas-tree farm for several years, but that was likely a strategic move – as Christmas trees pretty much grow on their own, while providing substantial tax reductions.

Was it good for Taylor Swift to have her parents lead the way, or would it have been better for Taylor’s personal development for her to do it on her own? In today’s world, you have to have the whole package to make it. Without her parents and their business acumen, it is likely that Taylor Swift would not be the pop superstar she is today.

Taylor Swift is no longer a little girl. She’s a savvy 33-year-old. Her Eras Tour is a carefully orchestrated spectacle, show biz at its finest. Don’t be fooled: it’s strategic, it’s business. And, for sure, it’s hard work.

Taylor Swift is surrounded by many talented people. This is Tree Paine, who has been at Taylor’s side as her PR specialist for many years

When you make it big, it’s good to have family around. People to ground you. People who have your back. And a fur baby or three. Taylor Swift is one lucky lady, she has this part of her life covered.

Taylor Swift’s parents have had a lot to do with her success

Taylor Swift has 3 cats: Dr. Meredith Gray, Olivia Benson and Benjamin Button. Why cats? Ms. Swift says: “They’re very dignified. They’re independent. They’re very capable of dealing with their own life”. I wonder how litter boxes fare in executive jets …

There have been some Swift casualties along the way, including the divorce of her parents. Would that have happened anyway? Your guess is as good as mine.

I’m sure being an artist is never a bed of roses, despite what is portrayed to the public. Imagine being Taylor Swift and all she must face. Can’t trust anyone except family when you’re in that league.

Taylor Swift plays in LA tonight and tomorrow night, then heads to Miami in October.

Ms. Swift, we hope you have some quiet time with family and real friends in the coming weeks, and some furry time with your kitties, too, before getting back onto your jet and belting your heart out again and again. With 146 scheduled shows in the Eras Tour, that’s 438 hours of show business … almost 55 days of singing, dancing, hair, make-up and costume changing, without counting rehearsals, travel or the everyday aspects of running a business.

Taylor Swift on vacation in Hawaii

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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