According to the New York Times, high-end nannies in New York City are garnering salary and benefit packages that take their total compensation to well over $200,000 per year. A related Huffington Post article points out that high-end nannies in Europe are also hansomely rewarded.
These are examples of one our of our favorite small business trends - the rise of high end personal services.
These are firms and individuals that provide life support services to increasingly harried and time-constrained affluent consumers.
Basically, individuals outsource tasks they don't have the time for, don't want to do, or don't have the skills to do to these firms and individuals.
We've long followed the personal services industry - examples include everything from gardening to career coaching - but what has attracted our attention over the last few years is the growth of high-end, expensive personal services. We first wrote on this in 2007, when we covered the Butler Boom.
The demand for high-end personal services is primarily being driven by 4 trends:
1. The Growing Number of Affluent Consumers: Despite the recession, the number of U.S. millionaires (those with a net worth more than $1 million excluding their primary residence) grew for the 3rd year in a row in 2011 to 8.6 million.
2. A Lack of Time: Unlike the prior generations, most affluent consumers today work - and work long hours. A lack of time, coupled with high earnings, means outsourcing personal tasks makes a lot of sense.
3. Life's Growing Complexity: Many tasks have become so complex or specialized that outside help by professionals is simply required.
4. Fear of Falling Behind: Many affluent parents are very concerned about their children falling behind. This has led to kid coaching across a wide range of activities (sports, academics, arts, music) becoming a booming industry. The New York Times nanny article and the book on sports coaching cover this fear in more detail.
The long-term outlook for high-end personal services is strong. The number of affluent consumers will very likely continue to grow and no one expects work to get easier or life less complex anytime soon.